PASTOR'S PEN: A hopeless situation

When hope is lost then there is nothing left, there is nothing left to keep you moving forward, nothing left to give you purpose, nothing left to live for. Maybe it’s the expected promotion or pay raise that never comes or is flat out denied. You had plans for that income. You had bills to pay, but how will you do that now? Maybe it’s the romance you’ve longed for that never develops. You are certain you are destined to be alone forever. There is no longer any reason to even bother trying. Maybe it’s the child whose behavior never seems to improve. You’ve tried every book and counselor and discipline and reward measure, but nothing works. You feel like a worn out dad or worthless mom. How hopeless it all appears! It will never get any better. Or maybe an illness doctors have examined for years with no cure. You still suffer. You still have pain. It all seems so hopeless. Or those dreams you had when you were younger. You were going to change the world, but reality seems to have sliced your dreams into little pieces. You’ve given up on ever making any of those things come true. It’s all futile, a complete waste.

Hope. It’s a topic that can bring such joy when it is found and desperate sorrow when it is lost. The Bible has much to say on the topic of hope, but I think one of my favorites is in Psalm 71. Here the Psalmist is in obvious peril. He has enemies speaking against him, people conspiring to kill him and those who tell him he has no friends and no God to save him. He feels desperate and alone. Then we come to verse 14 where the psalmist says this, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

The Psalmist looks to the past at what God has done and what he has been taught. He looks to the future and what God promises to do. He is certain that if he continues to follow God that God will do something. God will rescue him. God will be there. God will see him through. He has hope … hope in the Lord.

And this is where we must have hope – in the Lord. “We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20). “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24). I am quick to give up and say that there is no hope. But if I look beyond myself, beyond others and beyond my circumstances; I find God. And He is big enough, faithful enough and caring enough to carry me though. Whatever circumstance finds you wondering if there is any good to come, place your hope in the Lord for He is faithful.