The Slippery Slope of Hopelessness
You know the moments….. when all you can see in front of you are the impossibilities. What won’t work is glaringly obvious while what may work isn’t even on the horizon. The “needs” outweigh more than the just the resources, they overshadow any potential.
Hopelessness begins to settle in, driving any thought for a reason to rejoice far, far, away.
Subtly, our hope becomes tied to our ability to see the relief heading our way. If we are unable to view the solution, then how on earth would we be able to rejoice?Hopelessness swallows up any desire to rejoice. Click To Tweet
Who can rejoice when they feel needy?! For that matter, who can BELEIVE when all hope seems lost?
The Fear of a Father
There are many reasons that can drive us to panic but one of the quickest is the well-being of our children. In Mark 9:17-22 NIV, we can relate to the fear of this father as he desperately searches for a miracle for his son.
A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
As I read this, I wondered why Jesus would ask the father how long the boy had suffered. Jesus had already revealed in Scripture that He knew the answers to questions He didn’t need to ask so why ask in the first place. It was almost like He wanted the father to consider HOW LONG this family had endured, considering the likelihood it would EVER change. The father was forced to also remember the SEVERITY of the trial, the life-threatening nature of the condition that had almost robbed him of his child many times.
In the father’s view, the odds weren’t looking good.
“But if you can do anything.…..”
Even Jesus is struck by his choice of words in verse 23.
“If you can’?” said Jesus.“Everything is possible for one who believes.”
To which the father replies,
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
His situation is so dire that he doubts Jesus can (or will) do much of anything. But it is worth asking for, right?
Can you relate? I know I have in the past.
The Hope of a Savior
It’s not that we think it impossible necessarily. It’s that we don’t know what He WILL do.
I think as believers, we agree that God CAN DO anything……but WILL He?
We know His will is more complicated than what we can understand and we are more self-centered than we care to admit.
I have to own that.
When it comes to some things, especially the suffering of those I love, I want what I want. Period.
So what can give us comfort to remain hopeful during those times we are desperate for relief? What can we grab hold of when what we want seems hopelessly out of reach?
We may not know exactly WHAT Christ will do but we do know this- He will do SOMETHING!
We may not know exactly WHAT Christ will do but we do know this- He will do SOMETHING! Click To Tweet
The Truth He Offers
He is offering two truths that ALWAYS give us reason to rejoice. Even before we experience the relief we are praying for, these two realities help us have faith regarding our circumstances.
Without judgment against that father, we know too well the unbelief that creeps over us while encountering desperate times. But even when we don’t know the detailed outcome ahead, we CAN know this.
- ALL things are possible when we believe Christ can, even when we don’t know His will. Because of salvation through Christ, NOTHING is off the table. Our God is a God of miracles so reality does not limit our future. There are no options unavailable to us in our need. Praise God for that! Jesus CAN DO ANYTHING! This is the reality of His Supremacy.
- We may not know the will of the Lord regarding our need or, but we can know Jesus WILL DO SOMETHING! Even if it isn’t the miracle we hope for, Christ has endless other graces to give us during our times of need. He will give us support through His Spirit, His church, and His Word to endure the suffering we cannot avoid. HE WILL _________ so that WE CAN! There will be no limit to what Christ will do on our behalf in order for us to be upheld by His grace. There is never the option that Jesus won’t do anything! This is the reality of His Sufficiency.
The Reason We Can Rejoice
When I learned this lesson recently, it was profound. I was overwhelmed with the reason to rejoice even when I could not see the solution to what concerned me. I did not know if my problem would work out, but it was enough to know that Christ would ALWAYS be doing something to help me.
“Nothing” was never the option!
Oh, what joy to know that He has our back!
So when we think our relief is far from coming, or even when we know it isn’t coming, we can still have the assurance that Jesus will _________. Whether through His Supremacy or His Sufficiency, He will!
And for that, we can rejoice.