“For surely there is an end, and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:18

“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” – Romans 8:25

“ You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”– Psalm 119:114

“The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” –  Psalm 147:11

“Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:18

It is critical that we always maintain hope.  Sometimes situations seem impossible, but we must have the discipline to not allow our emotions to dictate our behavior.   We must use all the skills given to us and avoid fear, disappointment, or worry to control our behavior. 

When you are experiencing the most desperate of times, you need to focus on the good things in your life.  Understand how blessed you are just to be alive with resources that help you experience achievement, pleasure, and understanding. 

During those times when you feel the most desperate, helping someone else face the challenges in their life will help you feel better about your situation. 

Of course, you must address any immediate challenges that could cause you harm, but, when you have a moment to reflect on your entire life, think about all the good things in your life.  Be grateful that you are alive and have opportunities to grow and help other people.

Denise with her professor

Denise is a student at Michigan State University.  She will earn her undergraduate degree at the end of this term.  She worked very hard in high school and college.  Her goal is to become a scientist. She has always wanted to study the universe and how the Earth fits into God’s plan.  She is a strong Christian but believes she can learn about God’s plan by learning about the mysteries of the universe.  She worked hard her entire life to attend graduate school at Harvard University.  That was her plan since she was a sophomore in high school.  

She was accepted to Harvard Graduate School earlier this year.  She has been planning her move to Massachusetts for the past few months.  That is all she can think about. 

Then just a few months before she completed her work for her undergraduate degree at Michigan State, her father’s company lost a major lawsuit that caused his company to go bankrupt.  Their family lost everything including their house.  Her father did not have the funds to send her to Harvard.  She was devastated. 

Denise tried to apply for financial aid, but it was too late for the coming year.  She felt horrible for her father, but she could not stop feeling depressed about working so hard to go to Harvard, get accepted, and not being about to attend. 

Denise became so depressed that she was not able to focus on anything.  She continued to attend school during her last semester, but she was not motivated to do good work.  As a result, her grade point average dropped half a point. 

Denise had a close friend, Clara, who was very worried about her.  Clara talked with Denise.  She told Denise that there were so many good things about her life and that going to Harvard was not the only thing of value.  She had so many friends, and she graduated from Michigan State with honors.  She can apply to other graduate schools that offer financial support.  Clara told her that she needed to focus on the good things in her life. Clara told her to pray and ask for guidance.  She told her to be open and consider other opportunities. 

Denise thought about what Clara told her.  She decided to talk with one of her professors, George.  George was her favorite professor in college.  George told her that he had close friends at Stanford University.  He offered to contact them and see how they could help her financially. 

Denise began to feel better.  Although her number one goal in life was to attend Harvard Graduate School, she realized that her life was worth more than one goal.  The more she read about Stanford University, the more she wanted to learn.  She made a trip to California and visited the campus at Stanford.  She was able to meet with several professors from the Astronomy Department. 

A combination of her college documentation and the recommendations from her favorite professors combined with the fact that her family had no income because of the business failure, led to Stanford University offering Denise financial support.

The more Denise thought about Stanford, the more she realized that she was wrong to focus on one goal.  Life had so many opportunities and she needed to work hard and trust God to be there for her.  She should not allow one goal to derail her life.

We all think we know what we want to achieve in life.  Sometimes unexpected events cause us to fall short of those expectations.  It is important to continue to focus on improving your life and helping other people. Understand that your life has much more to offer than achieving one specific goal. 

Never lose hope.  When one opportunity fails to be there for you, immediately look for new opportunities.  You are never limited to one pursuit.  God is with you.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.