Have you ever felt like something was hopeless? Maybe it was an issue with your family, and you knew the harsh words wouldn’t be forgotten. Maybe it was a situation at work that had no good possible outcome. Maybe it was your life, and the shattered pieces of broken dreams couldn’t be put back together again.
Most of us, at one time or another, will feel hopeless.
No one to help. Nowhere to turn. Suffering in darkness, alone. I’ve been in this place. More than once. I know the pain. I know the fear. I know the isolation. I know the despair.
Maybe you know someone struggling to find hope. Maybe you’ve been there before. Maybe you’re there now. For all of us, it’s important to know where to turn for hope.
When hope is lost or fading fast we have two choices. We can grasp onto what the world has to offer, or we can cling to God.
If we go with the world, we’ll be looking for someone or something to fill our emptiness. To give us a reason to live. To provide hope. Like what? Friends or family. A new or risky relationship. A new toy. A new job. An escape. Something to light a spark. Someone to pull us up from the mire of a mundane life. Something to give us purpose.
The problem is that no one and nothing can truly fill our emptiness. We cannot find hope in the hands of another person. We can’t find hope at the mall or online. We may find distractions. We may find a quick thrill. We may find something that excites us and keeps us going for another day. But these are all temporary fixes to our feelings of hopelessness. At some point, we’re back in the same dark pit. And we hate it. We don’t want to be there again. We can’t take it anymore. There has to be more to life than this.
But there is a second option.
Instead of grasping for something temporary, we can try something new. We can turn to God and cling to Him. Why? God brings purpose to every life, no matter how broken we think we are. God gives us reason to live. God fills our emptiness with hope.
We don’t have to create our own hope. God gives it to us.
How? By giving us the strength of His Holy Spirit so we can persevere. What if we don’t want to persevere? What if we just want things to be different? Hear me out. God doesn’t want to give us a quick fix. He doesn’t want us to end up back at a place of hopelessness down the road.
And so instead of making things different, He makes us different.
Through our suffering and hopelessness, God gives us the strength and desire to persevere. As we persevere, our character is changed. We grow stronger. We grow smarter. Our perspectives on what’s important and what’s right change. We change. We’re transformed from the inside out. And as we change, as we focus on God and how He’s working in us and through us, as we start reaching out to help others even in our own struggles, we see the light ahead. We see the promise of new life. We begin living out the hope of our future.
Our hope, then, is solid. It’s not fleeting. It’s not based on what other people say or do. It’s not based on what we have or lose, what we buy or break. Our hope is based on God. He is all-powerful. He is unchanging. He is everlasting. And so is the hope He gives us.
You may not believe God can bring hope to your situation. You may not be convinced that the past can be washed away, or that new life can be yours. And that’s okay. You don’t have to take my word for it. Test it for yourself. Try something new.
Whether you’re in a place of hopelessness now or not, God wants to fill your emptiness.
Come before God in your secret place and ask Him to meet you there. Open up to Him in humility. Call to Him. Cry to Him. Seek Him in the Psalms (Psalms 23, 30, 31, 40, 42, 51). Be honest with Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. And when He does, you can decide for yourself which choice is better: the world or God.
For all who choose God, He pours out His love. He pours out His Holy Spirit. He pours out hope that will never lead to disappointment. God is the one choice that leads to everlasting hope.
“We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:3-5
May I pray?
Lord, some of us are in a place of absolute hopelessness. Some of us just feel empty and numb. All of us have struggled. We’ve tried one thing after another. But we’re still unsatisfied. We’re still lonely. And whether we recognize it or not, we’re in desperate need of You. Father, give us the courage to turn to You today. Bring us to our secret place and meet us there. Open our eyes to see You. Open our ears to hear You. Open our hearts to Your love. Open our souls to the hope that is only found in You. Help us to let go of what we cling to so You can begin transforming us from the inside out. May we never be the same again. Amen.
Q4U: What fills you with hope?
As much as I agree with the truth of looking to God as our hope, it is not very easy to remember after 30+ years of looking in other places for hope. There are too many times I find myself at the bottom of the pit trying to figure out why I didn’t just go to God in my hopelessness instead of the other things I tried that failed. I know God will eventually help me out of the pit when I finally ask Him to help me, but I wonder how much easier the situation would have been if I had gone to Him before I found myself at the bottom. The important thing is that I do know that God is ultimately my hope.
That is the important thing, and sometimes believing God is our only true hope is the hardest part of finding hope. I think a lot of us have gone through periods of life when we were willing to try just about anything – except God. Thankfully He is always waiting for us with open arms when we finally do turn to Him. Thanks for sharing.