8 Biblical Stories of Hope for When Life is Hard

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There are many examples of hope in the Bible. This is what makes the Bible so encouraging. When going through a difficult time, you can open God’s Word and learn about someone who had faith and hope in God despite what they were facing at any given time. Biblical stories of hope will help stir your faith to keep moving forward when life is hard.

In Romans 10:17 it says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We are growing our faith when we have faith to open our hearts to stories of hope in the Bible.

Through some of the most difficult times in my life, I have found hope to be the hardest to cling to. I will have faith to move forward and “follow my dreams” or walk obediently in God’s call on my life. But when trials and life get hard, I have difficulty holding onto the hope I have in the promises of God that can be found in His word. 

If I am being honest, it is truly a matter of believing that God is for me and that He will defend me. I know what I want and need in this life, and I also know God is sovereign. However, I also know the prayer I am hoping for in any given situation may not be fulfilled. God might say “no,” and I might not get what I want. 

Embracing God’s Sovereignty

Real hope is embracing God’s sovereignty. For me, this is the hardest element of hope to accept. The truth is I am hoping for some big things – some situations involve life and death but also eternity spent in heaven or hell. Hope requires me to surrender the outcome to God; sometimes, I don’t want to because I am unsure what His answer will be. 

However, through Bible Study and daily surrendering these fears to God, I have learned to rely on God’s promises rather than my fears. During hard times, I have had to trust God in the now to have hope for the future.

Can I say without a doubt I know what the outcome will be? No, I can’t. But I can remind myself and others of what His Word says. I can also look to stories of encouragement and hope, too!

Embracing God’s sovereignty is not always easy, but we have been given the gift of living this life daily in His sovereign will. While it might be scary to think about “letting go and letting God,” it is a gift to let God have control of our lives. We wake up every day not knowing what will happen at any given moment. Therefore, we trust in His sovereign will over our lives.

We can move forward in faith, but if we trust in God, then we can trust that He is walking with us every step of the way. Knowing this can help us have a hopeful anticipation for the future of what God might do through everything we walk through. 

The Concept of Hope

According to Dictionary.com, the meaning of hope is “to look forward with desire and reasonable confidence.

The concept of hope is to look forward and to move forward. Sure, we can want to lose weight or become a writer, but the word hope means proactively moving towards those goals. When you read the Biblical stories of hope below, you will see many actively moving to the next step in the process. 

Biblical hope always requires moving forward and walking in faith. We have more hope when we have a strategy designed to get us to where we want to be and to meet our goals.

Recently, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. This was a moment in my life where I felt like my health had made yet another turn for the worse. I was not ok with this. I had options moving forward, and they included going on blood pressure medicine or taking the steps needed to get more physical activity and take the steps necessary to lose weight. But sitting around and doing the same thing daily would not give me hope that my health would improve. 

What if you don’t know what to do to move forward?

When my husband was diagnosed with a rare condition, and we went through almost all of the treatment available to us, we felt defeated, and hope was gone when we found there was nothing more we could do.

It was a hard time in our life when we found out this chronic disease had no cure. But even in this situation, The Lord revealed to me there was still hope in stewarding the days ahead. I am thankful his condition is not life-threatening, although it will continue to get worse since it is a chronic condition. He is doing well and while we didn’t get the answer we hoped for, I believe God has walked us through it all.

This doesn’t change the fact that every one of us has a terminal life; we are all headed for the same destiny. While we may hope for a long life, it’s just not a realistic hope. Sure, we can make all the right choices and do all the right things, but that doesn’t guarantee anything in this life. 

So, while some situations seem hopeless, you’re mistaken. Plenty of hope is found in the grace of a new day. His mercies are new every morning, and each day comes with a new hope that God will move in supernatural ways or comfort us through whatever trial we’re going through. 

The God of Hope

Romans 15:13 (NIV) says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Let’s not miss this verse’s key message. This verse highlights God’s role as the source of Christian hope, joy, and peace for believers. It emphasizes that by trusting in God and the confession of our hope, individuals can experience abundant hope through the Holy Spirit.

Living hope is found through trusting God and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill your life. Inviting God into every hopeless situation is imperative to living a life of joy, peace, and hope. 

This is my verse for the year, and I am often reminded to trust in God as I live my life, trying to be obedient to Him. Trust is a huge key, and it is found in the faithful steps we take daily.

