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Loneliness is becoming more common in our world as older women. Friends and spouses are ill and dying. It's a fact. There is a lot to be sad about. COVID and political unrest hasn't helped. How do we find hope? #hopeinloneliness #hopeinGod

Photo: Canva

We have a treasure in our older women. But many of them are struggling. We face loneliness. It takes a slightly different form than it did when we were young. When we were young, many of us were able to get through hard times because we knew better times were ahead. (This isn’t particularly what I advise, it’s just what many of us did.) We just needed to finish this course or our spouse needed to get through that program he was taking to get a better job, then things would be better…a better job or a raise or…? Maybe we were going through a period of illness, but we knew if we hung in there for awhile, the disease would finish its course and life would go back to normal.

Now our hard times are more chronic. Our friends and loved ones are ill or dying. The things we used to trust in aren’t working for us now.

But now, we are losing friends to chronic illness and death. We are retired and rarely have ways to bring in more income. We also see ourselves failing physically and even sometimes mentally. It can leave us feeling very lonely. Especially if we are alone at home like many of us have been lately. It’s easy to think about ourselves instead of others, because we aren’t seeing others much.

For those of us who are helping care for loved ones, we tend to be home a little more often too. It’s easy to think of ourselves and our loneliness. It’s easy to think about the things that are hard.

Many of us thought we were trusting in GOD until we started losing people that were dear to us. Now we wonder. Did I trust in GOD or did I just love the things He gave me? That’s the challenge of hard times.

But GOD is calling us to have our hope in Him. I’ll talk more about hope in the next post. Hope is defined as confident assurance based on the person and promises of GOD. So, by allowing GOD to transform our minds, we can make an effort to learn more about who GOD is (His character) and what His promises are. The best place to find this is in the Bible.

Of course, the work is done by GOD, the Holy Spirit, but we need to be intentional about our part. Rather than to allow our minds to spiral downward into more and more depression as we think of all the things that aren’t working, we need to fill our minds with something more positive.

What is GOD like?

For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
ascribe greatness to our God!

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.

Deuteronomy 32:3-4 ESV

How is this for a description? It’s not a full one, but what it says here is true. GOD is great. He is a rock. That metaphor certainly indicates stability. I think of the kind of rock that makes up one of the Rocky Mountains! That is pretty stable! Along with that comes His justice, faithfulness and righteousness (without iniquity.) This is something you don’t just skim over. It’s food for thought for a few days…at least!

What has GOD promised?

Of course, He has promised many things, but one promise that applies is that He will be with us. He will never leave us so we have no need to be afraid. Not only will He never leave us and be with us, He goes before us! How is that for an awesome promise!

It is the Lord who goes before you.
He will be with you;
he will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

So as we put those two together, we can find all kinds of reasons for hope, confident hope, without a shadow of doubt, because it is placed in the One who can deliver on  His promises. He is dependable. He is good.

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13 ESV

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