There is no greater fear than when it seems all hope is lost.
Have you ever felt this way? Hopeless?
John Maxwell has an acronym for hope…
“Holding On, Praying Expectantly”
When we are holding on to hope, we are waiting…and waiting…and waiting…
That holding on part can be tough. I picture myself standing in a category 5 storm, holding on to a flag pole. White knuckling it with everything I have in me. Squinting my eyes in anticipation of flying debris coming towards me. Oftentimes, when we are in a storm, we lose hope because we can’t see the proverbial radar. It feels as if this cloud of hopelessness will never pass when in reality, we could be only a day away from a beautiful sunrise.
God allows us to feel helpless in order to draw us closer to Him. This is an invitation to lean in and grab, not just the promises found throughout the Bible, but God Himself. He wants all of us, whether we feel helpless or full of hope.
It’s in these seasons that we are holding on with everything w’ve got, we need to keep our eyes on the horizon, for that is where our sunrise will peak.
And we should expect it.
Christ loves us too much to keep us feeling hopeless. Helpless.
God orders our steps.
One of the stepping stones on the pathway to hope is to look back at what God has already done in and around you. Each step you’ve taken that has brought you to this moment in time is evidence that Christ hasn’t let you sink. This is your testimony.
Remember that season you couldn’t pay your bills and now in hindsight, you’re doing just fine.
Remember that season your baby was born with a health condition and now that child is thriving in college.
Remember that season you couldn’t find genuine friendship and now you have found a place in a local church with more friends than you ever thought possible.
Remember that season your child walked away from you in rebellion, and now he or she is your number one fan.
Remember that loved one who suffered through a horrible illness but the Lord called them to a perfect healing, to a place where you can see them again someday.
What has your path looked like?
God gives us His word.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
We don’t like to endure hard places do we? But we’re told here, sometimes, we will have too.
Let’s remember that when we feel hopeless, we have a responsibility to stay in the Word, and to keep an attitude of remembrance for the things He has already done in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.
When we feel helpless, let’s be quick to recognize that there is hope. That our hope is found in Christ. And that our hope is found in what we’ve already seen Him do.
“We must remain hopeful even when we feel helpless.”
When the anxiety comes rolling in and another day passes without our visible situation changing, may Christ find us faithful in our effort to stay firmly gripped to Him. To His Word. And may the testimonies, stories from our past, keep us moving forward as we remember, with thanksgiving, who He is and how much He loves us.
For helplessness is only brought our way to point to our need for the only source of hope available. Jesus.
Even when I feel helpless, I believe that you are working behind the scenes. Help me keep my gaze on your Word and to keep a heart of thanksgiving while you work on me and work this out. Thank you.
In Jesus’ name,
If you’re having trouble crawling out of a pit of hopelessness, grab a pen and paper. Think back on your life and look to those moments where it seemed all hope was lost. Write down how you felt then, and what you learned in that trial. Pen a prayer of thanksgiving as you reflect on the positive outcomes from that season. Do this every day if necessary, continually thanking God that He is working in your current situation. Your situation may or may not change, but your outlook sure will.