You Are Hopeless

You Are Hopeless

Has anyone ever told you that you are hopeless? I remember the feeling when I was told that my ability to communicate with others in a classroom setting was hopeless. This happened when I was a junior in college and was planning to become a science teacher as a career.

Part of my preparation for teaching was an analysis by the university’s speech department. They evaluated my ability to speak in a way that others could understand. The person testing me pulled up in his chair and said, “The speech problem you have cannot be corrected. You are hopeless and need to change your major because you could never speak in a classroom setting.”

As I held the hand of a loved one with cancer, medical personnel said, “It is hopeless. There is nothing that can be done to stop the cancer.” That diagnosis was unexpected, and my loved one turned and looked at me with frightened eyes and repeated the diagnosis – “I am hopeless.”

In both of these cases, the pronouncement of hopelessness was premature. My loved one lived for more than five years – a time filled with great joy and thanksgiving. When the woman I was eventually to marry heard that I had been told I was “hopeless,” she had something to say. She said, “You may be hopeless in the speech department, but you want to teach science in high school, and those kids will be able to understand what you say.” She was right. I taught in South Bend, Indiana’s public schools for 41 years and was selected as “teacher of the year” on one occasion.

These are trivial cases compared to the challenges facing teenagers today. Atheist and agnostic teaching tells them, “You are hopeless.” If you don’t see a purpose in being alive, when life gets hard and dreams crash, it is easy to decide to end life. The suicide rate at all levels is at an all-time high in our culture today, mainly because when we discard God, there is no hope.

The Bible repeatedly tells us there is a reason for hope. Psalms 42:5 and 62:5 urge us to put our faith in God. Romans 15:13 speaks of God giving us hope through the action of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as a function of hope and not just the hope of heaven. As Christians, we are part of the war between good and evil. With the hope of an eternal existence with God and knowing our life has a purpose here and now, Christians have a reason for hope.

John N. Clayton © 2024