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HOPE – Part 2

Are you suffering from hopelessness?

Published:Saturday | October 9, 2021 | 12:06 AMRev Dwight Fletcher -

Last week we discussed the matter of hope, or rather hopelessness. We uncovered that in very difficult situations, if we are not careful, our responses can quickly turn to anxiety, sorrow, pain and then despair – the complete absence of hope. Research has proven that our natural response to feelings of hopelessness is to destroy ourselves in order to not face the severe situation. This is one reason why the suicide rate is increasing.

Emil Brunner, a Swiss theologian, once said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life”. But unlike oxygen deprivation and the inability to breathe, the truth is when hard times hit, we often don’t realise we are suffering until we are utterly hopeless. So in order to combat this fate, like a medical doctor, we need to know the symptoms of hopelessness.


1. Doing things that you wouldn’t normally do, like stealing? (Last week we discussed the woman in 2 Kings chapter 6, who ate her own child in the midst of Samaria’s great famine).

2. Feeling worn down and weak and all you can think to do is hide or numb the feeling by using drugs, abusing alcohol or getting addicted to social media.

3. Unable to slow down, because you think that if you stop for too long the pain is too much to bear.

Isaiah 40:29-31 tells us, “[God] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE in the LORD will renew their strength ... they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

After identifying the symptoms of hopelessness, we must identify the cause and treat it. Today we will look at one cause that is sometimes overlooked when the mounting feelings of hopelessness arise – ourselves.

It is natural for us to blame our suffering on everything and everyone but ourselves.

The book of 2 Kings chapter 6 tells the story of the country of Samaria being in desperate times. They were under siege for so long that a severe famine had set in. King Joram was even quoted saying, “This disaster is from the LORD”. But if we look further back to 2 Kings chapter 3:2 it says, “[King Joram] did evil in the eyes of the LORD”. This entire crisis was actually the fulfilment of Deuteronomy 28:15 and 53, “If you do not obey the LORD your God … your enemy will inflict suffering on you and during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you.”

King Joram’s iniquity was sufficient enough to have brought down God’s displeasure on a whole nation, yet he took no blame himself, but laid it all on God. In diagnosing our own situations and examining the symptoms of hopelessness, we must also identify the catalyst. Is the predicament we find ourselves in as a result of our own actions?

One commentator noted that only a few people actually acknowledge their sins. For deliverance and hope to come, we must identify our own role in the situation and confess it to the Lord. Until this is done, we cannot expect God’s wrath to be averted.

Our actions and decisions have consequences, and though God is just, He is also the God of hope and the God of another chance. Next week we look at how to treat hopelessness.