What To Do When You Feel Hopeless
Hopelessness is a difficult state to be in. You experience despair, with the feeling that things won’t improve. Life seems nothing but bad, with no way out of the darkness. It’s normal to feel this way sometimes, but it’s important to not let it take over and replace positive Christian values like love, gratitude and giving.
Also, hopelessness goes against having faith that God has plans in store for you. You’re not a bad Christian if you feel this way from time to time—you’re human. But it’s good to make an effort to shift from feeling hopeless to having hope. Here are ways to do that.
Change Your Perspective
Your mind might be telling you that everything is bad in your life. Is that really true? Maybe your mind is focusing only on the negative. Maybe you’re even being hard on yourself. Try not to fall into the trap of believing that just because something didn’t go right, nothing will ever go right. If you didn’t get that part in a school play, job you wanted or relationship, that doesn’t mean you’ll never get what you want.
Try to imagine that the right job will come for you or you will meet the right partner at some point. We often need patience for the right thing to work out for us at the right time. Plus, it may come to you in a different way than you expected. We simply can’t see how things will work out, but often in hindsight, we reflect that everything worked out better than we ever could have planned or imagined.
Take Actionable Steps
Realize that life is not fully outside your control or something that simply happens to you. Consider saying the Serenity Prayer, which goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
It’s often within your power to take steps forward that start you on a path that inevitably brings you where you want to go. For instance, if you’re not getting the jobs you’re going after, ask what steps you could take that are within your power. Can you improve your resume, ask for advice from an expert in your field or go to a networking event?
Nonetheless, remember to trust in the Lord with your plans, as Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
If you lack hope in the future, it stands to reason that you may be taking for granted the positive things that have already worked out in your life. Spend some time thinking about what has gone right. What good things have happened to you today and throughout your life? Practice gratitude for what is good about your life, and reflect on how it’s likely that good things will come again.
Remember that God has a plan for you. Sometimes, it may not feel like it when life doesn’t seem to be going your way. But it can take time to reach a dream or goal. There could be steps in the works that you can’t see. Perhaps God is shaping you to be ready for the future. Or, maybe you don’t yet know the very best thing for your life, yet God is busy putting it into place for you.
Practice faith by believing that God has something He’s planning for you, and try to have patience to let His plans fall into place.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”