How is Hopelessness Affecting You?
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. How is hopelessness affecting you, and what can you do about it?
It 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.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
— Jeremy Binns (@Jeremy_Binns) October 15, 2012
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?
- When we lose hope, we cease trying.
- When we lose hope, we make bad substitutions.
- 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 entire hope series here: