“I feel helpless, hopeless, too low to call out and too weak to think. Impotent tears dribble down my face.” – Elizabeth Smart
“It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.” – William Styron
“There is beauty outside of beauty and there is hope within hopelessness.” – Jeff Brown
“There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.” – Clare Boothe Luce
“Relying on God has to start all over every day – as if nothing has yet been done.” – C.S. Lewis
If you have truly lived at all in this fallen world, you can humbly relate to the words of Elizabeth Smart above. Can you remember a time when all you could do is cry powerless tears or when your hope was so drained you could barely speak?
I remember a time in my own life when hope seemed pointless and ineffectual. There was literally a cloudy darkness that settled in my peripheral vision. Everywhere I looked it was as if I was peering through a type of foggy despair.
Like Elizabeth Smart, the helplessness was so overwhelming, it was difficult to think clearly or precisely about anything. It became incredibly hard to make routine decisions at work or to come up with a viable plan to move your life forward in any kind of positive way.
You wanted to dream again, to hold on to positive aspirations for your life, but hope kept slipping away. It felt as if all the situations and circumstances that surrounded me were resting on a slippery slope – constantly slithering, sliding, and skidding downward.
I remember getting advice to “think more positive”, but when you can’t think straight to begin with, that kind of counsel was like asking a blind man to simply open his eyes in order to see again.
Have you ever felt this hopeless and helpless my friend? Have you had tremendous difficulty finding the fragments of hope within the hopelessness as Jeff Brown suggests?
If you have, here are some things to consider:
Look for Hope in One Place
When hope is slipping away, we often look for our footing or stability in the wrong places.
I remember all the dreadful, consuming thoughts about what steps I needed to take next that would improve my circumstances. When deep despair impacts clear thinking, attempting to think your way out of hopelessness is…well….hopeless 😊 I was looking within myself for the answers and no answers came. The only thing that resulted was a racing mind and a heavier burden of anxiety to carry around.
We attempt to place our hope in others who are just as fallible, inconsistent, and overflowing with imperfection as we are. We look to doctors for our healing who make mistakes and misdiagnose. We lean on government institutions that seldom have our best interests at heart. We even have more faith at times in fate or chance – thinking all we need is a streak of luck or a good break to turn our fortunes around again.
Hope can be found in one place….
“My soul, be quiet before God, for from him comes my hope.” – Psalm 62:5 ISV
“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” – Psalm 39:7 NLT
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” – Jeramiah 17:7 NLT
Too often, we look for hope within ourselves, in others, or within worldly institutions only to experience deeper disappointment and failure. I love how hope COMES FROM and is FOUND IN God alone. The Berean Standard Bible translation of Psalm 62 says, “Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him.”
If your hope is dwindling, slipping away from you my friend, are you looking for it in the only place where you can find it – the only place where it comes from?
Finding Hope in Prayer
“May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13 GNT
If God is our only source of hope, then approaching Him in prayer moves us closer to the Source. Prayer has a way of energizing and strengthening our resolve in times of weakness and despair.
In my own times of hopelessness, prayer kept me going. In the deepest, darkest moments, prayer became a source of light and life again.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, and persistent in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 ISV
When hope seems lost, are you moving closer to the Source of all hope through prayer?
Becoming Hope in Your Hopelessness
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT
If you are feeling hopeless my friend, become the hope that someone else needs right now. Shine a light of courage and optimism in the lives of others and watch what happens to your own level of confidence and expectation.
When I’m feeling down or helpless, I sit down and write about my God – knowing in my heart He will use it to strengthen and touch the lives of others. This act of faith in the midst of despair strengthens my own faith and lights up a pathway of hope for me within my own life.
How can you become the hope someone else needs right now?
This week I was blessed by the words and encouragement of a friend I work with. He took the time to share some things that gave me hope again 😊 The Source of all Hope used this man to lift me up when I needed it most!
I have another friend who writes me every day – giving me words of encouragement and comfort via a devotional message. For years now, she continues to write each morning without fail. I always look forward to her written advice and counsel. Many days those words of encouragement have kept me going.
We can do this very same thing for others my friend – giving us the hope we need in return.
In our own helplessness and hopelessness, we need to realize it COMES FROM and is FOUND IN only one Source. Move closer to that Source through prayer and through becoming a beacon of hope for others. Soon you will find yourself strengthened and whole again 😊