3 Ways to Show Hope to the Hopeless
by Aaron Earls
More than 40 percent of Americans say they feel hopeless at least some of the time, according to a study by Lifeway Research sponsored by Bible Studies for Life.
When asked where they find their hope, Americans most often cited relationships (64 percent) and knowledge (59 percent). Fifty-two percent find hope in financial stability. Children, opportunities, talent and abilities, as well as rest also rated high.
For 51 percent, they find their hope in Jesus.
While there is nothing wrong with relationships, knowledge, financial stability, children, opportunities, or talents and abilities, none of those provide a firm foundation for hope.
They can and do all fail us. People hurt us. We forget things and lose money. Opportunities end. The skills we once had can fade away or be gone suddenly. What then?
The word “hope” appears in more than 160 verses in the Bible (HSCB) and is a frequent topic of biblical discussion. Repeatedly, it tells us from where we can draw hope.
In 1 Timothy 1:1, Paul tells us plainly that Christ is our hope. But how do you help those in your life who feel hopeless? How do you help them recognize the hope they can have in Him?
1. Share Scriptures
If we truly believe the Word of God is powerful and able to cut deep into our life like a medical scalpel to help us remove the unhealthy parts of our life, we should seek to encourage those in our lives with it on a regular basis.
Read with them Psalm 62:5, Lamentations 3:24, 2 Corinthians 1:10, and the countless others that remind us where we can truly find hope.
2. Point to God’s Past Provisions
The Passover was initiated so the Israelites would remember God’s deliverance. Joshua instructed the people to set up memorial stones when they crossed into the promised land. Jesus asked us to take a break and drink in remembrance of Him.
Looking to what God has done in the past can give you a better perspective on His work in the present and His plans for the future.
3. Be Hope in Their Life
As evidenced by the fact that relationships were cited most often as a source of hope, people automatically turn to those around them when things get rough. Be there for them and demonstrate the love of Christ to them.
Part of that love may be to simply encourage them in their Christian walk. At other times, it may be to help them find the professional help they need.
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor at Facts & Trends.