i will not lose hope - photographic illustration by Jeremy Binns

How is Hopelessness Affecting You?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.  How is hopelessness affecting you, and what can you do about it?

hope deferred makes the heart sick - how is hopelessness affecting youIt occurred to me, while I was preparing this post, that this topic was the main reason that I chose to write a series about hope.  Hopelessness wreaks havoc in our lives.  So how is hopelessness affecting you?

Last summer I decided to give my lawn mower a tune-up.  It was getting a little sluggish so I figured it couldn’t hurt.  I changed the spark plug, cleaned out the air filter, changed the oil, cleaned out the fuel intake, and even sharpened the blade.

When I started it back up, I almost freaked out because it sounded like a jumbo jet engine.  It was devouring my lawn like a starved sumo wrestler.  Grass was flying everywhere, and I’m almost positive I heard it growling like a junk yard dog being taunted by a kid with a stick.

Seriously though, it was an unbelievable improvement.  I even did a slow jog just to prove to myself that I wasn’t imaging things.  …perfect cut.

I know that a lawnmower may not be the best illustration, but here’s the point.  I didn’t even realize how bad it had gotten.  It was still functional.  Sort of.  If I walked slow and cut a narrow path.

As children, we are Olympians of hope.  We hope for everything.  Christmas, birthdays, bikes, puppies, vacations, the end of the school year, the beginning of the school year, or for our parents to spend the day with us.

As teenagers and young adults, we begin to hope for things like love, careers, marriages that are perfect, world travels, beautiful homes, and friendships that last.

For most of us however, we eventually learn that having hope can also be a great source of pain and disappointment.  Proverbs 13:12 says that hope deferred makes the heart sick.


As kids we learn that we don’t always get what we wanted for Christmas.  We definitely don’t get the puppy or the snake.

As we get older, we learn the painful lesson of our first heartbreak.  Some of us see friends turn their backs on us, and marriages that fall apart.  Instead of living in the mansion, we live in the low-rent apartment.

Each time hope is deferred it affects us to a greater degree than we often realize.

Like the old lawnmower, things to start building up in layers on the internal parts of our lives.  This grime must be removed from our minds and hearts in order for us to be fully alive.

We learn wrong lessons when we face too many experiences that dash our hopes.

How is Hopelessness Affecting You?

  1. When we lose hope, we cease trying.
  2. When we lose hope, we make bad substitutions.
  3. When we lose hope, we become weak.

We Cease Trying:  Our hope is birthed by those things that occupy our heart, things we love.  Hopelessness convinces us that our heart’s desires are unattainable so we stop reaching for them.

We Make Bad Substitutions:  When our true hopes are crushed, we start hoping for lesser things.  We settle for things like sex instead of love, a job instead of purpose, control instead of companionship, or even simple things like reality tv instead of a reality life.

We Become Weak:  Hope is a powerful force in our lives.  It motivates us to wake up before the alarm clock even goes off… the first time.  It stimulates our mind and our emotions which give us energy to face challenges and overcome obstacles.  Hopelessness is a source of energy draining emotions like sadness, bitterness, anger, and many more.

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. – Romans 15:13Like my old lawnmower, hopelessness may have slowly crept up on you, or maybe it has hit you like a brick wall.

My next post is going to talk about how you can begin to regain lost hope.  Until then, let me leave you with this scripture.

If you’re feeling hopeless today and have no one to reach out to, leave me a comment or send me a message.  I’m not superman, but I will pray for you.

View the Hope Series

View the entire hope series here:

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • mr.needshelp

    hopeless all is lost need sum help thanx

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com Jeremy Binns

      Father, I pray that right now, wherever this man is that you would draw close to him. You promised that you would supply all of our needs according to your riches in glory. You also said that you have good plans and a good purpose for our lives. I pray that you would drive away hopelessness and give this person a glimpse into the brilliant future that you can bring into their life. You said that you would give us joy in place of mourning and beauty in place of the ashes. I pray that even right now you dispatch angels on his behalf. And most of all, I pray that you would draw him into a closer and more secure relationship with you. One that is filled with peace, joy, and abundant life. I believe that even right now you are opening doors of possibility that were previously closed and calling good things into existence where there was nothing before.

      I don’t know why you’re feeling hopeless my friend, but don’t give up! God is able to do those things that seem utterly impossible.

