The Value of Hope

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life                                                                                               Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

I recently saw a couple in marriage counseling, and at the end of the session, I wanted to give them some added encouragement. They have been struggling for some time, and I felt that they needed an extra boost. So, I told them that I have seen, literally, multiple hundreds of couples over the years. Based upon my experience, I told them that there was every reason that we could be successful in our endeavors, and that they have worked hard and shown perseverance. I further suggested that if they continue to work the plans we have all laid out, there is no reason that the marriage could not only be restored, but that it could prosper better than they had ever imagined.

I said this because I believe it. I also said it to give them hope, because they had seen little hope over the past several years. I noticed that the wife had tears in her eyes, and then she just let them flow. She thanked me for the confidence I had in them, and for saying out loud that this marriage could be renewed, and that it could prosper like it once had.

One of the most important jobs that counselors can do is give hope. The belief that things can get better is often just the impetus needed to make that positive change happen. Without hope, people can give up, and so, to the extent that we are able, we must continue to give people hope for a better future.

Prayer: Lord, you have given us hope for a future. Help is to spread that to others, Amen.

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