Everyone puts their hope in someone or something. For some, hope is in finding a mate or having a family. For others, it’s in their spouse, career or their 401K. One thing is certain – you’ll be most of aware of where you’ve placed your hope when it is removed.
How do you respond when you lose hope? We’re all capable of enduring disappointment … as long as we still have hope. But once all hope is gone and there is no probability things will ever get any better, devastating things can start to happen to a person. That’s when we find ourselves hitting rock bottom.
We hit rock bottom when what – or who – we hoped for cannot or will not come through for us.
Rock bottom experiences happen during the “pit” and “peaks” of our life. When we’re in the “pit,” we might be facing the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or the diagnosis of a sudden illness. We’re in the “peak” when we’ve attained “success” by the world’s standards, yet discover that it doesn’t satisfy. One of the most visible examples of this is seen among many of today’s celebrities whose talent, fame, beauty, money – you name it – simply isn’t enough to fill their emptiness.
Where have you placed your hope? Maybe you can identify with hitting rock bottom and feeing like your situation is completely hopeless. You might be saying things like, “I’m out of this marriage.” Or, “I give up! I’ve tried and I can’t do it any more.”
Jesus wants to offer us hope that cannot fail or be taken away.
In Luke, chapter 15, Jesus tells a parable about a lost son. The story illustrates God’s response to people who have lost hope and find themselves at rock bottom — whether by their own actions or because of the actions of others.
In the story, we read how a son rejects his father and leaves home, spends all his inheritance and loses everything. With a repentant heart, the son returns home with every intention of begging his father to take him back as a slave. The father’s response is shocking, especially for the culture in that time period.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke v. 20)
In this passage we see the heart of the father offering his son unconditional love and forgiveness. Our heavenly father offers us this same free gift of grace and longs for a close relationship with us. Whatever you’re going through, whatever has robbed you of hope, take comfort in knowing that the God of the universe wants to pour true hope back in your life. And, the Bible says, His hope will never fail or disappoint us because “His love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip