You have hopeless people in your cell and/or church family. This reality is not a sad thing– it’s just true. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. As a matter of fact, hopeless people walking into your home or worship center is a good– no– great thing. It’s no secret that healthy, growing churches offer hope.
My hunch is that we have all been hopeless at one time or another. Hopelessness will probably visit our door many times this side of heaven. When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed. Proverbs states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
For most people, hope is something they do, but the Bible talks about hope as something you possess. Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” If you are a child of God, then you have hope…you possess hope. Why do you (at times) feel hopeless? It’s normal. It’s human. We make a choice to push away the hope of God within us and entertain other ideas and notions.
Hope is the expectation of good in the future. It is the confident expectation that God is willing and able to fulfill His promises to us. God gives hope because today is tough, rough, and rugged. The purpose of hope is to keep us engaged in the task, mission, relationships that we need to be in to make it another day.
If you find yourself (or your cell members) in a state of hopelessness, consider these thoughts. First, surrender defensive hope. This is the hope that things will get better because I want them to get better. It’s like wishing upon a genie in a bottle. This type of hope is rooted in wishful thinking and blind optimism. Next, express your hopelessness to God. You won’t ruin his day. Hopelessness means you don’t have the answers or a plan. When we are at the end of our rope, then that is where God loves to do his work and extend his mercy and grace. Finally, grieve. Grief allows you to let go of things that you cannot control. You may remember that Jesus was “well acquainted with grief.”
Moving from hopelessness to hope requires action. You need not travel this road alone. Learn to trust others. Live in the truth. Share your hopeless state with a friend whom you admire and trust.
It’s a GREAT thing for hopeless people to be in our midst.
“I will wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him” (Psalm 62:5).
by Rob Campbell