DEFINITION: Hope is an optimistic attitude of anticipation and confidence based on expectations of positive outcomes in the circumstances of one’s life, the future, and the world at large. Hopelessness is the loss of hope.
FACTS ABOUT HOPELESSNESS:
The Bible is the ultimate source of eternal hope. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
What you think is a faith crisis may be a hope crisis. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of faith being the substance of hope. If you are hopeless, you have no substance for your faith and it is affected.
Some causes of hopelessness include associating with negative people, unanswered prayer, failure to control your thoughts, disappointment in other people, devastating circumstances, world conditions, and weariness from prolonged adversity.
How hope can be generated. Hope comes by making peace with God through Jesus, rejoicing in the hope of your eternal destination, and rejoicing despite sufferings: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:1-5).
Hope is an anchor for your spiritual experience. Hebrews 6:19 refers to hope as an “anchor of the soul”. As an anchor prevents a boat from drifting off course, hope will do likewise for you spiritually. Hope continually pulls you back to the ways of God. Hope is related to your heart condition because “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Hope is related to your joy, in that you rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12). Hope is also related to your salvation, as you are saved by hope (Romans 8:24).
DEALING WITH HOPELESSNESS:
Ask God to renew your hope. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Put your hope in God instead of man. Very often, hopelessness results when you have been disappointed by trusting in man instead of God. The Psalmist said: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5).
Spend time in God’s Word. It is the source of eternal hope and your hope will be renewed as you study and practice its mandates. The Word of God was given so that we, through the scriptures, might have hope (Romans 15:4).
Choose hope-filled associates. Do not maintain close relationships with people who are negative, despondent, and hopeless. You learn the ways of those with whom you associate (Proverbs 22:24).
Control your mind. Negative, uncontrolled thoughts often lead to hopelessness. See the topic of “Mind And Thoughts” in this database.
Encourage yourself in the Lord as the psalmist did (1 Samuel 30:6). He said: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
Realize the purpose of tribulation is not to create hopelessness, rather it leads to developing hope: “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Start a gratitude journal where you record what God is doing for you and the things for which you are grateful. When you see how God is working in your life and all the things for which you can be thankful, your hope will be strengthened.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT HOPELESSNESS:
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame. (Psalm 25:3)
You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:5)
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:22)
Those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. (Psalm 37:9)
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. (Psalm 39:7)
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5)
In your name I will hope, for your name is good. (Psalm 52:9)
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. (Psalms 71:5)
But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. (Psalm 71:14)
I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:74)
Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. (Psalm 119:116)
My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12).
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:21-25);
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:1-5)
But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24-25)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
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 15:13)
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. (2 Corinthians 3:12)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)
Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13)
There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called–one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (Colossians 1:21-23)
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (1 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14)
… so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (Hebrews 11:1, AMP)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ form the dead.
(1 Peter 1:3)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:13)
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)