Have you ever felt helpless? Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines "helpless" as: (adj.) 1. not protected: not able to defend oneself; 2. unable to do something to make a situation, task, etc. better or easier; 3. not able to be controlled. Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt defenseless, exposed, or even vulnerable in situations? I know I have and especially if you have been watching the news unfortunately, I am sure you can sympathize with these aforementioned emotions.
Now, have you ever felt hopeless? Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines "hopeless" as: (adj.) 1. having no expectation of good or success; not susceptible to remedy or a cure; incapable of redemption or improvement; 2. having no ground for hope; incapable of solution, management, or accomplishment. Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt desperate as if you would implore extreme measures in an attempt to escape your current situation? Have you ever felt that a positive outcome of your situation seems nearly impossible? Unfortunately, I feel as though we have all felt this way in some form or another.
I have often felt a sense of helplessness in situations that I've encountered in life. When I was younger I would often feel helpless when one of my siblings would get in trouble by my mom. I would just sit there like, "I wish there was something I could do." In situations where I would get into trouble at school (mainly because I just talked sooooo much - I still do and it has proven to be an asset) I would feel helpless knowing what my mother, as the disciplinarian would do. The worst was not being able to go outside because I could literally hear all of my friends playing by the window. It was in those moments that I prayed the hardest because although I knew that I couldn't do anything to stop my mom from disciplining me, I knew in my heart that God would send someone to my rescue. Most of the time it was my dad! For some reason, on the days where I got in trouble the most my dad always came by to check up on me. And I just knew it was God! I would whip out the letter from the teacher (usually it was like a pink slip that had to be signed) in front of my parents and my mom would get so upset. I now know that she was just trying to prepare me, correct my behavior, and mold me to understand the importance of authority. Well when God did send my father over in my helpless times, he would always interject and give me a lecture, make me write a sorry letter (which conflicted with my pride), and then make me give him like a mini speech as to why I shouldn't talk during class, talk back, or talk without raising my hand first. I hated all of this but it was better than hearing the sounds of my friends laughing and playing without me. So yes I always felt helpless when I got into trouble at school (as all kids with hardworking parents who just simply, "Don't play that!") but I never really felt hopeless. I was always hopeful that God would send someone or something to interject. And in times when it wasn't my father who stopped by I would pray for distractions. Lord knows that when my mom got on the phone with my aunts I could ask her anything.
There are very few times in my life where I felt hopeless. I've always been a very hopeful person. I like to think that I can change the world and make it a better place. I attribute my hopefulness to my hope in God. Psalm 25:5 states, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." God has given me so much hope because he has brought me through countless situations. My hopefulness in God also makes me very bold in my reactions to trials and tribulations. According to 2 Corinthians 3:12, "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold." I no longer cower away from situations that I feel are intimidating or far greater than I am. Instead I embrace the challenge because although the obstacles seem greater than me, they are never greater than my God. Not only has God created us and has directed our problems, but we have to also understand that he has also created the solution. In other words, sin is the problem but Jesus and the Holy Spirit will forever remain the solution. I read an article online that told the story of a professor at this college (I believe it was California) who was an atheist and his teachings reflected his personal beliefs. He challenged everyone who claimed to have believed in Christ. He would end his last class of the semester off by stating that if God existed he could stop a single piece of chalk from dropping and hitting the floor. No one ever challenged him and every year the chalk would drop into a million tiny pieces. By the end of each semester his personal logic placed so much fear into the hearts of believers that everyone would leave questioning the existence of God. That was until one year one student was bold enough and stood up and said that he still believed in God. When the professor went to drop the piece of chalk on the floor the chalk slid down the professor's pant leg, rolled onto his shoe, and landed on the ground...unbroken. I tell this story to say God is STILL God! Is your faith in God so fragile that it can be easily broken? Do you know how easy it is for chalk to break? It is friable rock that breaks under mechanical stress. Do you break easily under stress and/or other pressure? If you do then your faith in God can be shattered at any moment. Your faith shouldn't even be tied to people. Why? Because what faith or hope could be tied to individuals who sin? Your faith and hopefulness should be tied to God! As 1 Peter 1:3 states, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." No matter the situation or what it “looks” like, God is STILL God!
