Hopelessness is defined as having no expectation of good, hope for success, or any anticipation of solution to life’s problems. Those who find themselves in a hopeless frame of mind feel immobilized. They often do not pursue help because they have no confidence hope exists for their situation. Feeling like giving up is common for those who battle with hopelessness. They yield to what they feel is their inevitable condition, often with a sad and bitter calm.
However, any show of desperation while in a state of hopelessness is a sign that the person is still fighting for hope. These attempts do not necessarily feel good or hopeful, but they do indicate the inward desire of the heart to be rescued.
For instance, in the Bible, Naomi, who was Ruth’s mother-in-law, cried out a plea of desperation on Ruth’s and Orpah’s behalf while feeling hopeless. She said to her daughters-in-laws, “Return, my daughters! Why should you go with me … the Lord has gone forth against me” (Ruth 1:12,13). In fact, Naomi even went so far as to ask to be called by a new name that meant bitter, which expressed her inner hopeless state. She said, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). Yet God helped Naomi in a way that she could not help herself.
Job exhibited these desperate glimmers of hope in the midst of what seemed like a hopeless situation as well. Even though everything he loved had been taken from him, he proclaimed,”Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.” God rescued Job in glorious ways that no man could accomplish on his own.
The pages of the Bible are filled with folks whom God delivered from hopeless situations of the heart. Yes, hopelessness is God’s specialty. He gives hope to the hopeless. The very message of Salvation for the lost is hope for the hopeless. The resurrection of the dead is hope for the hopeless. A new and eternal life, free from pain and disappointment, is hope for the hopeless.
This world is passing quickly and all the pleasures with it. The wisest man on earth understood the dynamics of this reality. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes of empty and vain pursuits–and spending years doing whatever his heart desired. Money was unlimited for Solomon, and he went from one project to the next. The things he accomplished were what most people only dream of, things deemed fulfillment of life’s ultimate “hopes.” Yet, Solomon saw the hopelessness in it all.
Solomon addresses the hopelessness in this way: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself. And behold it too was futility. I said of laughter, ‘It is madness,’ and of pleasure, ‘What does it accomplish?”(Ecclesiastes 2:1, 2)
He ended his observations by writing, “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God…” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Fearing God is the beginning of Hope found!
To fear God is to place our trust in something bigger than all doubts, a greater plan beyond our state of hopelessness. He can move the clouds of hopelessness as no one else can. If you are a struggling with hopelessness, let your heart be stirred at the reading of these miraculous and glorious stories of hope! If there is any desperation in your heart, let your spirit cry out. Call upon the name of the Lord, even with the smallest grain of hope!