From Hope-less to Hope-Full (Courage Amid the Fear)

“God doesn’t want us to simply endure life; he wants us to be free, to live a life of joy.” ~Jo Ann Fore, When A Woman Finds Her Voice

When a dream begins to take shape in our lives, whatever shape that may be, we nurture it. We define the edges, add color and dimension to the body, and adjust the tone to make it just right.

Sometimes those dreams are realistic, sometimes a little far-fetched. But we know our dreams. They become reality in our minds, long before they are in actuality.

Whether that dream is a child’s future, marriage, secure finances, a peaceful family life, health, a publishing contract, a career, or any number of significant and seemingly less significant scenarios, it occupies a place of prominence and meaning in our lives.

When our dreams are interrupted by loss, a part of us dies with it.


Our days take on an entirely different tone, one of slogging through, devoid of joy—putting one foot in front of the other simply because we don’t know what else to do.

Not only have I lived that way, but I’ve also seen it played out in others’ lives. In my need to heal after accepting my daughter’s diagnosis of lifelong disabilities, I stepped out in faith to minister to other parents whose children’s earthly existence differed from the norm.

Their children didn’t learn as quickly or they had difficulty relating to their peers. A few had significant delays setting them apart. All the parents were lost, almost panicked, in their hurt and confusion, desperately searching for something, anything to hang onto as they felt the dreams for their children slipping through fingers clasped tight.

The school counselor and I reached out, seeking to provide a salve for their pain, to give them something tangible to hold onto. We brought in speakers who outlined therapies that reduced sensitivities. Reams of material on programs to try, organizations to turn to, and financial resources to reduce the burden were distributed.

Try as we might, the despair remained. Things of this world couldn’t overcome the power of death.

The reason? Nothing temporal can truly defeat death: physical death or death of the spirit. I would love to give you a five- or ten-step program to get out of suffering free.

Counseling experts and ministers can offer practical suggestions to reduce its sting, but there is nothing they can offer that can overcome death but life itself. And there is but One who is life. Only One who gets it.

That One is Jesus Christ.

Lord's light

In fact, not only does Jesus understand death, but He also has the key to unlock its grip. Even further, He controls death.


Here’s the crux: God doesn’t answer to death; instead, death bows to the Giver of all life. If we are to face our fears, to find life in the midst of a world strewn with pain and suffering, we need to turn to the Orchestrator of death’s demise.

Jesus is the chink in death’s armor—the fatal flaw, which when revealed, relegates death to a less prominent position in our lives. Without the cross, hope is only superficial. 

Without the cross, hope is only superficial. Click To Tweet

True hope of life after tragedy is really only possible because of one thing: the revelation that death has been defeated.

Yet, Jesus did more than defeat death. He changed its meaning, bringing possibilities for everything, even physical death itself, to be made beautiful and glorious. In His willingness to suffer for us, He redeemed it, transforming death to be used for His purposes.

In Jesus' willingness to suffer for us, He redeemed death, transforming it into something beautiful. #hopeinthemess Click To Tweet

Jesus suffered on earth to bring light to the darkest corners, to shine it in the most extreme places. But the Author and Defender of life didn’t just show up once.

He shows up in the hospital rooms where mothers lay wrapped around their sick child, in the bedrooms of distraught parents, in the grimy brothels of young prostitute slaves, on the railroad tracks with a young girl desiring to end it all. He holds our hands in the depths of our despair, brings meaning to our broken bodies, and walks hand in hand with us through the storms.

Jesus suffered on earth to bring light to the darkest corners, to shine it in the most extreme places Click To Tweet

Although episodes of death seep back into our lives, bringing pain and suffering, they no longer hold power over us. They are allowed to remain, to be used by the Lord for His purposes, to spread His light.

We no longer need to fear death.

Sorrow will still descend because we remain in the temporal. The Lord weeps with us but has not yet wiped away every tear. But our hope abounds because His light pushes out the dark, because death no longer has the power to destroy us.

In other words, the reign of death is truly finished—freeing our voices to ring true with an assured hope—and courage in the midst of our fear.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8:15)

Reflections: Where is your hope? Where are you looking for courage?

This is one of many stories on hope, healing, and finding our voice posted and linked up today on Jo Ann Fore’s blog. They are written by bloggers incredibly excited about Jo Ann’s new book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. This week’s topic is “Courage in Spite of Fear.”

And an exciting announcement: When A Woman Finds Her Voice has been released! 

To purchase Jo Ann’s book, click HERE. 

Also, don’t miss the online Bible Study, which begins November 18. It’s free and flexible! Register here. 

Jo Ann Fore

Also linking with:

Wise-Woman-Builds Rachel

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

8 comments on “From Hope-less to Hope-Full (Courage Amid the Fear)
  1. JoAnnFore says:

    “Our hope abounds because HIS light pushes out the dark.” Yes, this!

  2. Shanyn says:

    What a blessing your voice is! And you challenge with such good questions. Bless you girl!

  3. Thank you for pouring your heart and insights into each post. Great words. 🙂

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