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10 Bible Verses to Read When Your Child is Running Low on Hope

  • Aretha Grant
10 Bible Verses to Read When Your Child is Running Low on Hope

I have two teenagers at home experiencing fascinating seasons in their lives. They’re looking toward the future with hope and expectation, wondering if they'll marry, have children, like their jobs, and make enough money to live comfortably. They're also curious about how and if God will use them in adulthood.

Yes, life is exciting for them, but they also experience discouragement. Alex, my 17-year-old, experienced his first job layoff from an ice cream shop because winter came. His unexpected job loss led to a conversation about the many layoffs my husband and I have endured and the importance of saving for a rainy day. Charis, my 15-year-old, was recently passed over for a dance number. Her experience led to my husband and I speaking with her about how life doesn’t always give us what we want, but we need to trust the Lord to work everything together for our good.

Having tough conversations with our teenage children when they’re running low on hope is essential. We need to give them the tools to bounce back from disappointments, to help them keep pressing toward their goals and dreams without falling into depression, anger, bitterness, or resentment.

The Bible is a toolbox full of hope, encouragement, and instruction for our children. When they face trials, tests, and temptations that seek to steal their hope, we can point them to the Bible where they are sure to find the encouragement they need.

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Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

As I mentioned earlier, I shared Romans 8:28 with my daughter when she didn't get the dance part in the play. I told her that whenever I don't receive something I wanted, God has a way of giving me something even better when I place my faith in Him.

Does this verse mean our children won't experience the hurt and disappointment of hope deferred? No, it doesn’t. This verse says all things will work together for good, but it doesn’t say all things will feel good. Yes, our children will still hurt, but the Bible guarantees that the hurt and disappointment can work together for good when we love God.

As parents, we need to be careful we aren't using Romans 8:28 to teach our children that God will give them everything they want. We need to use this verse within its context and teach our children that God has a purpose for them and that things will work together for good to those who love Him and have a purpose in Him.

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Acts 3:5

Acts 3:5

"And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’" (Acts 3:5)

The Bible tells us there was a man who was daily laid at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful. He was unable to walk and was a beggar. One day, he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple and asked them for help. Acts 3:5 records that he looked at Peter and John expecting them to give him a handout. Peter told him he didn't have silver and gold, but something better. He gave the man Jesus Christ.

When our children are running low on hope, we need to give them the thing they need most in the world:  Jesus. We need to remind them their future is in the Lord. We also need to remind them that despite the things they face in this world, this world isn’t the end. They are citizens of a great kingdom.

A relationship with Jesus Christ ensures they attain that kingdom. And ultimately, our hope points to that kingdom. Christians are focused on the kingdom to come, not in this world in which we currently reside.

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Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31:24

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." (Psalm 31:24)

Despite what our children face, God can and will strengthen their hearts when they place their hope in the Lord. From failing grades, college selections, pending adulthood, to bullies, we can reassure our children and give them courage with the knowledge that God is for them. They can be bold and confident in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Psalm 39:7

Psalm 39:7

"And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." (Psalm 39:7)

We live in a microwave society that is impatient and doesn't want to wait for anything. Our children are being tempted with immediate gratification. However, Psalm 39:7 teaches our children and us to wait for God.

Waiting on God doesn't mean we sit around twiddling our thumbs. No, waiting on God means doing the best things we know to do (praying, fasting, praising, and worship God) while we wait for His salvation, deliverance, healing, or provision. They can wait on Him while hoping in Him.

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Psalm 71:5

Psalm 71:5

"For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth." (Psalm 71:5)

Our children will always need God. They will also need to trust Him and hope in Him. When they are adults, they will need a relationship with God. Thus, establishing and nourishing a relationship with God in their youth will be essential when they’re adults. We can teach our children now not to only hope in God, but that God is our hope. That understanding will bless them now and when they’re adults.

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Psalm 119:114

Psalm 119:114

"Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word." (Psalm 119:114)

One of the enemies most dangerous tactics is tempting people to question the Bible. If our children listen to the enemy and doubt the truth in God’s word, they won't hope in His word. They will hope in something or somebody that will lead them down the path to destruction. Thus, parents should teach children the beauty in God's word. We also need to teach our children that God's word is sure; they can trust the Bible. They can use the Bible as a hiding place and a shield from danger.

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Romans 15:4

Romans 15:4

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

One of the best things we can do for our children when they're running low on hope is pointing them to the scriptures. Romans 15:4 teaches us that the scriptures were written so that we can have hope. Reading about Moses parting the Red Sea teaches our children that God can do anything. Reading about Daniel in the lion's den gives boldness to our children when they’re facing adversity.

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Proverbs 13:12

Proverbs 13:12

"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)

Just because our children hope for something doesn’t mean they will receive it immediately. Our children may find themselves feeling hopeless or depressed when it appears the thing desired isn’t coming. It’s during these times of waiting that we have to encourage our children to keep praying, trusting, hoping. We have to encourage them that the wait makes the manifestation of our heart’s desire that much sweeter. Teach your children to look forward with great expectation.

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Acts 16:19

Acts 16:19

"And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers." (Acts 16:19)

Acts 16:19 is an excellent story to teach our children about the object of hope. Some men placed their hope in a girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination. They placed their hope in her because she made them rich by “soothsaying” (see Acts 16:16).

Christian parents should teach our children to place their hope only in God. We need to teach them to reject astrology, fortune cookies, fortune tellers, palm readers, etc. All of those things are evil and wicked, and our children should not place their hope in them.

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Psalm 33:18

Psalm 33:18

"Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy." (Psalm 33:18)

When the heart is sick because of hope deferred, it's easy to feel alone, as though God has forgotten about us. Christian parents can help their children through these feelings by reminding them that the Lord's eyes are upon them and He sees what they're enduring. Parents can encourage their children in the knowledge that God promised never to leave them nor forsake them. Our children can rest assured that God sees and is working all things together for their good.

The Bible is full of scriptures about hope. The 10 scriptures included here barely scratch the surface on the topic of hope but are a starting point from which parents can encourage their children when their hope is running low. Parents can also encourage their children to read these 10 scriptures for themselves. From bullies to financial problems, to temptations, to pending adulthood, these scriptures can be used regardless what your child or children are facing. Turn to the Lord and His holy word. He will bring your child out with a strong right hand.

Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking VictoriouslyAretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.

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