Essential Hope

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)

There is one thing that is essential in all counseling relationships- giving hope. People often come to counseling as a “last resort”, having lost hope in themselves, and maybe hope in the relationships they have. Perhaps they have lost hope that they can deal with an addiction, or that there is any future for them because they have had so many failures.

While there are many things that counselors can do in terms of teaching ways to combat anxiety, depression, trauma, and to help restore broken relationships, the first and most important thing is to establish that there remains a hope for the future.

We model this hope and we give encouragement. We affirm the individual value of each client. We get to be the ones who will work alongside them so that they can have better tools for overcoming pain and loss. We have the privilege of affirming to them that God loves them right where they are, and that they need not do anything but meet God at the place of obedience for healing.

Yes, there is hard work in the process. Clients may need to hear some hard things and confront some personal attitudes and behaviors that have caused them problems in the past. They may need to practice hard disciplines to learn to have respect for themselves again. All of these things are hard, but they can be done.

None of this work though can go forward unless there is hope for a better future. And there is.

Prayer: Father, you have given us hope for the future, no matter what we face. Help us to see that, especially in the darkest times, Amen.

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