One of the best-known passages in the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6. However, the verses that follow are just as important for us to get the full idea of what’s being taught.
Understanding these verses can bring us great hope if we will trust God with our future.
Even in times of great difficulty, this passage gives us four reasons why we can enter each new year with hope, rather than despair.
Hope Because God Understands
 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
One of the frustrating things about the past few years is that we all feel great uncertainty. Headlines declaring uncertainty about our health, finances, and national security dominate our media landscape. On a personal level, uncertainty about our jobs, relational conflicts, and personal peace make life feel even more uncertain.
This verse reminds us not to trust our own understanding, but rather to trust the plan of God. It should bring us great comfort to know that God understands all things and is working things for our good.
Hope Because God Leads
 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Did your plans over the past few years get turned upside down? For most of us, we experienced that to some degree. It seems that many decisions in life were made for us instead of by us, and that can be very frustrating.
When we’re following God with our life, and acknowledging Him, we can still find hope in this promise: He is leading us and ahead of us clearing the obstacles in our paths. While we may not know the way forward, God does!
Hope Because God Knows What is Best
 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
We can try to live our lives looking at the path ahead only from our own eyes, but God has a better way. His Word and His people give us wisdom and perspective. From our own eyes, divorce, the relief of substances, giving in to our anxious thoughts might all seem inevitable, but God’s eyes are different than ours.
Where we see despair, He sees the good that comes. God knows what is best for us, even when He allows difficult circumstances. We can find hope in remembering that God is all-wise and knows what is best for us.
Hope Because God Restores and Heals
 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)
If you’re struggling to find hope right now, remember the payoff that happens when we trust and pursue God. We can find hope in the promise of verse 8- those who are following God will experience healing and refreshment.
You may be tired of life as you know it. You may be tempted to give up on God. You may feel like He hasn’t acted fast enough to heal your marriage, answer your prayers, or solve your struggles.
The answer isn’t to return to our old ways of life, pursuing temporary pleasures and futile pursuits. God has a better way that leads to life. We can find hope in God’s promises that healing and refreshment are the results of pursuing a life in God’s way.
We all have to fight for hope. Without hope, we can easily spiral into destructive choices that are the results of our despair. Proverbs 3:5-8 reminds us that God Himself is the source of our hope. He hasn’t forgotten about you.
Resolve this year to fight for hope by pursuing a God who understands, leads, knows what is best, and restores.