The Cure for Hopelessness

Gary Wilkerson

A lack of belief in who God says he is often results in a very unproductive life for believers. For example, God says that he's good, but we often still question, “Is he really good?” That question can lead to a lot of despair when we contemplate the future or the struggles in our lives.

We see this in the parable of the master who gave one servant five talents, another servant two talents and the third servant one talent. Two of those servants had hope; they believed that what their master had given them had purpose in their life and was ultimately for their benefit. As a result, they worked to see what they had doubled. When the master returned, he reviewed what they’d done and said to each one, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23, ESV). This is the only time where the Bible actually calls a man a ‘good and faithful servant.’

We come then to the third servant. “He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man…so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’” (Matthew 25:24-25). He buried the talent but also his gifts, abilities and potential. In a sense, he buried his life. It all stemmed from his mentality when he said, “I knew you were a hard man. I knew I could never please you. I knew I couldn't do enough for you.”

That's when people get started asking God things like “Are you really there? Do you really care? Do you love me?” The reverse of those questions, if somebody's dealing with hopelessness, would be to study God. As just one example, God is omnipresent. He's everywhere all time, but what does that really mean? Well, God is faithful; he’s paying attention to each moment in our lives, and he’s interested in personally engaging in each of those moments.

Having that knowledge of who God actually is gives me confidence. If there are troubles in my life, I can know that he’s still present with me. That means that my difficulties probably have purpose. I can move forward in hope because God is present, just and good.