Writing is not the most stable job and doesn’t guarantee much success. However, I have been faithfully writing and taking breaks from writing for over a decade. Whenever I return to the hope that God will use my writing to further His Kingdom or make a difference in someone else’s life, I must take steps to fulfill that purpose.

I have to write, and to write; I have to trust the Holy Spirit will lead me in the direction I need to go and give me the words I need to say! There is no way I could write this article without the hope of God in my life. 

Here Are 8 Examples of Hope in the Bible for When Life is Hard

Without Christ there is no hope.

-Charles Spurgeon

The Story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50): 

Joseph endured betrayal by his brothers, slavery, and imprisonment, but he remained faithful to God. Remaining faithful to God requires hope in the future. Joseph was given dreams to cling to when he was betrayed and imprisoned. The message of hope here is to always look for God and His instructions. 

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, he can give you strategy and even lead you to where you need to go. As we see in the story of Joseph, this doesn’t always mean we will avoid tragedy and hard times in life.

However, it does show us that when we cling to faith, hope for the future, and trust in God, we will always arrive at our destination because God is sovereign. In the end, Joseph rose to a position of power in Egypt. He reconciled with his family, demonstrating that even in the darkest times, when we have hope, God can bring about redemption and restoration.

The Exodus (Exodus 1-15): 

The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for generations, but God heard their cries and raised Moses to lead them to freedom. The Israelites had been crying out to God for a very long time. We don’t know what stirred their faith to keep crying out to The Lord, but this is one of those situations where the kind of hope you need to have is filled with trust in God’s sovereignty.

The story also has an interesting connection to Joseph’s story, which we just mentioned. Through Joseph’s redemption and restoration, the Israelites found themselves in Egypt in the first place. However, in Genesis 50:24-26 (NIV), Joseph says to his brothers: 

“then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.’ So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.”

This request reflects Joseph’s faith in God’s promise to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and back to the land of Canaan and his desire to be buried there with his ancestors. It also foreshadows the Israelites’ eventual departure from Egypt and journey to the Promised Land.

This helps us to see that God is sovereign in all that is happening with the Israelites. I guess they held onto that promise that Joseph’s bones would one day be with his ancestors. Through miraculous signs and wonders, God delivered the Israelites from bondage, showing that He is a God of liberation and salvation.

The Story of Ruth (Book of Ruth): 

Ruth was a Moabite woman who faced widowhood and poverty. Despite her difficult circumstances, she remained loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and ultimately found hope, redemption, and a new beginning through her marriage to Boaz. Ruth was not a Jewish woman but chose to follow Naomi and God wherever He led them. 

It’s interesting to see how Ruth’s loyalty and trust in Naomi led her to a life where she also believed in God.

Ruth 1:16 says,

“Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you and to return from following you, for where you go, I will go; and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” 

Sometimes, the greatest act of hope is to be faithful and loyal to the life God has given you. I am sure it was difficult for Ruth to walk through her grief and support Naomi through hers; after all, Ruth 1:20 says, “She said to them, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

I am sure it was hard for Ruth to see the pain Naomi was in and to stick with her, especially when she was struggling with her grief. But hope does not mean we will be put into easy situations. Hope is about getting through the difficult moments and trusting there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

There is no doubt that Ruth and Naomi went through hard times in their life. However, this story illustrates God’s provision and faithfulness to those who trust Him and remain faithful to walk out their trials right where they are instead of trying to control and change the situation for their good. 

The Promise to Abraham (Genesis 12, 15, 17): 

God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation despite being childless and advanced in his age. Through faith, Abraham believed God’s promise, and eventually, Isaac was born, fulfilling God’s covenant. Although the path of faith was not easy for Abraham, his hope in God’s promises is what helped him along the way. 

Even when Abraham was led to the mountain to sacrifice Isaac, he still had hope in God’s promises for his life!

In Genesis 22:14, Abraham says the name of that place is “Yahweh Will Provide.” As it is said to this day, “On Yahweh’s mountain, it will be provided.

Abraham’s belief that God would provide the sacrifice, even if it meant raising Isaac from the dead, is implicit in his response to Isaac’s question. He trusted in God’s faithfulness and provision even in the face of an incredibly difficult test.

Then, Hebrews 11:19 says, “concluding that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Figuratively speaking, he also did receive him back from the dead.”

