People In Despair — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

People In Despair — Morning Devotions

Hope is the opposite of despair, so which one are you focused on? Despair can be one of the most debilitating feelings, but there is hope.

By Chris WittsMonday 11 Sep 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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We know that hope is the opposite of despair and despair is the sense that things are not going really well and nothing I do is going to make any difference. Despair is real to a lot of people. I’ll just give you one example. I read an article the other day about 8000 elderly people in Australia who face despair over their inability to care for Children with physical and mental disabilities.

A couple live in Bendigo with their 40-year-old son, who’s got a multiple disability that’s physical and intellectual, and their lives are focused on him and his.

And for 18 years of his time, Rodney had no day placement, and they coped with only several hours of support. And as a couple they’ve never been able to have a proper holiday together. The father’s constant nightmare is what will happen to Rodney when we die. They need placement accommodation for him, and so this sense of reality is shared by many other parents and carers over the age of 65. No hope, no security.

But take a look in the world. There are millions of African women who face despair over their plight at the hands of invaders who rape them and kill them. And there are many who live in poverty and ghetto like conditions. And then there are parents whose hearts have been so devastated by wayward Children that they live in despair. Children and women who live with daily abuse and having a look at social media will reveal the extent of despair. Today, 17 million children die every year from malnutrition and starvation.

20 per cent of the world has no access to safe water. 10 million children are involved in sex trafficking. 1.4 million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV/AIDS. And what about the numbers of child labourers? So it’s easy to look at the world and feel like things are hopeless. But it’s not just out there in the world that we find despair. It can be in our hearts. We know of times in our lives when we felt ‘my situation is hopeless’. What am I going to do?

And it could be this morning that that’s right where you are. But there is reason to hope Yes, it may not be easy, but God still has another move that he can make – the psalmist in Psalm 13 wrote. “How much longer Lord, will you forget about me? Will it be forever? How long will you hide? How long must I be confused and miserable all day.” And then in verse five and six He said, “I trust your love and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. You’ve been good to me, Lord, and I will sing about you.”

When God gave Isaiah the promise of the coming Messiah, it would be another 700 years before that promise was fulfilled. And I’m sure there were times when people wondered, Is God ever going to fulfil his promise? But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son into the world to bring redemption to our planet. So if it feels to you that God is slow in answering your prayer, don’t give up.

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The Lord has another move that he can make, and he’ll come through for you. Coryton Boom once said, ‘Look around you and you’ll get distressed. Look inside you and you get depressed but look to Jesus and be at rest.’

Archbishop Desmond Tutu knew something about the darkness of despair. He grew up under South Africa’s apartheid and spent half his life on the front line, fighting against the racism of that country.

After the fall of apartheid, he was put in charge of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, in which anyone who felt that he or she had been a victim of violence or injustice could come forward and be heard at the tribunal. Perpetrators of the violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from persecution if they confessed their crimes. And Archbishop Tutu listened to hundreds of stories which detailed man’s work, inhumanity against man.

On many occasions, he had to leave the court. He was so distressed. And once this great man, Archbishop Tutu had been asked if he’d been through enough, he said. I’m always hopeful. A Christian is a prisoner of hope. What could have looked more hopeless, he said, than good Friday or at Easter? God says, From this moment on, there is no situation from which God cannot extract good.

Each day is a new opportunity for you and me to trust God, and that choice is ours. Are we going to live in despair or will we live in hope?

Let’s Pray

Dear God, how easy it is to fall into that trap of despair. It seems normal, human, and yet, Lord, you give us another way of looking at this – to trust in you, for all things we want to be optimistic about our future and what happens tomorrow. And I’m thankful for that in Jesus’ name, Amen.