An athlete being completely outplayed by his opponent knows the feeling of being helpless. No matter how hard he tries his opponent is just a step faster, just a little smarter, and just a little stronger. He struggles with the reality that he is helpless against opponent.
A couple sits with all their bills spread out on their dining room table. They move the bills around and look at different strategies on how to pay each one. No matter how hard they try there is still not enough money to go around. They hold hands and pray but still feel helpless.
A wife sits with two of her closest friends trying to find a way to cope with the reality that her husband has walked away from their marriage. She thinks about her children. She questions her actions and second-guesses every decision she ever made. She feels helpless.
A young husband and father of three sits alone in the airport coffee shop in a city far from home. He has just left the corporate offices where he was offered a huge promotion. However, the promotion would mean moving his family across the country. His kids love their school. They live reasonably close to both sets of grandparents. They are active in a healthy church. He loves his job. He feels helpless.
Life events come at us hard, fast and sometimes they overwhelm us. At times we find our selves feeling helpless. At times we are. But we are never hopeless.
Consider these thoughts from two God-followers who were well acquainted with suffering and feeling helpless, but not hopeless.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:28-39 NIV).
Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before him! Listen carefully to my words; let your ears take in what I say. Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated. Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die (Job 13:13-19).We are never hopeless.
For a time, these men were helpless, but they were never hopeless. For a time, you may feel helpless ... and you may even be helpless; but with Christ, you never have to be hopeless.