It’s true; sometimes life can be hard. At times, it can feel like there is nothing we can do to change our circumstances. It’s in those moments we can’t lose hope.
As you walk into our office at The Link of Cullman County, you will find yourself confronted with four large letters strategically placed on a pallet-designed counter top.
In moments you will determine whether you can accept the meaning of those four letters, or if your perception of your situation keeps you from believing their truth.
The letters in and of themselves, hold little power.
But when they are combined, they quadruple in strength and form the word “HOPE.”
For some who find themselves in the midst of chaos, destruction, and crisis this word can either settle their soul or be cause for an accusation.
What does it mean to have hope?
By definition, hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true.
There can be much excitement and joy in hoping for something new, and yet, at the same time, hope can feel defeating, frustrating, or some times far-reaching when things don’t seem to be going the way you think they should.
But sometimes we hijack ourselves by believing hope does not exist. Here are five ways we can lose hope:
- Give up
This can seem like the most appealing option at times. If we just give up and no longer believe hope exists, then we won’t get our feelings hurt or our dreams crushed.
- Stop trusting God
When people hurt us, repeatedly, it’s a standard defense mechanism to stop trusting them. There are times when they may need to earn our trust back. But God is who He says He is and never changes. If we stop trusting Him, we will quickly lose hope.
- Place our faith in people
People will fail us daily. If we put our confidence in them, it won’t take long before we lose all hope in humanity.
- Blame everyone else for our circumstances
Pointing our finger at everyone around us will keep us feeling like we are the victim of our circumstances. So go ahead and blame everyone else and watch hope fly out the window.
- Rely on yourself
The quickest way to lose hope is to rely on your wisdom, your strength, and your own experiences. If you never allow anyone else, including God, to help you, hope will elude you.
Those may seem like some great options if feeling sad, lonely, and depressed sound attractive. However, if you prefer to experience some joy in this life, allow me to suggest some alternatives.
Here are some ways you can find hope when you feel hopeless.
Rebuke the lie that says “Hope is dead.”
Just last week I had a situation happen to me where I felt stuck, lost, defeated…even heart sick. There seemed to be no glimmer of hope. It wasn’t until I realized my emotions were ruling my decisions that I could recognize the lies.
The truth was hope had been there the whole time. This perspective gave me clarity, and I felt my attitude change, which helped me have hope in my situation, again.
Consider enlisting support
Believing you don’t have any hope feels lonely. Sometimes we need others to help us get out of our rut. Friends or family member can help you identify your current state of mind. 1 Thessalonians 5:11a tells us, “…encourage each other and build each other up…” Seek out those people in your life that encourage you. If you don’t have people like that, visit us at The Link of Cullman County. We have someone on staff called “Lead Encourager.” It is her job to encourage anyone who comes in feeling hopeless to help them set goals so they can move forward.
Get ready to fight
Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. (Ephesians 6:12, HCSB) Let this statement not fool you, just because our battles are against the spiritual realm, doesn’t mean hopelessness can’t feel just as powerful as a bully in real life. Especially when the circumstances you are facing seem dire. One of the most beneficial ways to overcome losing hope is by putting on your armor of God (see Ephesians 6:13-17).
Let’s encourage each other. What are some of the ways that you can suggest to someone who is struggling with hope to stand firm and trust the Lord?
Dawn Owens is the Founder/Executive Director of The Link of Cullman County, a blogger, speaker, and a lover of lattes in coffeehouses that have deep seats and warm faces. She also enjoys encouraging others to dream big for the kingdom of God. As a wife and mother to gingers, she finds herself staying on her toes, outnumbered by the men in her life. In her down time, she is either reading a good book or watching historical period shows, dreaming of where she might travel to next.You can find Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.