Finding Hope In Hopelessness
The mountain is too high. The road too long. No matter how hard I try, nothing ever seems to get better. Here we go again. There is no way out of this mess. Is this it? Is this all there is?
Ever been there? Feeling hopeless. Are you there now?
And how did we get there? In this dark, lonely place of hopelessness.
Hopelessness comes out of a wrong belief that we are in control of the circumstances of our life.
We have believed the societal lie that if we work hard enough, if we try hard enough, if we care enough, if we are good enough, then we will not only receive great results, but we will be deserving of them.
We become presumptuous, entitled and have expectations leading us to an inevitable path toward disappointment and ultimately despair.
The reality is we have no control of our circumstances.
There are marathon runners who have suddenly dropped dead from heart attacks. There are brilliant financial experts who have lost all of their wealth. There are hardworking farmers who suffer their crop to drought. There are prayerful, God-fearing parents who lose their children to substance abuse. There are wonderful wives who have their husbands walk out on them.
And this becomes frustrating. Discouraging. What kind of God would allow such injustice to occur?
Why do we live in a world where the good guys lose while the bad guys prosper? It all just sounds…well, hopeless.
This was exactly the place the prophet Habakkuk was when he complained to God:
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
Haven’t we all been there are at some point? Asking the question, “Why is life so unfair?”
The problem is this kind of thinking only spirals us deeper into hopelessness. It’s the deadly words of discouragement our enemy whispers in our ear.
Why even try? What’s the purpose? You’ll just fail again.
Freedom from hopelessness comes from relinquishing the hopeless effort to control our circumstances.
As Christians we are simply called to obey God. The results are up to Him. Not just on this short time we are here on Earth but for all eternity.
We get in trouble when we try to demand results out of God. We disguise it with a veil of prayer, but our unworthy expectations are the same nonetheless.
A life of joy is simply attained by responding in ways we can control. Such as choosing to utter “Yes” and “Thank You”. There is great power in these words. This is where our hope lies.
Can you hear Me? Yes.
Will you follow Me? Yes.
Do you trust Me? Yes.
Here is what I will provide for you. Thank you, Lord.
Here is My plan for you. Thank you, Lord.
Come be with Me. Thank you, Lord.
Our hope comes from our trust in Him. Our joy comes from the fruit of this trust.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is hope in hopelessness, because it’s a reminder that we are not in control. That we must rely on God. And being dependent on Him is a good place to be.
Which happens to be the same conclusion the prophet Habakkuk arrived at toward the end of his book.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Want some genuine hope in your life? Pray that passage. Over and over again. Believe it to be true.
And you’ll truly see hopelessness as the lie that it is.