DEALING WITH THE ATTITUDE OF NO HOPE
Another result of life-dominating addictions is the sense no hope. Hopelessness is the natural result of a life out of control, broken relationships, resentment, guilt, and moral failure. When a person tries to fix these problems and fails over and over again, they just give up inside. They say, “I just don't care anymore. People don't care about me so neither do I care about my life.” Most feel they have gone too far to turn back. They see no possibility of any real and lasting change. This hopeless attitude must be dealt with if you are to overcome your addiction and deal with the set backs in life that will occur in the future. If you struggle with this attitude of hopelessness and this I don’t care attitude, consider the following truths.
I. An Example of Hopelessness?
A. One of the best examples of hopelessness in Scripture is given by the prophet Jeremiah. He revealed the heart to the people just before their destruction by Babylon. They said, "Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.’ And they said, ‘That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart’ (Jer. 18:11-12). When the people saw that judgment was coming they just gave up and decided to do whatever they pleased.
B. Was this the only option for the people? No! God kept promising them throughout the ministry of Jeremiah that if they would repent and return to the Lord He would spare them. God said, “Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings” (Jer. 26:3). God’s mercy is always the best option. Hopelessness is simply the result of unbelief.
II. Why Should You Care About Your Life?
A. Because God cares about you. David realized that even if his own mother and father would forsake him that God still cared about him. He said, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me” (Ps. 27:10). The certainty that God cares about you is also revealed by the fact that God declared to His rebellious people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you” (Jer. 31:3). If God cared for His rebellious people won’t He care about you? Be assured, He cares about what happens to your life?
B. Because other people do care about you. There will always be people that God will send into your life that have His care in their hearts for you. Paul acknowledged, “Thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus” (2 Cor. 8:16). You simply have to look for these people and allow them to befriend you.
C. Because God has an eternal purpose and a plan for your life. You should also care about your life because God has planned and purposed to turn your life around so you can follow Him. Paul declared, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Paul also taught, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). Trust God’s Word that He has a good plan for your life.
III. Why is Change Possible?
A. Jesus promised to come and give you life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). He said, “I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), “I will pray the Father and He will give you another comforter” (John 14:16), “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18), “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
B. Paul declared that Jesus came to transform you into His image (2 Cor. 3:18).
C. God promised to take the ashes of your life (when nothing is left) and make it beautiful (Is. 61:1-13).
D. God promised that it was possible to restore what the years of sin had destroyed (Gal. 6:1) (Joel 2:25) (Ps. 51:12).
E. God is the only one who can take all things and work them together for good in your life (Rom. 8:28).
F. All things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).
IV. Where Does the Hope Come From?
A. Begin by reading the Scripture as much as possible. Faith and hope will be inspired in your heart by His Word (Rom. 10:17) (Rom. 15:4).
B. Choose to put your trust in the Lord no matter what you feel like. Notice how David did this (Ps. 31:9-15). Jesus also encouraged Mary and Martha to do this (John 11:40).
C. Obey His Word. By putting into action what you know to be the truth, your conscience will approve your actions and encourage your heart before God and men (Rom. 2:15) (Acts 24:16). This will change how you feel.
D. Pray as much as possible. Prayer will build you up in your faith and hope (Jude 20) (Luke 18:1) (Ps 27:13-14) (1 Peter 5:6-7). In prayer offer your life to Him continually. Declare your faith in Him to work all things together for good. Ask for His help to obey.
E. Reject the feelings and thoughts that nothing will change. Dwell on the promises of God because they are the truth, not your feelings. The truths laid out in His promises will set you free from the lies of hopelessness (John 8:31-32).
F. Remember He cares about you and will never give up on you. He has declared that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5). You must cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).