2 Corinthians 1:8 – “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” NKJV
I have experienced some incredibly traumatic things, including the loss of someone dear in tragedy. I have lost loved ones in death. I have faced the feeling of abandonment to the point I despaired of life and the pronouncement that I had a malignancy. Experiences like those mentioned were harrowing and distressing, but I know no pain more debilitating than the feeling of helplessness!
I have watched my children face struggles that I could not step in and resolve. For a man who was raised to fend for himself, face difficulties head-on, and handle whatever came your way that was heart-wrenching. Helplessness is murderous! You see the problem and know that you can do nothing within yourself. It is outside your ability, authority, or power. It is not dependent on what you do or do not do and may rest in the hands of others you cannot control.
Helplessness is as much a state of mind as anything. Its roots are in Fear and Trust or the lack of trust. The state of mind that says, “Nothing I do will make a difference,” is paralyzing and destructive. It can and often does destroy relationships and faith. It stems from the idea that we, as individuals, must be in control and are the captains of our ships and masters of our fate. It, at its core, denies God, although the person in that state of mind may be devout in their belief in God. It views life through the prism of self and becomes incapable of looking beyond themselves.
Helplessness is a continual spiral downward into the abyss of hopelessness. If we find ourselves in a state of feeling helpless and hopeless, we need to remember we have choices. We can continue focusing on self and circumstances and revel in the helplessness and hopelessness of the situation or condition, or we can look beyond ourselves. If we envision another can rectify our situation, we are not in a state of helplessness when we see no solution from our ability or any outside source; helplessness reigns. From that sense of helplessness, we become hopeless and despair of life. No Hope! No Help! Total despair rules.
When we look beyond ourselves or others and realize that nothing is impossible with God, helplessness, and hopelessness, begin to melt away from our minds. Our pathway to deliverance and victory may be tiny baby steps, but the light at the end of the tunnel gradually transforms from a faint candle flicker to a brilliant flood light. Hope begins to rise within, dispelling the sense of helplessness.
The Serenity Prayer is applicable when our confidence is directed to the LORD our God:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Helplessness is a condition where we see ourselves as the final source of a solution. Hopefulness is where we see God as the final source of a solution. In a time of helplessness, we can either become hopeless or hopeful depending on where our look is focused. Psalm 121:1-2 answers, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
I pray that God will help you to be free of Helplessness and walk in Hopefulness for the remainder of your days!
God bless you as you go through this day!