Kenny's Korner- Is There Hope

by Kenny Rader


According to psychiatrist Aaron Kheriaty in his article Dying of Despair, the rise of suicides and deaths from drug overdoses in recent years is not a result of sickness or financial insecurity. After a ten-year study, he concludes the problem comes from the person's feeling of hopelessness. Doctor Kheriaty's deduction is that people cannot live without hope. 

Source: Aaron Kheriaty, "Dying of Despair," First Things (August 2017)

The sense of hopelessness

We’ve all experienced hopelessness. It’s the feeling we get when it appears all is lost. We’re at the bottom of a pit, flat on our back with no way out. Even as we lay on our back in that pit, and we can see the tiny bit of light at the very top, that light seems too minuscule and too far away to ever reach. It’s, well, it’s hopelessness. We’re stuck. We’re doomed. 


You might have had that feeling after your dream has fallen apart. Maybe it's the disappointment of an unsuccessful venture, a failed relationship, a death, a bankruptcy, the realization you'll never get into a specific college or get that desired job. Perhaps it's an irreversible diagnosis of a physical nature, or maybe the terminal diagnosis of you or a loved one. Whatever the cause, hopelessness not only knocked the wind out of you and blew you over, but it appears it left you with no way to recover and continue living a normal life.  

A biblical example

In the Old Testament, because of the people’s sins, God warned the Israelites that unless they repented, they were doomed. The Israelites ignored God's warning and eventually faced their hopeless destiny. Ezekiel, the prophet, warned Judah of their coming destruction and that fathers would eat their sons and sons would eat their fathers. Why? Because of Judah's unrepentant sins. God eventually raised up Babylon, and the evil nation lay siege to the city of Jerusalem. After the Israelites’ food was gone, the people resorted to cannibalism to survive, just as Ezekiel prophesied. Once they ran out of food, it appears they faced hopelessness (Ezekiel 5:5-11). But was all lost? Read on.

Do you have a reason for hopelessness?

No. Never! Christians have no need to feel hopeless. Using the biblical example, even as Babylon surrounded Jerusalem, Jeremiah the prophet told the people that God offered them a solution. Surrender to the Babylonians. Surrender, and they would live. God would spare their lives.  Hold out and fight, and they would die (Jeremiah 38:17-18).


You and I, as Christians, have no need to feel hopeless. Actually, no one needs to experience hopelessness. As long as you and I have breath and are able to respond to God’s Word, we have hope. God gives us a way out. Granted, we might not like His plan, but God always offers a way that provides us with hope.

Surrounded by hopelessness

Our current world situation seems hopeless much of the time. COVID 19 has changed many people’s outlook on life. People who appeared fearless a few years ago have crumbled to the terror of Covid. Unless scientists develop a new method of combatting this virus that continues to mutate, we have to live with this problem for the rest of our lives.


Politically, whichever party you follow, they all appear impotent a vast majority of the time. If you trust any political party, get ready for a complete sense of hopelessness. You thought your world was safe? Think again. It appears Russia will soon invade Ukraine, and China is getting bolder all the time. Both countries seem to have little fear as America shrinks our weapons arsenal, and our people want nothing to do with helping other countries. We have become self-absorbed with what our government can do for us rather than the government’s purpose of protecting us from harm with our military might. Whatever your stand on political remedies for these issues, it all seems hopeless in the near future.


Do you feel personal hopelessness at times? Many people live in a state of despair because of emergencies in their private lives. Family problems, addictions, rising debt, joblessness, illnesses, and the list continues. Although we live in the wealthiest nation in the world, many people have a sense of hopelessness; much of that brought on by our own doing, but much also due to uncontrollable situations. Hopelessness seems to surround many of us.

Do we have a solution?

Yes, we have an answer, and it’s failsafe. Get closer to God.  That’s it. It’s that simple.  According to a recent study done by the American Bible Society, along with Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Program, they discovered a strong connection between Bible reading and the feeling of hope. 


The sense of hope improved in people who read the Bible, and that sense of hope increased with the amount of Bible reading. Out of a total of 100 points (100 the best score for the feeling of hope), people who read their Bibles three to four times each year scored 42 on the hope scale. Those who read their Bibles monthly scored 59, people who read weekly scored 66, and those who read their Bibles several times each week scored 75 on the hope scale. Community and church participation also helped increase their score. 

Source: Adam MacInnis, “When Covid-19 Hurts, The Bible Brings Hope,” Christianity Today (January/February 2021), p. 59


God’s solution for hopelessness

Although it’s astounding to say that Christians never have reason to feel hopeless, God always gives us hope. Of course, we want immediate hope, or at least soon, and the solution coming of our own resolve, but ultimately, our hope comes through Jesus. 


Jesus came to live and die for you and me.  And by His resurrection from the dead, we have hope of life after this one. We often witness this hope when a loved one is terminally ill. First, they fight the prognosis, refusing to give in to death, and that's not bad. God put the will to live in us as part of our DNA to survive, and that gives us the hope of recovery. After a while, however, when our bodies fail to the point of helplessness, we see Christians change their perspective from the hope of recovery to hope in eternity with Jesus. God gives us hope, even beyond this life.

No need for hopelessness

No need for hopelessness

Maybe you’ve found yourself despondent and see no way out, but remember, if you’re at the bottom of that deep, deep pit, flat on your back, and looking up to that tiny speck of light far beyond your reach, Jesus is that light of hope. He might have put you in that pit, so you will finally look up and see Him. If you’re in that pit now, reach up to Jesus. He’s waiting to give you hope. 


13 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 (NIV)


Love you & God Bless,