Friday, 6 May 2016

When hope is totally lost.

People often face despair. Some more than others, and for longer periods than others. Periods when darkness haunts our lives for days on end.

Sometimes, people suffering with incurable disease and constant pain decide they can take it no more and choose to end their lives. Others, in what they perceive to be totally unsolvable situations in total despair decide to commit suicide.

We are told that to end one's life, whatever the circumstances, is wrong. We should understand however that no one chooses to end their lives in a cool and calculated state of mind. It is fair to say that such actions are, to some extent at least, motivated by loss of hope, and the inability to see things getting better.

That’s what I wish to address today. Loss of hope. One of the most tragic and damaging experience that can befall any of us.

Whatever our circumstances may be, if we lose hope, if we cannot see the prospect of our current condition changing for the better, we are in danger of shutting down completely and accepting the inevitable outcome.

We live in difficult times. Financial crises are affecting many people. Millions are losing their jobs, their homes and their livelihood.

Those aged fifty or more would find it very difficult to find a comparable job again, if indeed they can find any job at all.

More tragically, thousands of youngsters are leaving colleges and universities with good qualifications, and little prospects of employment. They feel cheated. They did what they were advised to do. They stayed in education, they worked hard, they probably amassed large debts and loans to help sustain them whilst they studied – and now there are no jobs to go to.

There are of course other circumstances which can lead us to lose hope, besides illness, or lack of work or prospects. Broken relationships with no possibility of reconciliation, addictions, failures etc … all can lead us to the temptation to just give up.

Where’s all this leading to? – I hear you ask.

I’d like you for a moment to consider some facts.

Whatever happens in life one thing is for certain: God is still in control.

He is not hiding away behind the settee crying: “Woe woe … look at what is happening out there!”

He is in total control of the situation which He has allowed to happen, and which, in most circumstances, we have created for ourselves.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews knew what he was saying when he wrote: To have Faith is to be sure of the things we hope for … (Hebrews 11).

And the important thing, whatever our circumstances, is to hold on to that Faith and to believe, in all certainty, that God is in control.

And to thank Him and praise Him for being in control. To re-affirm and acknowledge our belief that He is in control.

By doing so, somehow, we open a channel for God to turn our situation to the good. I’ve seen this happen several times.

Think of the alternative. By turning our back on God, by ignoring Him, blaming Him even for our situation – He will hardly feel inclined to help us. Will He? Of course, He’ll remain in control, waiting for us, with Fatherly patience, love and understanding, for the moment we return to Him like the prodigal son and be welcomed in His arms.

But what do you do if someone else has lost hope – even though you may not have yourself?

Preaching will not help. It may drive them further away.

Love, sympathy, compassion, whatever practical help you can offer may well help a little.

But most important is prayer. Silent prayer even. Without them knowing about it.

Let your Faith and your hope work for them. Even though they may have little or no Faith at all, your Faith is enough.

The best listened to and answered prayers are those we pray for other people. They show God our generosity of spirit, our love, our compassion, and most of all, our Faith in Him.

Don’t suggest solutions to God; like “Please help Him find a job”, but earnestly and in all Faith hand the situation over to Him. He knows what to do, in His time and in His own way.

Just say: “Thy will be done” and mean it.

And watch His miracles at work.

8 comments:

  1. Now THAT will preach! Well said, Victor! I have nothing to add to the perfect message of hope.
    Blessings, Friend!

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    1. You are so kind, Lulu. Thank you for your encouragement.

      It is so sad and desperate when people lose hope. Christianity itself is hope.

      God bless.

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  2. Dear Victor! Your words are like a soothing balm to me this morning. I cannot even begin to imagine why God allowed such tragedy to happen to my niece. Yesterday, I had to speak with the one who found her, and it has unsettled me in ways I cannot even put into words. I admit that after our conversation, I begged God to tell me why...why did this happen to her? I may never know this answer, but I do know that what you say is so true. God IS in control. He absolutely does love us, and He will take care of all that concerns us. I LOVE the saying at the top about following Jesus. It is in times like these that faith is REALLY put to the test. But, oh the precious rewards of following Him! He is a Friend that truly sticks closer that a brother. And, you, dear Victor, have become such a cherished friend to my family and me. I often remember that you are praying for us, and it is a comfort. God is seeing us through by precious friends like you. May He bless you abundantly today...your words here and at my blog meant SO much. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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    1. My dear Cheryl,

      I know that you and your family are hurting badly right now, and I continue to pray for you all.

      We may never know why this terrible thing had to happen to your niece. But one thing is for sure: God knows and He allowed it to happen. And for certain, good will come out of this tragedy. We may never see that good ourselves, but somewhere, somehow, good will result out of this. God may have allowed it to happen because He wanted yet another angel in Heaven; or He may have had another reason. What we must do right now, however difficult or impossible it may seem, is to trust Him; with every fiber of our body and soul, we should trust Him that He is in control. Through gritted teeth, Cheryl, we should trust Him.

      We should pray: God I hate what happened to Victoria. I don't understand it. I miss her so much and I may be full of hatred and bitterness right now. But that's the way I am, Lord. You know it because you made me and you know how I am. Please help me in my healing and that of others who have been affected by this. In my confusion and anguish, I still trust you. As best as I can right now."

      In praying an honest prayer to God, Cheryl, He will understand and comfort us in our darkest hour. Believe me, I feel your pain and will continue to pary for your healing and that of your family.

      God bless.

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  3. I love that Lulu and you have teamed up to offer us real hope today, Victor.

    As I wrote to her, 'Romans 5:5 came to mind ... 'and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit'

    Without hope, we are sunk. With the kind of hope given by God, our vistas open enormously.'

    Weekend blessings to you, to yours ...

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    1. I like that quotation, Linda. Thank you for sharing it with us. Indeed, you are right, we are but nothing without hope.

      Wishing you a splendid weekend.

      God bless you all.

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  4. We need all the hope we can get. Is it me or does life seem to be getting worse and worse? Trust God, that is all ye need to know. Thanks for the inspiration Victor.

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    1. I suspect it is getting worse because more people are moving away from God.

      God bless you and yours, Manny.

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