October 30: Helpless Doesn’t Mean Hopeless

Read Jeremiah 11:18-23 and Lamentations 3:16-27

I don’t know what it’s like to lose everything, but I know what it’s like to be helpless. I have never experienced deep loss to the point where I have nothing left, but I can tell you what hopeless feels like.

Jeremiah knew too. Appointed by God to warn Judah of its impending doom, he spent five decades delivering God’s message: “If you return, I will restore you . . .” (Jer. 15:19). But the people didn’t listen. They didn’t like the message, so they threatened Jeremiah’s life.

Then God kept His promise, and brought them to their knees as their city fell via His command. He let Israel’s enemies burn down their temple, destroy walls and homes and the pride of their nation as they faced the truth that God would not stand for their wickedness. And Jeremiah watched, helpless to defend his nation against the Almighty whose very word had brought the destruction to pass.

That’s why he wrote this book called Lamentations as he struggled through the difficult life God had ordained for him. As Jeremiah watched his beloved land fall, he faced utter helplessness. Painfully fresh memories flooded his thoughts as he voiced the utter desperation of his people. His soul searched for the peace and the hope he seemed to have lost.

“Remember my affliction . . .” (Lam. 3:19).

Helpless, he cried out to God and found that, in God’s economy, helpless does not mean hopeless. God answered Jeremiah’s lament with real hope.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end . . . ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him” (vv 22-23).

Everything Jeremiah had was all he needed – God Himself with all of His steadfast love and unending mercies. Jeremiah found real hope in the only One who could offer it.

Maybe you’ve been there . . . desperate and unable to remember that hope even exists. Maybe things feel so lost right now that you can’t figure out how to even start to find it. But know this: Helpless does not mean hopeless. God’s hope is the only real hope. He loves you unendingly, no matter what. He proved it when He sent His Son Jesus Christ on a mission to earth so you could know Him and know His love. Whether you’ve come to the place of accepting that truth or not, the fact remains.

His steadfast love never changes. He is (your) portion . . . so put (your) hope in Him.