Abraham would not have reached his promise if he did not have hope in God’s promise for his life. This story shows hope in God’s ability to fulfill His promises, even when they seem impossible.

The Healing of the Woman with the Issue of Blood (Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48):

A woman who had suffered from a bleeding condition for twelve years reached out to Jesus in faith, believing that if she could touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. Jesus commended her faith and declared that her faith had made her well.

But what if she hadn’t gone to Jesus to ask for healing?

When healing is delayed, it is easy to lose hope that it will ever happen. But this woman still had hope even after 12 years. I am not sure what stirred her faith to try one more time, but I am sure her hope allowed her heart to believe just one more time in healing. 

This is also an example of God’s sovereignty. We probably never would’ve heard about it if she had been healed before this moment. But here we are, moved and encouraged by her hope and faith in Jesus.

God’s timing on miracles and deliverance is determined by His sovereign knowledge and will. Everything Jesus did had a purpose and happened so our faith would be stirred and strengthened. We can have hope and ask for whatever is in our hearts, but God is the one who determines the ramifications of answering our requests. 

I don’t know why this woman had to wait 12 years to be healed, but I know this story illustrates hope in Jesus’ power to heal and restore even the most desperate situations, and it encourages us to have hope in God’s timing. 

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32):

This parable tells the story of a wayward son who squandered his inheritance but eventually returned home to his loving father, who welcomed him with open arms. As a mom, I can tell you nothing hurts more than to see your children suffer. This parable hits home for me because I have seen the pain and the hurt this can cause a mom or dad of a prodigal son or daughter. This parable offers hope, and I am so thankful Jesus took the time to tell us this parable through His Word. 

Of course, this parable is about how we lived our lives before surrendering to Jesus. So, we know what it is like to squander our inheritance and live a life far from God. It’s not fun, and it is not filled with any hope. As much as the world would like to think that happiness can be bought, and maybe it can be purchased for just a moment, you can’t put monetary value on hope. 

This prodigal son had hope in his father and the life he could have had if he had just returned home. But it is also a story about a father who hoped his son would one day return home.

So, if you don’t have hope because of what you have done in your life, this parable is for you because it demonstrates hope in the Father’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and willingness to restore those who repent and return to Him. So even in our mistakes and wandering, we STILL have hope. 

The Promise of Eternal Hope and the Hope of Salvation (John 3:16, Romans 6:23):

The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Thanks to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have eternal hope and hope of salvation. This hope is truly the foundation of the Christian faith. Our great reward for enduring this life and being faithful servants is to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus one day. 

The beautiful thing about this hope we have is it is FREE.

Romans 6:23 (WEB) says,

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This assurance offers hope to believers that death is not the end but the beginning of an eternity with God in His kingdom.

The Second Coming and Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:12-13):

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return in glory to judge the living and the dead and to establish His eternal kingdom. Some people fear His return because they constantly hear about all the trials and tribulations. While this is true, getting to the new heaven and new earth will not be easy, fun, or pleasant, it will be worth it, and we will not have to walk alone. 

This hope of Jesus’s second coming requires us to lean into God’s sovereignty and learn to have hope when nothing makes sense. So many opportunities in life teach us to trust in God’s love and power more than we trust in what we are witnessing.

God’s love will get us through the tough times, and God’s power will be evident every step of the way. As believers, we rely on God’s great mercy and unfailing love. Like before the second coming, the trials are just a momentary affliction that we must endure to reach the promise. 

Throughout the stories outlined here, you see that this is evident with everyone who has had hope and walked in faith. They believed, focused on the good things, and committed to good work. This hope in Christ’s future return reminds believers that, ultimately, God will make all things new and bring about the fullness of His kingdom, and we will get to look forward to eternal glory.

Conclusion

Hope is a confident expectation of what God will do in and through your life. People will often symbolize hope with an anchor as a reminder to anchor their hope in God, His promises, and His provision. It also refers to Hebrews 6:19: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil.”

Hope is about enduring present sufferings and resting in the assurance of things we cannot see. 

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

– Hebrews 11:1

Our hope will not go unrewarded.

In Romans 5:4-6 it states:

“and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

So, while you walk out your faith and wake up every morning with expectant hope, just know that the sufferings of this present time will allow you to grow deeper in your hope and your relationship with God. 

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