No More than 15 Minutes of Hopelessness

When was the last time you had a moment of overwhelm? A time you felt helpless and hopeless? If you are like me those times seem to come way too often. Whether it’s people letting you down, a personal struggle with sin or unhelpful habits. Whether it’s a frustrating circumstance, a profound loss or worry over the future, there are many things that can start the downward spiral to despondency. 

Where do you turn when you find yourself in that mental, emotional or spiritual space?

I write this as I am going through my own struggles and I want to share a word of hope for you and for me. My mind goes back to the disciples who saw their hero, the one on whom all their hopes rested, betrayed, unfairly tried, condemned, mocked, beaten, abused and crucified naked in the middle of two criminals on a hill for all to see. What did Jesus’ closest followers experience when He cried out and hung His head in death?

We may not know their inner experience but the gospels show us that some lingered and looked on in shock. A couple of men rushed to give Jesus the most proper burial they could in the brief moments between His death and the Sabbath. Most went into hiding. A few women approached the tomb early Sunday morning to do what they could to honor Him. I notice that in those moments Jesus’ followers stuck close together. None of them were alone. 

We need one another to get through hard times. One of the best things hard times can do, if we will receive it, is bring us closer to others. May that be all of our experience. May we not suffer in silence alone but be real with what we’re going through with people who can support us. It takes vulnerability to admit our needs but how else can people hold us up? Don’t cry alone, you matter to people.

But the main thing that I notice is that the hopelessness didn’t last long because Jesus death didn’t last didn’t. The women looking for His body that Sunday morning instead found an empty tomb, angel messengers, and Jesus alive and sending invitations to His disciples for a reunion. He put a whole new spin on the Scriptures His followers had  grown up with and made everything new. He did leave them physically again when He ascended to join His Father on the throne of the universe but knowing He was alive, that he was representing and interceding for the human race in Heaven, that He was sending them the Holy Spirit and that He was coming again soon changed everything.

I hope it changes everything for you and me too. 

I recently read a quote from John Wesley that really got my attention that I want to hold on to. It reads, “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of fear. When I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne, reigning over everything, and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life.”

Jesus says all the hairs on our heads are counted in Heaven. He says not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from His care and that we are worth more than many sparrows. Jesus sees you and cares for you enough to die for all that would separate You from Him. Romans 8 says nothing can separate us from His love. You are not alone God is on the throne. Hold on to the hope that He will always provide all you need for everything You need to have and do. One day sooner than you could expect we will be overwhelmed in the most amazing, joyful way when He returns to take us home and all that is wrong and evil will be undone and replaced with God’s better than you can imagine best. Hold on to this precious hope when you are discouraged and it will transform how you experience the rest of the day. God is for you and with you and there is no limit to the hope He will bring us as we let Him close. May this hope limit our fearful and hopeless moments to no more than 15 minutes and make way for hours of sweet connection with our hero, Jesus.

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