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Father, I pray that right now, wherever this man is that you would draw close to him. You promised that you would supply all of our needs according to your riches in glory. You also said that you have good plans and a good purpose for our lives. I pray that you would drive away hopelessness and give this person a glimpse into the brilliant future that you can bring into their life. You said that you would give us joy in place of mourning and beauty in place of the ashes. I pray that even right now you dispatch angels on his behalf. And most of all, I pray that you would draw him into a closer and more secure relationship with you. One that is filled with peace, joy, and abundant life. I believe that even right now you are opening doors of possibility that were previously closed and calling good things into existence where there was nothing before.

      I don’t know why you’re feeling hopeless my friend, but don’t give up! God is able to do those things that seem utterly impossible.

  • annelies

    Jeremy, this is just exactly what it feels like. I’m afraid to hope anymore…will read the whole series. thank you. annelies

    • http://www.jeremybinnsphotography.com/ Jeremy Binns Photography

      Hi Annelies – Without knowing your circumstances, I can’t say that I know exactly how you feel, but I can honestly say that I do know what it feels like to be afraid to hope. I also know that it is a season in my life that passed. Hang in there friend. I’ll be praying for you.

  • Needapositivechange

    Definitely there. At bottom of the hopelessness well. Don’t feel like God is hearing my prayers, maybe he’ll hear yours. Would u pray for me? Thank you

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Father, I pray for this person right now. You are hope, and you are the giver of all hope. You bring life to what has died and make all things new. I pray that even right now you would bring light into the darkness of this situation. Surround this person with your presence, and bring people into their life who will be your voice to their situation.

      I pray that right now you take away anything that may be standing between this person and You. Give them the tenacity and persistence to stay in pursuit of You even when it seems as though you’re nowhere to be found. I know that You ARE a rewarder of those who diligently seek You, and You promise to be found.

      Father, I also pray that you silence any of the voices that are contributing to this hopelessness. If they are coming from inside of their own mind, replace those thoughts with thoughts of hope and life. If they are coming from people in this person’s life, then help them to establish the healthy boundaries that will protect from those voices. I pray that You would even step in as a shield to protect them from any of the attacks of the enemy.

      I thank You and believe you – in Jesus’ name – let it be!

      • needapositivechange

        Thank you so much

  • VBloemer

    I’m feeling very, very hopeless. We are having tremendous financial issues to the point of looking like we will be homeless very soon. We don’t hsve family that can help. We have young kids and pets we love. It has been a very difficult year. We are praying for a Miracle. I’m disabled and unable to work. My husband is not working because of all that has happened over the last couple of years. We need help desperately! The hopelessness is so great, I’m even depressed and feel like ending it. I haven’t felt this way in a long time.

    • http://www.jeremybinns.com/ Jeremy Binns

      Beautiful things are so often born out of our darkest moments in life. I’m not just saying that because it sounds good, I’m saying it because I’ve lived it. Even though right now it might seem like escaping – anywhere – would be better than facing another day of increasingly difficult situations, hang in there!

      If there’s any way possible to deal with a portion of the overwhelming problems, do it. The overwhelming nature of financial challenges can get us into a corner where we just sit there doing nothing. We stop doing many of the normal things that are a part of life, from cleaning to just getting out of bed. All of this plays into the cycle that just makes us feel more and more hopeless.

      You probably can’t fix everything in a moment, but I am certain that there is one thing that you can find to fix today. Not working is devastating to the self esteem of a man, so even though the temptation might be there to belittle and attack him, try to use words that speak to the better qualities he does have. Brag on anything he does to make progress. As men, we like to win, and long seasons of not winning really deflate our own drive to fight. Find something he has done well and celebrate that win.

      If it’s possible, connect with a community of people who will love and support you guys. Not every church is like that, but there are some out there that will. Even if it isn’t actual financial help, just connecting with people who genuinely care can do great things in our outlook and mind.

      Just take action in some way as soon as you see it’s something you can do. I am convinced that all of us have within us some kind of a ‘God Seed’ of greatness. We are created in His image and are so much more able to do great things than we ever imagine. Often we find this greatness when we’re faced with impossible situations because it’s when we look for a strength beyond our own.

      I will pray for you, and I believe that you’re able to not only get through this, but discover a greater purpose in life through it.

      2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

      Finally, please talk to someone when things get so overwhelming that you just want to escape any way possible. Here’s a link I found with a lot of different resources and help lines you could call. Don’t try to do it alone.
      http://brokenbelievers.com/247-crisis-lines/

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

%d bloggers like this: