Quick! What is the opposite of “hope”? It’s despair. Despair is something no human ever wants to feel because despair means you truly have nothing to live for. You no longer want to live when you feel so out of hope, and that is when the Enemy can really get to you.
Despair is also the loss of one’s faith in God. To lose your faith in God means that you have also lost all your hope, and thus you are in the very grip of the true nature of despair. While some preachers might shame Christians for despairing and not having enough faith in God to restore their hope, that is not what we do here.
Here we want you to know where to turn if you feel like you have no hope. It is a painful feeling, but it is not one that you cannot overcome with enough prayer and just the right scripture verses to heal you.
Despair in the Bible
What the Bible says about despair: 2 Corinthians 4:8 says, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;…”
This passage reminds us that all troubles are always about us, but it is God who will lift us up and keep use from the worst of it. Though you may currently feel as though there is no way your circumstances could be worse, you cannot see what God himself can see. He can see far worse things all around you, and he keeps you and protects you from those things that could be much, much worse.
God reminds us again of the power of hope in Romans 4:18, which says, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
With our Heavenly Father, you have hope. Without God, you will despair. You will often find that the souls of the lost are frequently without hope, lacking in the will to go on. As a Christian, you may even marvel at how anyone can be without hope, even if you sometimes feel that way yourself. It is the loss of the sight of God in your life, but prayer can bring you back to Him and quash those momentary feelings of despair. As for a lost soul, hope is fleeting if he or she doesn’t know Christ Jesus as his/her personal savior.
If you doubt that, do not doubt 2 Corinthians 1:5. It says, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”
It means, quite simply, that you will have trials and tribulations. Being a Christian doesn’t instantly free you of earthly troubles. It means that because you are Christ’s child, you can lean on him for consolation, and he will make it better. You can feel his power move in your spirit when you pray away the despair.
Even Jesus Felt Despair Once
Jesus came in the flesh and felt most everything humans have ever felt, including loss of hope and a sense of despair. His lament of all laments in the Garden of Gethsemane is the most recognized moment of Jesus’s despair, even though he knew he was the son of the Great Lord and Father.
Still, he too speaks of despair in Matthew 26:39: “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt‘”
He was distressed knowing his imminent future and the task at hand. He had a moment of human weakness, a moment where his human flesh acted on an emotional response common to humans. He needed to pray to ask the Father to help him complete the task, accept his destiny, and be hopeful in the intended outcome. If Jesus could wrestle with something we humans wrestle with often, and still pray and accept what needed to be done according to the will of the Father in Heaven, then we can too. We can pray and have hope in Him, trusting that God knows that our circumstances will turn out better, and that He will lead the way when we follow Him.
Love Is Hope Incarnate
Finally, you should lean on your family. Love is the second greatest source of hope, with our Heavenly Father and Christ being the first. Love springs from the Trinity, and love in the family is a magnification of that love incarnate. The most desolate souls in deepest despair are those that neither know the Father’s love nor the love of family members. If you have both in your life, you have more hope than anyone else who is not a Christian or who does not have a single family member on which to lean.
If you are feeling most desolate in spirit today, take heart. Go and pray a simple prayer. It should be something like this, but in your own words and applying to your own situation.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I feel so alone and lost today. I have so many troubles weighing me down. I feel as though there is no hope, but I know there is hope in you. Please Lord, lift me up, crush my spiritual enemies and defeat the darkness around me. Grant me peace, soothe my spirit, calm my mind, and bring me a glad heart and better tidings Lord. This I pray in Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Go with the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ. You will find the hope you need and the hope you seek. Any sense of despair will fall away in prayer. Bless you and keep you.