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Feeling Helpless But Never Hopeless

Panic stricken, fear filled messengers burst into King Jehoshaphat’s throne room.  “A huge enemy army from three hostile nations is marching against us, oh King,” 2 Chronicles 20:2.

As the king’s mind frantically compared the size of his army with the size of the oncoming foe, a feeling of helplessness seized his thoughts.  His small nation could never stand up against the military alliance poised to strike his country’s borders.  Helplessness brought his first cousin Hopelessness. Feeling both helpless and hopeless, King Jehoshaphat’s emotional and  physical strength began evaporating into thin air.

“Wait a minute.  Although I’m helpless, I’m never hopeless,” the king thought!  He then cried out to God, “We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you,” 2 Chronicles 20:12.  What wisdom!

Helplessness is not the same as hopelessness.  We gladly admit our helplessness while rejecting the despair of hopelessness.  In reality, helplessness clothes all humans with mistake-prone, sin-loving mortality.  We are helpless all the time but just fail to realize it until crises arise, problems abound or disaster strikes.

So, what’s new?  We’re helpless!

But I guarantee you, the child of God is never hopeless!  Armed with his new hopefulness, the king looked up to his Heavenly Helper.  Through a prophet, the king’s Heavenly Helper encouraged him: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s,” 2 Chronicles 20:15. 

Furthermore, the Author of Hope encouraged his people by saying, “You do not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you,” 2 Chronicles 20:17. 

The Destroyer of Hopelessness repeated himself by commanding, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, the Lord will be with you,” 2 Chronicles 20:17.

Helplessness is not the same as hopelessness.  You can reject hopelessness although you can’t always prevent helplessness.  You can recognize your vulnerability without fearing it.

Some more good news.  God always acts in behalf of those who hold on to hopefulness when surrounded by helplessness.

Faith concentrates on what it has, not what it lacks.  If we refuse to abound, we rob God of blessing.  Things always turn out better than we expect.  Hope in God always brings help from God.

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