Posts Tagged ‘hopelessness’


Sometimes I feel alone in my struggles. I know other folks feel that way, because they have told me. Friends seem to have forgotten us, we feel isolated, the Word of God is dry and comfortless and our prayers seem to hit the ceiling and bounce back. I do not struggle with depression, but I know many people that do. I usually tell them to make a list of all the things and people they are grateful for, and even to write letters to people expressing their thanks. But still they struggle. No matter how much “Bible” we know, no matter how much serving we do, sometimes we just feel alone, or “blah” or “blue” or “empty” or ___________… just fill in the blank. We can’t put it into words. At the root of it all, God seems distant…

When God seems Absent

I ran across a verse that I knew about, but the Holy Spirit used it to shout at me.

2 Chronicles 32:31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, who had been sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.

If I could offer some encouragement to you, allow me to pass on some light and truth…Whenever you are going through whatever you are going through, do two things.

1. Thank God for testing your heart.

2. Look to God and (after doing a heart check) tell Him you will never desert Him.

God does leave us at times. I know that runs contrary to what preachers tell us, but, even though the Holy Spirit indwells us, sometimes He leaves us alone. God wants to know what is really in our heart. Picture Peter being led out of the prison. As soon as the Angel got Peter to the road, a safe distance form the guards, He left him. The Angel disappeared. Peter was free to do whatever his heart wanted. He could have fled, but Peter chose to join his friends, to tell them the good news.

God was with David, and while David was on the run, God protected him from Saul and encounters with the Philistines. But when David lived among the Philistines, God seemed to leave him. Finally David reached that horrible moment in Ziklag, when his wife and children had been kidnapped, his possessions burnt, and his mighty men had taken up stones to kill him. At that moment God saw what was in David’s heart. David encouraged himself in the Lord!

God wants our heart to be His! Even in distress, sorrow, hardship and yes, when we feel all alone. He is always watching, He is always waiting, and He is always wanting you to give your heart to Him. No coercion, no gifts attached. He wants you to give your heart to Him simply because He is God.

When you have those moments, or days, weeks or even months of feeling alone, discouraged, and even abandoned…look up to God and realize He is looking at your heart. He wants to know what is in your heart. When you realize God always has purpose, even when you feel He has left you, stop looking within and look at Him! Do a heart check, and shout out with David:

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. (Psalm 119:93-94)

Even when you feel God has left you, do not leave Him. Declare “I am yours!” Remember, God wants to see what is in your heart.

Fools say in their heart, “there is no God. (Psalm 14:1)

Wise men say “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:26)

How did David survive an impossible calamity? How will you survive those times of personal struggle? How will you go on to excel and overcome like David. The answer is revealed in Psalms 57, when David barely escaped from King Saul in the cave. David wrote:

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Psalm 57:7 

My Heart is Fixed

Is your heart fixed on God? Is your heart firmly in God, even when you feel alone and abandoned? How about when you have suffered a horrible loss? What about when your friends want you dead? Is your heart still fixed on God then?

This is what God wants. He wants your heart to be firmly fixed upon Him, even when you have lost it all!

If your heart is fixed in the bad times, God will “FIX” your heart for all your times! Will you pass His test? Learn to worship Him at all times, even when He seems to be absent!

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Christmas time can be a very gloomy time for those who have lost a loved one recently. I saw a woman today that had just lost her husband to cancer. She has fallen apart, and doesn’t know how she can go on. She told me she feels so empty inside. I know other people who are feeling ’empty’ this Christmas, for they have lost a husband, a wife, or a child this year. I am about to do a special Christmas sermon this Sunday, wearing my Christmas pajama’s. I shared last Sunday to those who might have been offended at this, the reason for doing so. It is because of the most meaningful Christmas I ever had, a morning when my Dad read the Christmas Story in his pajama’s.

My Dad did not know the reality of Jesus until late in his life. Until Jesus became real to him, Christmas was just another secular holiday. My Mom made sure Jesus was mentioned, but He was pushed over to the side, crowed out by all the toys and gifts. When Dad discovered the reality of Jesus Christ, his whole life changed. Everything, his home, his business, his life, his hopes, became centered around Jesus.

My Dad reads the Christmas Story

Jesus made a difference in the way he related to me. I was a young man of 18 headed to college when he came to me and said with tears in his eyes, “Son, God has given me a second chance”. He then asked me to forgive him for not being a good father. It was the first time I ever saw my Dad cry. I was so touched by his embrace and tears that this memory is constantly with me. Christmases were different after this. The emphasis was upon Jesus Christ. Presents were secondary. Little did I know that just three years later I would be home, with my wife and one month old son, celebrating Christmas with my family. As I held my son, I thought, how can I ever be a good father to him? I didn’t know where to begin, or what to do. Fears overwhelmed this young father of 21. As I sat on the couch holding my son Benjamin, my pride was overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy.

Then it was time. The candles were lit, lights turned off, and in the early morning dawn of Christmas Morn, 1974, my Dad read the Christmas story from Luke. I thought of Joseph and Mary, charged with the responsibility of raising the Messiah, the Son of God. How inadequate they must have felt. I thought of Joseph, and how he loved Mary so much that he endured the criticism of his friends and married her. What drove him to do such a thing as to marry a woman whom the Law said to stone? What drove a young betrothed girl to submit to having God’s son when she knew it would cause such problems?

