<<bleak, doomed to failure>>

God can turn around what may seem like a hopeless situation for good.  Joseph, although sold by his brothers as a slave, then wrongfully accused and thrown into prison, ultimately became governor of Egypt and used by God to avert mass starvation.  God was always in control and transformed the circumstances of his life into blessing (Gen 50:20). Did the dreams he had years before keep him from the discouragement of hopelessness and feeling sorry for himself when he was not ministered to? (Gen 37:5-11).

David was distressed because his men were considering stoning him. What did he do? He firstly encouraged himself in God, then from that place of security and trust in his divine strength, devised a plan that resolved the whole situation and brought restoration of that which had been stolen (1 Sam 30:1-23). We find empathy with David who experienced many seemingly hopeless situations. By considering the goodness of God, praise rose up in his heart, and time after time, he experienced deliverance.

Fixing your attention on Jesus and praising God are important keys to turn hopeless situations into victorious ones (Ps 34:1; Act 16:22-26; Heb 12:2). To do so is acknowledging the immense power, wisdom and love of God in humility and dependency while disempowering what is against you. The seeming giants opposed to you come into their true, puny proportion when we view situations from

Keep your eyes on Christ, not the natural events

the divine perspective. Satan would rather we focus on the negative and what is against us so we fail to enter into the inheritance we have as children of God. Rather we need our spiritual eyes opened to see the numerous angels sent to minister on our behalf us, for “With us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles…God is for us…and is greater than what comes against us” (2 Kgs 6:16; 2 Chr 32:8; Rom 8:31; Heb 1:14; 1 Jn 4:4).

Paul and those on the storm-ravaged ship had given up hope of surviving, then God spoke to him saying, “I still have a job for you to do”. This inspired courage and the belief that it would turn out as God had said (Act 27:20-25). Nothing can prevent His overall plans and purposes from happening (Num 23:19). Individuals choose to respond, either to be used to accomplish His will, or to reject the divine call, thus failing to complete the race Christ designed for them with others being raised up in their place (Est 4:14; Act 1:20, 26:19; Phil 3:12-14; Heb 12:1). Rather than giving up when the going gets too arduous, commit yourself to God, believing He will do what is just, and at the right time (Gen 18:25; Ps 37:3; Gal 4:4). While our belief and confidence in Him will be tested, the Bible’s message is of encouragement with victory assured “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…Do not throw away your confidence [hope]…You will receive what He has promised” (Gal 6:9; Heb 10:35-39). Paul said, “We must go through many hardships [negative and bleak experiences] to enter the Kingdom of God” (Act 14:22).

Circumstances are never beyond God’s ability to miraculously change. Like Job we may not always know the reason why some things happen the way they do. With faith, keep trusting in His infinite goodness and love, claiming His promise that because you love Him all things are working out for your long-term benefit (Job 23:10; Prov 3:5,6; Rom 8:28,29; 2 Cor 4:17).

When people feel hopeless they have taken their eyes off Christ and victory in Him, focusing instead on the present depressing circumstances, anticipating defeat and often casting off restraints by indulging in fleshly pursuits. Without hope there is only despair. It is a natural reaction for those

Life is bleak without Christ

without Christ to be without hope (1 Cor 15:32; 1 Thes 4:13). With Christ life is an endless hope, without a belief in Him it is a hopeless end. Paul said to his readers, before they became Christians they were without hope and God in the world (Eph 2:12).

See also: circumstances, defeat, despair, discouragement, faith, hope, not being ministered to, perspective, praise, self-pity.