Tag Archives: encouragement

When Hope is Gone


By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.

Acts 27:20 NKJV

Do you feel like giving up? Can you identify with the men sailing with the Apostle Paul? Paul’s trip to Rome as a prisoner seemed hopeless at times. Hopeless situations are God’s specialty.

First, they set sail during the most dangerous time for a sea voyage. Gentle breezes whipped into Euroclydon, a storm similar to a hurricane. Sometimes life feels calm right before the strongest storms, catching us off guard; however, Fierce winds and crashing waves don’t surprise God.

the Battering winds and waves drove the massive ship into the Syrtis Sands. This area earned the name, the Graveyard of Ships because of its numerous shipwrecks. First, they chose the wrong time to set sail, and now, they had been shoved into the wrong place. A place they never wanted to be. Can you relate? The diagnosis or the catastrophe we desperately wanted to avoid.

The weary travelers tossed everything except essentials overboard in a desperate attempt to lighten the ship. In hopeless times, we become desperate.

Days without sun and nights without stars passed. Unable to see ahead, they feared crashing into the rocky shore. When hope falls short, we see nothing before us but disaster. We must trust God to steer our ships, especially when we lose sight of the horizon.

God sent an angel to encourage Paul, telling him they would all survive. In the midst of our storms, we have God’s promises. His gentle reminders to calm our fears.

Two weeks of stormy seas passed before they saw land. While trying to land the ship, it became lodged in a sandbar, where two seas met. The crashing waves tore it to shreds. Do you ever feel like those sailors, the despair of never catching a break? One storm after another without ample time to surface for air.

The men reached Rome with nothing but their lives. They had survived a hurricane and a shipwreck.

Maybe you have survived a different tragedy. Perhaps your storm still rages on. When we face the impossible, we turn to the God of possibilities. God has not changed. We can rest in His promises. We can trust His guiding hand. The flame of hope continually burns for the child of God. We may emerge from the storm with only our lives, but God will bring us safely through, just like He did for Paul.

Heavenly Father, thank You for including testimonies of Your power in Scripture. They remind us of Your might and strength. They remind us we have hope. You are our hope. No matter how hopeless it seems, no matter what we lose, we are Your beloved children. Work in our lives today. Amen.


Read Acts 27:9-44.


What can your reminder of hope be? A figurine, a verse or a reminder on your phone. Something that encourages you because Hope never dies.


Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.




By Carolyn Dale Newell

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble;

You have known my soul in adversities,

Psalm 31:7 NKJV

The tears are falling again. You don’t cry easily. This means you have been hurt and the pain is deep. I have been with you through these troubling times before. Right now, it does not feel like you will make it, but you will. You have done it before. Knowing life and knowing God, this time is harder. It always gets harder.

I am here to remind you of a few things. God brought your husband from the brink of death. He comforted you when your daughter turned her back on you. God gave you grace and strength when your vision failed. He even gave you some vision back when you had cataracts removed. This time is no different. You just need to remember.

Joy will fill your soul again, even though rejoicing seems distant at this moment. God will give you beauty for ashes. He fights for you. You are a child of the Most High King. He has not abandoned you. Remember, I was there when you could not feel His presence at all, but He was there.

I know you think this is more than you can bear, but you don’t have to carry this burden. That’s right! God is not only going to carry your burden, but He will carry you too.

When He dries your tears, stand tall. Suit up in the believer’s armor, and go forth like the prayer warrior you really are.

You already knew this. I just had to remind you. Keep your eyes on your Father. Walk in the Spirit and this too shall pass. When life gets tough, get tough on life. You can handle it. With God, nothing is impossible.

Father, we have it together during the good times, but when storms arise, we often lose it. Help us to remember who You are and Whose we are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Read Psalm 34:17.


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could step out of our tranquil seasons to have that talk with ourselves when our minds are racing with panic?

Here are some great verses to have on posted notes around your home or office for our anxious hearts:

  • Isaiah 61:1-3
  • Romans 8:28
  • Romans 8:31
  • Romans 8:37
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Hebrews 13:5

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.