Focusing on Hope When Pain Distracts You


By Danny Gokey 

In a way, pain reminds us that we are still alive. The abundant life we’ve been promised doesn’t come filtered and separate from pain and suffering. It is part of what rounds out our existence.

We don’t go looking for pain, yet it seems to find us.

We don’t ask for pain, yet it comes uninvited.

We don’t chase pain, yet it feels like it is in pursuit of us at times.

A young woman with a backpack walks gingerly in the middle of a bike lane set inside the main road of a busy city street. When pain comes, we can chose to look toward the pain, or to look toward the hope and stay focused on that.

You have a choice to make. You can choose to see the world around you with promise and possibility, or you can choose to see limitations and obstacles. How you look at the world around you is what it will eventually become. Your life will move in the direction towards that which you’re focused on. If your eyes focus on the bad things, your life will move in that direction. If your eyes are set on good or hopeful things, you will move in that direction.

Keep Your Car on the Road

It’s like driving. If you take your eyes off the road, you will eventually swerve off and go in a direction you didn’t want to go. When driving your car, you must be intentional to stay on the road if you want to get to your expected destination. The same thing applies in our lives. If you want a life of hope, you must stay focused on that hope — no matter what distractions or difficulties are around you — in order to get there. How you move through life will determine the quality of your life and your ability to find satisfaction and fulfillment.

Black and white photo of a man's hands on the steering wheel of a car. Staying focused on hope during our times of pain will help steer us in the right direction and towards Jesus.

Hope is the vehicle you get into that will drive you through your darkest hours.

I know the road ahead will be hard. This won’t be the only time I feel lost, alone, and confused. But I will remember that I made it through last time.

I’m not the only one. There are others who have endured similar— or even worse — pain. And they made it. This encourages me to think that what seems impossible is possible for as long as I have faith and patience. Nothing has happened in your past, nor will anything happen in your future that God won’t give you the grace and strength to walk through.

If we never felt pain, we couldn’t fully understand joy.

If we never experienced grief, we couldn’t explain comfort.

If we never lost anything, we couldn’t know what it means to be found.

I believe life is intended to be an abundant one.

I believe faith is intended to be worked out in real time.

I believe hope is intended to be flowing constantly in my life and in yours.

Front cover image of the book Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey and Ben Stroup. Available for purchase from

This is an excerpt from Hope in Front of Me: Find Purpose in Your Darkest Moments by Danny Gokey and Ben Stroup.




Post originally published on the NavPress Stories blog.