When Hope is Lost

When Hope is Lost

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Have you ever lost hope? I mean REALLY lost hope. Before I dive too deeply into that question perhaps I need to begin by defining hope. The word carries with it the idea of expectation. But this is no ordinary expectation. It is confident expectation. Hope is confidently expecting that something will be, or become, the reality of your life. 

But what happens when that confidence is smashed by reality? What happens when you lose hope? A couple gets married and confidently expect (hope) for permanent togetherness then SMASH the marriage ends. Hope is gone. A woman gets hired for the job of her dreams and she confidently expects (hopes) a long career within the firm then SMASH the company is downsized. Hope is gone. 

When things like this happen you can easily get sick at heart. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick … 

Heart-sickness is akin to depression. That form of depression will always be the result of lost hope. The emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain of heart-sickness can be debilitating and leave you with feelings of despair.

The question really becomes: Are there any positive actions that can be taken on your part to get through the time(s) when hope is lost

Following are a few thoughts.

When Hope is Lost | Draw Closer to God 


For some people the tendency is to feel allienated from the Lord when hope is lost. Feelings of anger or resentment easily can slip into our minds. Pulling away from God seems almost natural because we feel that He is in control of everything. Indeed this is the last place any of us would ever want to be.

Drawing away from the Lord, however, is the last thing one should do when heart-sickness sets in. God is an easy target. But we all know that our Lord only wants the best for us. Even when your hope crumbles God is still there showering you with gracious love. You should draw closer to the Lord in full faith and assurance that He really does cause “all things” to become good. Allow Him to be God in the midst of the heart-sickness and you will soon see that hope will return in ways you never expected. 

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our body washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

When Hope is Lost | Take the Steps that Heal

The pain of lost hope, as noted above, can be intense. You will have moments when the tears seem to flow at will. You must hold on to the hope and confidently expect that as hard as it seems that you will get through it. Wonderful days and joyous seasons will be the norm for you again. To begin that move back toward a more blissful place take these healing steps:

  • Start each day in prayer ~ never betray daily communication with the Lord. Talking with the Lord will reconnect you to His purposes for you and remind of His amazing love.
  • Reconnect with the special people God has brought into your life ~ Life was never intended to be faced alone. God provides many special family members and dear friends for very good reason. We need the support and love of people. Family and friends are simply there for us. They may not always have a solution but they almost always help to take away feelings of hopelessness. They help us to think on the many other blessings of our lives rather than the temporary pain of a temporary season. 
  • Get a new perspective ~ When hope is lost it is time to think sensibly through the pain. As hard as it will be to focus on anything other than the pain you simply must gain a new perspective. Seriously and prayerfully consider your next steps. Remember that you are not defined by the things that happen to you in life but by what you do with what happens to you. Contextualize the heart-sickness and bring everything into clearer focus. Plan for a better season with God’s grace and the support of family and friends.

Taking healing steps rather than dwelling on the pain of the situation ultimately will see you through. 

When Hope is Lost | Be Patient


Trust and believe me in this. It will take time for the pain t0 subside and the joy to completely return. You invested a lot in the relationship or the circumstance that has now become a lost cause. No one is expected to bounce right back. In fact I would be concerned about the psychological health of someone who seems perfectly fine immediately after a painful loss. God gave us the emotions we have for good reasons. They shape and mold us into the person He wants us to become. 

Take the healing steps above and give yourself time to heal. You will. Soon, perhaps very soon, a wonderful new day will be your reality.

I hope these words have been a blessing, 

Tony Guthrie, PhD.

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