Joy Thieves – Part 2 {Helplessness and Hopelessness}

Phil 4 13

A few years ago, when my children were still preschoolers, my daughter picked up a stomach bug. One Saturday night she started with sickness. A few hours later, my son joined her. Before the weekend was out, all four of us were unbelievably ill. We sat in a row on the couch, under a duvet, trying to focus on the complete Disney collection to avoid thinking of how ill we were.

The next day, my son perked up first and decided he needed to eat. I remember staggering into the kitchen, pulling a pan out to cook some pasta and suddenly I couldn’t move. I couldn’t cook anything! I could barely hold myself up. I called in my husband and between us we managed to bumble about the kitchen and make a pan of pasta.

I have never felt so helpless and hopeless in my life! My son was two and I couldn’t exactly send him off to cook himself a storm up in the kitchen! I had to do it, but I could barely lift my arms! My head was spinning and I felt like I wasn’t walking so much as lurching around.

It took a week for us all to recover, and by the end of it, we were all a little thinner and a little pastier.

Let me introduce you to these two twins – Helplessness and Hopelessness, the joy thieves!

Now the problem with these two is that they manage to get in through all sorts of crevices in your life. They’re sneaky and sly and creep in, almost undetected, and they tell the most dreadful lies to suck the joy right out of you!

And the result? Why, you can barely lift your arms to defend yourself. They will keep you right down, feeling weak, draining the colour right out of your cheeks, rendering you useless.

They’re different to fear. Fear can keep you on edge and nervous. Twitchy and active. But these two…no, the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness steals your joy, but it steals your motivation as well.

Helplessness tells you there is nothing you can do.

Helplessness tells you there is no point in trying.

Hopelessness tells you there is noone to help you.

Hopelessness tells you that everything is going to be inevitably bad.

And when you start to believe these things, there goes your joy.

But you can send these two packing.

Helplessness tells you there is nothing you can do. The Bible tells you: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).

Here’s the thing; there is SO much we cannot do on our own…sometimes we can’t do an awful lot to change or fix a situation, but we can trust the One who can.

Helplessness tells you there is no point in trying. The Bible tells you: Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

There is EVERY point in keeping going; we are in a race, we have a destiny and it is in Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him.

Hopelessness tells you there is noone to help you. The Bible tells you: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Jesus wants you to go to HIM. You are NEVER alone. No matter how you feel, no matter how there doesn’t seem to be anyone about anywhere for you…YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE. And it’s not just that this fact is great news in itself….the One who is with you WANTS you to come to Him. He wants to take your burdens and give you His peace.

Hopelessness tells you that everything is going to be inevitably bad.  The Bible tells you: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Let’s be clear here. Not everything works together in a way you would want it. Not every outcome in our lives is what we consider to be the most desirable. We still have to contend with pain and tragedy, disappointment and death. BUT that is not the end of the story. If God is working ALL THINGS out and He loves you, then WHATEVER befalls you is not outside of His control. And if HE is in control, then there is always a greater outcome that we do not understand – maybe in this lifetime we won’t even see.

The end is not inevitably bad for those who love the Lord – the end is written, your future is an eternity in Heaven. There is nothing hopeless about that!

Have Helplessness and Hopelessness invited themselves round for dinner and stayed for a sleepover?

Then kick them out!

Write out these Bible verses and stick them round your house. Stick them to places you often go. The bathroom mirror, the pantry cupboard, the washing machine, the dash of your car, on your bedside table, on your diary… Remind yourself at every opportunity.

Helplessness and Hopelessness do not belong in your life. Take back your joy.

Grace and Love

Helen x

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