“A lot of people asking for help for a man named George Bailey.”
“George Bailey. Yes. Tonight's his crucial night. You're right.”
“We'll have to send someone down immediately. Whose turn is it?”
“Joseph, send for Clarence.”
“You sent for me, sir?”
“Yes, Clarence. A man down on earth needs our help.”
“Splendid! Is he sick?”
“No. Worse. He's discouraged.”
The first scene of my all-time favorite movie takes place in Heaven. It seems Heaven has heard the prayers for our beloved George Bailey and is arranging to send help. I am struck, in awe, by the assessment of the boss angel when asked if George is sick.
“No. Worse. He’s discouraged.”
According to Heaven, being discouraged is far worse than being sick. Being discouraged is to be without hope.
So then, what is hope? Simply put, hope is having a good expectation of God’s goodness for your future.
If we’re discouraged, we have no expectation of God’s goodness for our future. And that is a dangerous place to be. From the look on George’s face, the heavenly assessment is accurate. He is without hope.
On this night, George found himself in desperate need of money, or his family would be left to live in shame and poverty while he served time in jail. But George’s trouble didn’t start here, on this pivotal night.
It started with a lie he’d been believing about himself for a very long time, and after a tour of his life, we understand the lie George has captioned his life with.
“I’m a failure.”
This wrong believing caused George to have a persistent contempt for himself. He never fulfilled the plans he’d made for himself. In his mind, his life was small. And everything he’d done was small. The lies accumulated on the night of despair like snowflakes accumulate to make a blizzard.
If I’m looking for God everywhere, I can find Him in that low and desperate place where Truth got through. Like so often happens with our Abba father, the heart remedy was administered before the situation was resolved. Because more than he needed money, George needed to be set free from the lie that caused him to become hopeless.
The wonderful truth was that God was already using George to build things. Things like family and community. Things far more grand than buildings, in the eyes of God. Sometimes, we need to sink low to see that God has been working out His plan all along.
Maybe you’re bearing the anguish of being without hope right now. You haven’t measured up. Your life hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would. Maybe you’re disappointed in yourself, or in God. Perhaps you’ve been let go from your job. Maybe your family is in turmoil. Maybe you couldn’t save your child from their own loss of hope. Maybe you didn’t get the healing you begged God to send. Maybe that lie you’ve pasted onto your life to explain why things have gone wrong has taken root and taken over.
When we consent, God goes to work on our hearts before He works out our situation. Because He knows hopelessness can stop a heart. He’s more interested in getting to the root of hopelessness, more so than the result of it.
Like George in the final scene, keep your eyes heavenward and refuse to let go of hope, even for a moment. Feed your Hope! Choose to keep your eyes on your Daddy in Heaven, on what you know about Him. Remind yourself of what He’s already done in your life. Choose to re-member what you know, looking past what you see.
Bill Johnson, the senior pastor from Bethel church, said wisely, “Any area of your life where you have no hope is under the influence of a lie.”
Do you recognize the agony on George’s face? I do too! I’ve seen that anguished look on my husband’s face. I’ve worn this tortured face, too. It’s the evidence of a loss of hope.
What lie has put that tortured look on your face? What are you believing today? Where do you need freedom? In this low place, can you let go of your plans? Can you let go of the need to control your world? Will you let go of the lies you’ve believed about yourself? The wrong beliefs about God? The place of surrender is where resurrection begins.
Look beyond whatever it is you think you need. The freedom and fullness God holds out far surpass anything you think you’re lacking.
“We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God Himself.” (Hebrews 6:19 TPT) No heart can fail that has Hope!
If you need help getting free from a lie or recognizing what it is you need to let go of, please visit my webpage and book a free 30-minute consult with me. As a certified Christian life coach, it’s my mission to help women find the freedom and fullness Christ died to give us.