Summary: Jesus is able to change even the most hopeless situations. This message is to bring hope to those who are struggling to hold on.

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Luke 7:11-16 KJV And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. (12) Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. (13) And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. (14) And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. (15) And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. (16) And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

All of us have come across situations, either in our lives or the lives of someone else that appear to be hopeless. Too often we shake our heads and we react with pity when we encounter someone else that has found themselves in such a situation, and when it is we ourselves, we often give into despair. Despair is a crushing weight that seemingly squeezes the life out of us. The dictionary defines despair as “the complete loss or absence of hope, to lose or be without hope.” This is where every day appears to be same with no change. Life appears hopeless. One person said, “Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.” How well this echoes the sounds of despair!

The young son of the Chaplin to King George II, was a man that was familiar with despair. He suffered from mental illness and spent a significant portion of his adult life in mental institutions of his day. At age 32, he was nominated to a position that required a public examination. He grew fearful of that and tried to commit suicide three times--and nearly succeeded. He was taken to a mental asylum where he stayed for eighteen months. While he was there however, he was converted while reading the book of Romans. He was later released into the care of a minister by the name of Urwin. While there, he became friends with a pastor by the name of John Newton. Newton encouraged the young man to serve the poor and write, which he did. However the young man eventually relapsed, in which he again attempted suicide. He appeared to live a life of despair yet he became at the forefront of the English poets and was a great hymn writer. His name was William Cowper, who wrote such words as “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s vein, and sinners plunged beneath it’s flood, lose all their guilty stains. “He also wrote “GOD moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.” Yet because of his mental state, he often lived in despair.

In Luke seven, we find that Jesus had come upon a woman that must have been in despair. No doubt she felt hopeless, yet she discovered that with Jesus, it is never too late.

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