Hope for the Hopeless

I think we as disciples of Christ often fail to comprehend the scope of the power that God has placed within each of us through the Holy Spirit. We have the ability to see good manifested in our lives no matter what outside forces exert pressure on us. The apostle Paul was someone who knew and wrote about this ability in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9: We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.

It was Paul who also wrote that all things work together for good in Romans 8:28. And Paul had been through some tough experiences by the time he wrote those words, to be sure.

There is another passage which illustrates this point in Genesis 50, where Joseph is speaking to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery to the Egyptians. It is written,  You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20

It can be easy to let the hard things of life take us to that point of despair, but hope is just around the corner. Many times we hear 1 Thessalonians 4:13 read during Christian funerals, but I think Paul’s statement that “we do not grieve as those who are without hope” has meaning for us as we live our lives!

Marilyn Meberg writes in Irrepressible Hope, “. . . like faith, hope is also part of the optimism equation. Hope is the expectation of fulfillment that is anchored in God’s promise to meet my need . . . quite simply, we are optimistic because we have faith in whom we have placed our hope.” This explanation about hope has its foundation in 1 Timothy 4:10: Our hope is in the Living God.

This reminds me of the account in Exodus where Joshua and Caleb were able to see the size of the giants in the promised land in relation to the size of their God. They were able to come back to the Israelites confident that We will swallow them up . . .because the Lord is with us . . . Numbers 14:9

For me, personally, the enemy of hope is time. Time passes, my situation stays the same (or gets worse) and I have a harder and harder time holding on to hope. But the problem is that I have my hope set in a specific outcome. If I hold onto the truth of the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I place my hope in God, not in the outcome.  I have to get my mind around the fact that God is everlasting. God is “time-full.” The Spirit of God is time-full—inhabiting eternity (Isaiah 57:15).

This is when God reminds me that I have access to the power of the Holy Spirit. I have the power to rest with my hope in the Living, Loving, Eternal God. I am not crushed, not driven to despair and never abandoned by God. That’s a truth I want to lay hold of and claim for my life.

How about you? How do keep from feeling hopeless in your life, no matter what things may look like?

Are there any specific passages of Scripture which minister to you?

  • PamW

    Your timing is perfect.  Soon my first grandchild will be born (any day now!), and I have a less-than-perfect relationship with my daughter (the mother). My hope has been in a specific outcome of restored relationship with my daughter…but my focus should be on my relationship with God and the Holy Spirit’s work within me.

    • So true, Pam. That little shift can make such a huge difference with disappointment and grief.

  • Paula

    I focus on the constant blessings in my life…my husband and children. He has gifted me with the most incredible family.

    • Things I am also grateful for. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Ann-Marie

    Awesome Powerful Message !!!!

  • Solveig

    For me there is Jeremiah 29 : 11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” As a person battling the Bi-polar lows compelling me often to plan for suicide, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that I have most often been reminded of this passage. There was a shop window that I weekly passed where the owner had it engraved in the glass. Somebody once gave me a coffee mug with this written on and so I had it close to me in my darkest days.

    Recently I was given a booklet of favourite Bible verses for leaders. The first page I opened, opened to this verse. It is strange then that in a lifetime of bible study I have only studied Jeremiah once – yet his story is burned on my mind. This man was a survivor and a builder.

    I say that I have probably been saved on many occasions by the consciousness of these words.

    I am now medicated and a different person, but I keep this close to me and never stop being grateful for these few words that sustained me for so long.

    The more often I speak of this condition the less ashamed and more accepted I feel. If you are reading this and my words resonate with you because you suspect this is a condition you have, then I beg you to seek help. Self knowledge is the truest knowledge. Clinging to the Lord kept me alive for a long time but being medicated has changed the quality of the life the Lord allowed me to keep in spite of my best efforts to end it. Go for it and continue to thank the Lord for the wisdom he has given to the medical field.

    • I can see how God has blessed your journey, Solvieg. Thank you for sharing with us with such authenticity!