Mark Affleck

Why Does HOPELESSNESS Keep Knocking On MY Door?

July 19, 2021
Spiritual Growth

HOPELESSNESS is a painful pit that can hijack our faith walk and leave us feeling trapped and helpless. Not only have I been in that pit before; I was stumbling around its edges THIS PAST WEEKEND. Perhaps you’ve been there, too.

hope·​less | Having no expectation of good or success; despairing; not susceptible to remedy; incapable of improvement.

The reason I characterize my recent dance with hopelessness as “stumbling around its edges” comes down to depth and degree. It’s easy to think of hopelessness as a deep, all-encompassing depression that sacks us.

That kind of hopelessness is real, of course. And I would never minimize its destructive power or the despair it causes believers to endure.

But I’m talking here about waves of hopelessness that flitter and skitter in and out of our thinking. It’s what I call “Justifiable Cynicism.” The kind of hopelessness—just enough of it–that takes us away from recognizing and remembering GOD’S HOPE PROMISE:

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

For me, I focus on how the word WILL leaves no doubt about God’s PROMISE. I called and claimed it this weekend.

I used it as power to resume flexing my HOPE MUSCLE.

To fight off the urge to think “my life is BROKEN and will never be fixed.”

To kill off the feeling that our hopelessness is justified by what we think is bathed in REALITY that “will never get better; never go away; never retract its claws.”

When I am tempted to lose hope, I remember God’s HOPE PROMISES and allow them to reignite my fading hope that has been extinguished by the world’s fiery challenges.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

There’s that word WILL, again. What a blessing.

Hope is the accelerant to igniting God’s love fire in us. It is a future-orientation woven into the fabric of our faith.

I ask God to help me take my focus off life’s negative circumstances and, instead, look to him and his promises for the HOPE that is rooted in what Christ did to save me, and the world.


How hard is it to find and keep HOPE in your life? What can you, will you, do to deepen its roots?

“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8

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