Fighting Hopelessness: The Bully That Kills You From the Inside Out
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Try, try, try. We have all been there. We try, we work hard, we cry sweat blood and tears to make our lives better. But it doesn't work. Nothing you seem to be doing is working, in fact, it seems to make everything that much worse.
You are hopeless. No end in sight.
Feeling hopeless is as if a black cloud of despair is choking the life right out of you. You need a positive change, you need options, but yet you are living as if your life is being sloshed through in vain.
Look at a bottle of Coca Cola. Drink half of it and then set it down. Watch what the liquid does. It is futile in effort and going nowhere, unless you spill the contents of the bottle. It will slosh around, gurgling within the confines of the container. It has no purpose other than to be consumed.
If you continue to walk down the wide road of your hopelessness, you will end up like the contents of that bottle. A fool's hope of escaping and no power to do so.
People are walking around burdened deep inside from their choices, past regrets, and hardships that have been thrust upon them. Day by day, their circumstances form a wicked demon playing re-runs in their heads. They cannot escape. They are hopeless. The epitome of feeling lost and unwanted in life.
"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses." Psalm 107:28.
If you have nothing greater than yourself to anchor a positive hope on, you are living in vain. Picture a black uphill staircase. That is hopelessness. You can't see anything past the darkness. You have nothing to even walk through it safely. But you are forced to walk upstairs into the blackness ill equipped and fretting about what is coming after you in that darkness.
Then you get an idea. A happy thought. A glimmer of hope. Suddenly you see a shimmer of light cascading atop your foot until finally you see one step at a time to walk up through the darkness. When you pray and tell God about your burdens, trusting him through your hardships, he will give you enough light to see one step at a time.
Why only one step? Because God knows you can handle one step, with each knee bend and each raising of your foot on the step into darkness you are being forced to rely on him and him alone, and he is exercising your faith.
You don't go through hardships for nothing. Everything we endure in life is a step into darkness, a step with one light at a time just enough to see the next step. With each step we are growing, exercising, learning to trust him no matter what. Each step is equipping you to handle the next step of uncertainty in life toward that ultimate goal of fulfilling your purpose in Christ.
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" Psalm 8:4. Good question.
God has a way of showing us just how important we really are. We do serve a purpose, regardless of what hopeless hardships have been oppressing you.
You were not born in vain to scurry about aimlessly through this short life. You were not conceived in a fool's ambition of never serving a purpose in this world; and you for sure were not meant to walk this earth never knowing that you are desperately loved for WHO you were created to be.
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14.
Waiting does not mean being passive. It does not mean standing idle and glaring up into the skies for a million dollars to drop down in your lap. It for sure does not mean to do nothing.
Hope is an action. If you have just one spark, then faith will call you to step out and do something about your hopelessness and God will open doors so you can take action to persevere.
Don't lose hope. Feeling hopeless is a greater pain to carry than stepping out in faith and doing something about your circumstances. God is greater; he created you for an ultimate purpose.
So stand up, look up to God and stop floundering in your hopelessness. God is greater.