Simeon Holds the Messiah

Then my Dad read the reaction of Simeon, who took the Baby Jesus and held him up, saying, “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”  (Luke 2:30-32) The light seemed to come on, and I realized that God had been very real to Mary, Joseph and Simeon. So real that they believed what He said. Mary believed the Word of God, Joseph believed the Word of God, and so put God’s will before their own comfort and concerns. Simeon believed God’s Word, and so every day lived with the Hope of seeing the Messiah before he died.

The Light of Jesus Christ had become real to my Dad, and now he lived with the real Hope of Jesus Christ. I did not know how to be a good father at the age of 21. I was scared, but I did have a Hope. I realized that morning that the Hope of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is what guided Mary and Joseph, sustained Simeon, and now made my Dad the father that God wanted him to be. If I was to be a good Dad to my son, my Hope would have to be in Jesus Christ, and not in myself!

The Engraving Congratulating the New "Grandpa"

"Big Daddy" Holds Benjamin

Did we mourn and grieve? Certainly? Did we feel an emptiness? Definitely? Did we feel helpless? Never! Did we feel Hopeless? Not in the least! The Hope of Jesus Christ that had become real was also our Hope! Jesus was real to my family because of the influence of “Big Daddy”!

My heart goes out to those who are struggling this Christmas with the emptiness that losing a loved one can cause. My prayer is that you will discover the Hope of Jesus Christ, just as my family has. He transforms emptiness into fullness, helplessness into hopefulness! This has become a life verse for me, and it is based upon the Hope I have ever before me, the Hope of Jesus Christ:  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:11

Is your faith and hope in GOD? If not, allow me to introduce you to the Living Hope, Jesus Christ. It is through Him that my Dad was changed, it was through Him that my family was changed. It is through Him that your life can become rich and full, even when you have suffered a devastating loss.

Benjamin really enjoys Big Daddy Reading

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:20-21

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ … having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13

PS: Benjamin is a grown man with a family of his own. He and his wife have two beautiful young girls. My son has established his family upon the hope of Jesus Christ as well. I know Bid Daddy is very proud of you, Ben!


Morton Zuckerman, once an avid supporter of President Obama, recently wrote this honest account of the state of affairs in America, Obama Is Barely Treading Water. I thought some excerpts would be appropriate.

“There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t work, that it is incapable of solving America’s problems. Americans are fed up with Washington, fed up with Wall Street, fed up with the necessary but ill-conceived stimulus program, fed up with the misdirected healthcare program, and with pretty much everything else. They are outraged and feel that the system is not a level playing field, but is tilted against them. The millions of unemployed feel abandoned by the president, by the Democratic Congress, and by the Republicans”.

He makes a powerful statement, sad but true:

The American people wanted change, and who could blame them? But now there is no change they can believe in.

Further he states:

“The fundamental problem is starkly simple: jobs and the deepening fear among the public that the American dream is vanishing before their eyes”.

To Mr. Zuckerman and most Americans, the American dream centers around money. He sums up the problem with this depressing scenario:

Many people who joined the middle class, especially those who joined in the last few years, have now fallen back. It’s not over yet. Millions cannot make minimum payments on their credit cards, or are in default or foreclosure on their mortgages, or are on food stamps. Well over 100,000 people file for bankruptcy every month. Some 3 million homeowners are estimated to face foreclosure this year, on top of 2.8 million last year. Millions of homes are located next to or near a foreclosed home, and it is the latter that may determine the price of all the homes on the street. There have been dramatically sharp declines in home equity, representing cumulative losses in the trillions of dollars in what has long been the largest asset on the average American family’s balance sheet. Most of those who lost their homes are hard-working, middle-class Americans who had lost their jobs. Now many have to use credit cards to pay for essentials and make ends meet, and they are running out of credit. Another $5 trillion has been lost from pensions and savings.

But it is jobs that have long represented the stairway to upward mobility in America. For a long time, it was feared they were vulnerable to offshore competition (and indeed still are), but now the erosion is from economic decline at home. What happens as those domestic opportunities recede? Middle-class families fear they have become downwardly mobile and have not hit the bottom yet. The financial security that was once based on home equity and a pension has been swept away.

This growing uncertainty and even helplessness over the state of affairs in America and around the world concerns me as well as Mr. Zuckerman. However, I view everything from a solid Biblical viewpoint. What I see happening does not cause me to despair, but rejoice, because the throne of God is at work.

Psalms 9 comes to mind:

The nations have fallen into the pit they made; their foot is caught in the net they have concealed. The Lord has revealed Himself; He has executed justice, striking down the wicked by the work of their hands.Higgaion. Selah The wicked will return to Sheol— all the nations that forget God. For the oppressed will not always be forgotten; the hope of the afflicted will not perish forever. Rise up, Lord! Do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence. Put terror in them, Lord; let the nations know they are only men.Selah Psalms 9:15-20

God delights when man realizes that he is helpless. That is when we turn to our Creator God. For God says that money is not the most important thing in life, HE IS! We are to seek Him first. Our relationship with our Creator God is most important! My prayer is that our leaders will fall on their knees and come face to face with the God who reigns over the affairs of men. Perhaps then we will cease being helpless and start being reliant upon God, our strong tower!

Four thousand years ago another Leader named David came to this same conclusion during a difficult time in his life. He cried out:

“troubles without number have surrounded me; my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my courage leaves me. Lord, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, Lord. Psalms 40:12-13

God was faithful to David because David was a man after Gods own heart. Perhaps our Leaders should publicly humble themselves, fall on their knees, and seek the heart of God! When the Throne of God is at work, their can be hope in nothing less.