In the ministry that I do, I see many people who have lost hope for many reasons, be it finances, addictions, loss of relationships, abuse, self-hatred, etc. Often it is hard and heartbreaking to hear the horrific stories of the pain people have endured, many by the hands of those who should have been their protectors. It’s not an unusual thing to leave an event with the stains of these hurt individual’s tears on my shirt, or left soaked into my skin. Although the stories and the pain is very real, I also get to see people come forward to an alter for prayer, responding to the fact, that maybe, just maybe there could be hope for them.
Many may look at the work that I do with the homeless, addicts, and just broken individuals in general and say, why spend the time, resources, and energy on the hopeless. If I didn’t have hope myself, I would wonder the same thing. You see I realize what it feels like to be hopeless. I was once at a place where I wanted nothing more than to end my life. I felt that if the pain I had endured was what life had to offer, then I wanted no part in it. I remember the times when I sat on my bed, with tears streaming down my cheeks, and a razor blade to my wrist, and was so angry with myself, because I didn’t have the guts to take my own life. I was also angry with God, in a very vocal way, for allowing me to live despite my multiple suicide attempts.
It wasn’t until multiple strangers continued to approach me with the same verse, over and over from Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans to give you a future and a hope”, that hope became real in my heart, and despite my pain and poor choices, maybe there was something more…
Something more, we were all created for something more. Regardless of where you go, each of us was created with a longing in our hearts for hope. Hope has nothing to do with material possessions, or having a life being deemed as the “elite”. Many times those who have the most in life have the greatest void of hope in their hearts. Hope is the expectation that there is something more to this life, than what can be seen with our natural eyes. Hope is the thing that wakes us up in the morning, happy to be alive, with a peace & joy that good will occur. Hope is what whispers to our hearts, when facing pain, destruction, and even death, and tells us that there are far greater things awaiting us beyond this life. Hope cannot be conjured up naturally. Hope is a supernatural gift from God.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:12, that “without God we are without hope in this world.” When you truly know Jesus, there is no room for hopelessness. When worry and fear tries to creep into your life, you can look it in the face and boldly declare that your hope is not in your present situation, but rather in the God who promises to never leave you or forsake you, and who holds your life in the palm of His hands.
For those whose hearts are heavy, for those who feel they have nowhere to turn, and for those who felt as though I once felt, ready to throw in the towel, know there is hope for you!! No situation is too difficult for the One who created you. Many times the place where our lives truly begin is when we are tired; tired of doing things in our own strength, and ready to surrender all. Hope is awakened at the point where we end, and where God begins. Hope is found in a name, and that name is Jesus.
So why spend time on the hopeless? It’s because I’ve seen too many lives restored. I’ve seen depression lifted, and joy begin. I’ve seen relationships mended, and restoration take place in its most precious form. I’ve seen those who were seriously injured and sick healed. And most importantly, I’ve seen countless lives of those with no hope, receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and be filled with the hope, joy, and peace that only He can bring. That is why I count it a worthy investment to spend my time with the hopeless.