Summary: The enemy attacks our heart in an attempt to drive us into a place of hopelessness. We must find hope again!
Pt. 1 - Believe for Hope
For better or worse our children reflect us. The traits and attributes that we have as a father or a mother are transferred to our offspring. We expect that as parents. It is from that vantage point that we recognize that as children of our Heavenly Father we should reflect His characteristics. Paul, in Romans 15:13, gives us a glimpse of one of the characteristics we should have ingrained in us as our Father's children. He says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." In fact, he makes it a point to say that God is so the God of hope that we should actually overflow with hope! As children of a God of hope we should have hope!
Let stop here and ask you a question . . . Are you overflowing with hope?
As we continue to attack the principalities that I have pinpointed as the controlling factors in our area we now attack the 3rd principality which is hopelessness. I would submit to you that as I have interacted with not only many of you but believers around the community I have discovered that more times than not we overflow with hopelessness rather than hope.
The Psalmist was close to finding himself in this condition on multiple occasions and in summary he says in Psalms 27:13-14, "I would have lost heart (fainted), unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
This passage gives us several truths that I think we need to hear and embrace.
1. Hopelessness stems from a heart condition.
When we lose heart we lose hope. That is why we must intentionally guard our hearts. The enemy will try to attack our heart and cause us to give up. The attacks are designed and layered to attempt to get us to give up because our enemy understands that if we do give up as bad as it was before we gave up it becomes even worse because the give up places us in a hopeless condition. Too many of us have lost heart. We no longer show up for the fight because we don't have the heart for it. We no longer march to the battle lines. We sit on the couch in sorrow. The lack of change. The lack of resolution. The lack of improvement. The lack of difference. The lack of healing. The lack of explanation. If we aren't careful our heart becomes so full of disappointment, despair, discouragement that we actually lose our heart and so we lose our hope. What is overflowing out of you?
2. Belief produces hope. Said in the negative - Hopelessness stems from lack of belief.
The Psalmist tells us hopelessness was staved off by his his belief that God was able to fulfill His word while he was still alive. He finds strength to hold on because he believes that he would see God live up to Himself - He is good.
Hopelessness roots itself in lack of belief. As long as we continue to believe God and take Him at His word we remain filled with hope. We lose hope when we lose belief.
The wise man addresses this in Proverbs 23:17-18 "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." He knew we would see sinners being successful, seemingly unscathed, walk away from things that destroy us and so he says, "don't see their "pain free" life and allow that to cause you to question and lose faith in your Father." He says there is a future for you. Your hope will not be cut off! We must believe.
If I just looked at what I am going through right now, then I would lose heart. But if I can learn to believe even when what I see (natural) doesn't seem to line up or substantiate what I see (supernatural), then my belief will fight back hopelessness!
If you have lost hope the only remedy is that you have to believe again! If you have no hope that marriage can be restored then you must come back to the belief that God can make all things new. If you have no hope of healing, then you must renew belief that by His stripes we are healed. If you have no hope for financial freedom, then you must reestablish God as Jehovah Jireh. If you have no hope for change, then you must believe again that the God that never changes can produce change! Do you believe? Your hope is at stake. Your belief determines your hope!