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.”