People in despair - Hope 103.2

People in despair

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSaturday 7 Dec 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes


We know that hope is the opposite of despair. Despair is the sense that things won’t change for the better and nothing that I do will make any difference. Despair is real to lots of people in our communities. I can give you just one example. I read an article the other day about 8,000 elderly people in Australia who face despair over their growing inability to care for children with physical and mental disabilities A couple live in Bendigo with their 40-year old son Rodney,who has a multiple disability (physical and intellectual). Their lives have focused around Rodney and his care all his life. For eighteen years of this time Rodney had no day placement and they coped with only several hours of support  …  They have never been able to have a proper holiday together. The father’s  constant nightmare is ‘what will happen to Rodney’ and he wakes regularly during the night worrying about the future. They need permanent accommodation support now for Rodney. However the current reality facing them is one of no hope. This reality they share with almost 8,000 other parents/carers over the age of 65. Their plight – one of no hope,no security,no peace of mind.

Despair is real. Take a look around the world .. There are millions of African women who face despair over their plight at the hands of invaders who rape them,kill them,or take them as sex slaves. There are many that live in poverty and ghetto- like conditions that see no possibility of life becoming different for them. There are parents whose hearts have been so devastated by wayward children that they live in despair. There are children and women who live with daily abuse who feel like their life is a torture chamber.  Any reading of the daily newspaper gives one reason enough for despair and a lack of hope in the world today.

A quick search on Google reveals that
28 million children die every year from easily curable diseases
17 million children die every year from malnutrition and starvation
1/3 of the world’s population is malnourished
20% of the world has no access to safe water
40% have no sanitation
10 million children are involved in sex trafficking
100 million children live on the streets of the world
there are 200 million child labourers,and
1.4 million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV.1

It’s easy to look at the world around us and feel like things are hopeless. But it’s not just out there in the world that we find despair; it’s in each of our hearts. All of us know of times in our lives when we have felt like a situation was hopeless,wondering what we were going to do. Perhaps you are there right now ..  Maybe you’ve lost your job and money is tight. Maybe you’ve made a recent visit to the doctor and the news isn’t good. Perhaps you fear that with finals just around the corner you’re so far behind in your studies that you’re sure you’re going to flunk that class in school. Your parents are going to come down on you hard,or you may lose your scholarship. Or perhaps someone you love has walked out on you,and you fear you’ll be alone ..

But there is  reason to hope. It may not be easy,and the answer may not come soon,but God still has another move He can make. The Psalmist in Psalm 13 wrote this .. “How much longer,Lord,will you forget about me? Will it be for ever? How long will You hide? How long must I be confused and miserable all day? But then in v 5 &6 he said “I trust your love,and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. You have 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 the promise was fulfilled. I’m sure there were times when people wondered if God was ever going to make His other move. But when the fullness of time had come,God sent His Son into the world to bring redemption to our planet. If it feels to you that God is slow in answering your prayer,don’t give up hope. The Lord still has another move He can make,and He will come through for you yet. Trust Him.

Corrie ten Boom once said,”Look around you and get distressed. Look inside you and get depressed. But look to Jesus and be at rest.” It’s just that simple.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu knows something about the darkness of despair. He grew up under South Africa’s apartheid and spent half his life on the front lines 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 he or she had been a victim of violence or injustice could come forward and be heard at a tribunal. Perpetrators of the violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution if they confessed their crimes. Desmond Tutu listened to hundreds of stories which detailed man’s worst inhumanity against man. On many occasions,he had to recess the court just to grieve. Once Archbishop  Tutu was asked if after all he had been through and all the tragedy he had seen and heard if he still was hopeful as he looked to the future. His answer was this: “I am always hopeful. A Christian is a prisoner of hope. What could have looked more hopeless than Good Friday? But then,at Easter,God says,’From this moment on,no situation is untransfigurable.’ There is no situation from which God cannot extract good. Evil,death,oppression,injustice – these can never again have the last word,despite all appearances to the contrary.” Christmas is a promise of hope,and every day is a new opportunity for you and me to trust God. The choice is ours. Will we live in despair,or will we live in hope?

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