Ministry Resources

How To Overcome Your Feelings of Hopelessness

Author: The Journey Online Team

It doesn’t matter. Nothing changes anyway. Nothing works. It’s hopeless. Hopelessness is something that we all feel.

Whether it be a situation at home or at work that doesn’t get better, we all have felt hopeless at some point in our lives. You know, those days that you get out of bed and say to yourself, “today is going to be different,” but by the end, your day ends the same way it did yesterday.

No one sees that you picked up extra responsibility at work, making the company money and their customers happy. No matter what you do, your significant other still continues to be unhappy with you. You can’t seem to be there for your kids, and again they just seem to push you further away. Every step forward feels like it is three steps back, every day for weeks and even months. Pointless. Hopeless. Everything just ends up the same anyway.

Hopelessness and Negative Thinking

The scariest thing about hopelessness is that it leads to other negative thinking and creates an addictive cycle. You say things to yourself like, “Nothing changes no matter what I do. So why not have a drink? They don’t see how hard I work for them, so I am just going to do my job and leave. Nothing I do makes him/her happy so I guess I have to find my own happiness.”

So you pick up that bottle, you start to work less and you start pursuing other relationships, all to fill the void of feeling hopeless. Afterwards, you feel ashamed of your actions and guilty that you are not “trying” anymore which brings you back to feeling hopeless. Then the process starts all over again. Sometimes it gets worse, and sometimes you are able to stop. Hopelessness leads to insignificance and a perpetual lifestyle of guilt and shame.

So how do you overcome your feelings of hopelessness? I have been told that the only thing that you can change in the world is yourself, and I can go on and on about self-realization and internal self-searching for the answer. I could also be so bold and just say, “Hey, if you want to be happy then just decide to be happy and be happy.” The truth is, it doesn’t help.

There is nothing inside of you that will give you hope; you won’t find it in things, people or your job. The best way to overcome your feelings of hopelessness is to do what you have been doing (with a small adjustment). I have put my hope in everything and everyone that I have in my life, yet everyone and everything has failed me. I even put all my hope in me and I have failed myself.

Two Steps Toward Hope

The first thing to understand is that you were created to hope. We are a people that hopes. We made it to the moon. We hope our loved ones come home from war. We hope that there is someone that loves and cares about us. We hope our car starts every time we want to use it. Our Creator placed hope in us, but we put our hope in the wrong things.

“God’s hope for you is full, complete, filled with joy and peace.”

The second thing to understand is where to place your hope. As I stated before, you can’t put your hope in yourself, others or your things because they will all fail you. Once they fail you, you start or repeat your addictive process and find yourself hopeless again. If you place your hope in God and His son, Jesus, He will never fail you. His hope for you is full, complete, filled with joy and peace (Romans 15:13). God will never fail you, EVER.

If you tried putting your hope in everything else but God, what do you have to lose? Oprah and psychologists suggest that you find the answer within yourself. But the truth is: you won’t. It may work for a while but it is not the solution. You were created to place your hope in the One who created you. You can overcome your feelings of hopelessness and find real hope in Jesus who created you, and died for you.

Please say this prayer with me:

Lord, I feel hopeless like I can’t do anything right, like I will never be happy and I am tired of going around in circles. Help me put my hope in you. Jesus, I invite you to come into my life and I receive the gift of hope that you bring. The hope that fills me with joy and peace (Romans 15:13), a living hope through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3). Amen.

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