Hope Among Despair


Another case of writer’s block hit me today.  Cup of coffee in hand and the brain wracking, scripture searching, and Pinterest looking began.  So many things and concepts popped out to me that I not only began to get overwhelmed, but found that my writer’s block actually got worse as I thought, “ooooh…that would be a great topic…so would that…and that…oh how about that?”  See what I mean?  It would drive anyone crazy.  So amid going crazy from these thoughts, I put all the ideas and concepts together and analyzed (yup, nerd right here.  But, I am entitled to do this.  I am a graduate student).  What did all of these things have in common?  I looked and analyzed.  Did that some more.  Then..BINGO, it came to me.  All of these things in some form had to deal with despair and finding hope during those moments of despair.  Basically, turning to God during despair and finding hope.

First, let’s talk about despair.  Despair…..really, what does that word even mean?  What makes it different from sorrow, grief, and sadness?  Is it just a fancy word for sadness?  Well, I googled the meaning of despair.  The definition:  The complete absence or loss of hope.  Hmmmm…now I found it extremely interesting that all of the scriptures I found correlating to despair discuss hope in God.  Coincidence?  I think not.

It is safe to say that those who experience depression have despair.  There is an extreme loss of hope.  I don’t know about anyone else who has gone through depression, but I often wake up in the morning wondering if I could even make it through another day.  At one point there was no hope.  I certainly wasn’t experiencing hope while I laid in bed and didn’t move for days on end.

I found one piece of scripture that really examined this concept for me.  This scripture is Psalm 40: 1-3:

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet of solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.  

These verses alone show us that if among our despair we call out to God, he will hear us and lift us out.  He will steady our feet and place it among solid ground.  In a sense, he will come rescue us.  If we turn to God in our despair, we will find hope and be rescued from our despair.

Now, I did a little Bible study on despair.  I went and looked at each of the passages in which despair is mentioned.  Surprise!  Each passage talks about either calling out to God in despair and being rescued by him, or God giving his people hope among despair.  With that being said, if we are experiencing moments of despair we must fix our eyes on God.  Sometimes it may be hard to do, but we must do it.  If we call out to him, he will hear our cry and give us hope.  This hope will not only be for new meaning in life, but also for eternal happiness.  So, let’s fix our eyes on the Lord and let him turn our despair into hope.  We need not hide our despair from him.  He wants to, and will, fix it by giving us hope.

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