The Four Things That Only Hope Can Do, Part 2: Hope Helps You Bounce Back

What is the difference between people who thrive and people who decline over a long period of time? It’s not that they don’t get knocked down; it’s that they bounce back up. Every successful person I can think of has had to come back from discouraging circumstances. That’s true of both people I know personally and those I read about in the Bible. As a matter of fact, every single person in the Bible is a comeback story from something.

Check out this list and see if you can find yourself:

  • Joseph endured mistreatment from a dysfunctional family. I bet there isn’t anyone who doesn’t have some relative the others try not to sit next to at Christmas dinner.
  • David bounced back from several devastating failures: moral, leadership, career, and even worse. Have any past failures? A great comeback is possible!
  • Elijah suffered personal criticism. I speak to over twelve thousand people every weekend and thousands more by radio. Usually, people each week write in or come up to say something encouraging. I remember very little of that. But I can tell you every critical comment. Why do we remember the things we ought to forget, and forget the things we ought to remember?
  • Nehemiah was discouraged with harsh political, legal, and social circumstances at the highest levels. He had wall-to-wall problems—literally.
  • John Mark was rejected by a high-ranking Christian leader. I know people for whom one negative comment from an authority figure—be it a teacher, a pastor, or a coach—has marked them for life.
  • Peter was disappointed with his inability to withstand pressure and also disappointed with himself. Sound familiar? My number one source of discouragement is, unfortunately, myself.
  • Jesus was let down by people of all types—friends, relatives, religious leaders. At His hour of greatest need, He takes three guys and says, “I need your support.” When He comes back, they are fast asleep.

Every person in the Bible had to bounce back from something (Lazarus even had to come back from being dead)! In almost every case, whether somebody bounces back or not has to do with one question: “Does that person have hope?” Hope looks at what can be instead of what is. Hope looks at the future rather than just the past. Hope believes in future possibility rather than resigning to current reality. People bounce back when they have hope.

In my next blog, I’m going to write about how hope sets you free to dream again.


Every successful person has had to come back from discouraging circumstances.