Understanding helplessness means to also understand, as Christian put in the blog last year, "Understanding where my (human) strength ends, and where God's strength begins." There are immeasurable instances where I feel helpless because I know that living in this life full of sin that my abilities and strengths are limited. I can't do everything that I want to do; I am only allowed to do the things that God allows me to do. I can't wake up every morning due to my own merits; God has to grant me the grace to do that. I can't bust open doors of opportunities in my life; God has to grant me the favor to do that. I can't move spiritual mountains by myself; God has to equip me with the strength to do that. I am human, I am sinful, and I am limited. And because I am limited I am smart enough to recognize that my help comes from God. When someone finds it in their heart to bless me even when I don't vocalize my need for a blessing, I understand that God is the one who laid it on their hearts to bless me. God helped me. We see and are recipients of God's help in so many instances. I remember a Bible study maybe 6 or so months ago. One of the questions was "Can we help God?" Immediately, I was like what? How can we help God? He doesn't need our help!!! That was until I listened to other responses of the members of the group. So can we help God? Well yea. We can help God get the gospel to everyone. We can help God spread his love. We can even help restore hope to all of those who seem to have lost it. So yes, maybe we can help God. Maybe even God depends on us, but he is NEVER dependent on us. I say this because we are fully dependent on God. I can depend on my future spouse to pay the bills, however if he can't then I know I'll make a way to do so. But to be fully dependent on him? No. I feel as though our relationship with God works the same way. God depends on us to fulfill our purpose, walk in our purpose, and live a life according to his purpose, and so forth. However, if I slip up and choose to live a life contrary to that purpose, God can find someone else to do it. He is dependent on us to do what he called us to do because he has given us the power of choice, but in the same breath he also has the choice to bestow grace, mercy, favor, or even chastise us for our choices. We are so dependent on God, and as with any relationship, he depends on us to do our part. Hebrews 4:16 states, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." So when you become discouraged or think your situation seems impossible understand that God can pick up right where you left off if you need him to. Psalms 124:7 states, "Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever." Just remember, you're never too helpless to pray. PRAYER ALWAYS HELPS.
Bridging the gap between feeling helpless and still remaining hopeful, takes prayer. We have pray when we feel helpless and hopeless. With all that has been going on in the news (I would suggest that you start reading Revelations) I have felt so helpless!!! Uggh! I know that I am limited in my own abilities, but my hopefulness in God and his promises has never wavered. Even at times where I am so distraught at the direction that this world seems to be going in and can't find the words to say, I still fall on my knees and cry out to God anyway. Romans 8:26-27 states, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." God knows my heart and he knows what I need! And even times when I'm tempted to react in a manner that does not reflect the LOVE of Christ, I too pray. I pray because I need HELP! I pray because I have HOPE! According to 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." I am solely dependent on God! What he has done for me no man can. What he has given me no man can take away. What he will bless me with no man can block. He is my HELP and for that I am HOPEFUL. And even when I am not hopeful, God is STILL God:
Psalms 46:10 “He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalms 46:11 “The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalms 100:10 “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Isaiah 2:11 “The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.”
Isaiah 2:17 “The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.”
Isaiah 37:20 “Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are the only God."
Prayer: Dear God, I come before you to cry out for my sisters and brothers who are so distracted by the work of Satan that they find it hard to see the victory of you Lord. I pray that you bridge the gap between hopelessness and hopefulness -- a bridge that understands that you are here to help in our time of need. I pray with everything in me, that you restore HOPE into humanity; HOPE that is solely vested in the existence and the power of you. Restore our hearts with the love of you as it can conquer all things. Renew our minds with the peace that you give. Restore our spirits with the breath of life that you have so selflessly given to all of us. Allow our eyes to remain fixed on you that we will not become distracted from our purpose and what you have called out to you. Make us selfless and so full of everything that you are. Let your power, your spirit, your grace, your mercy, and the existence of your miracles resonate in our hearts and minds so that we will renew the HOPE that you have given us day after day. We love you and we thank you for what you have done, what you're doing right now, and what you're going to do, because you are STILL God. Amen.
Heather Williams - "God is Still God"
NO MATTER WHAT HAS HAPPENED, GOD IS STILL GOD: JAMERA