Identifying the Causes of Hopelessness

“When my life was slipping away, I remembered you—and in your holy temple you heard my prayer.”

Jonah 2:7 (CEV)

When you’re experiencing hopelessness, one of the most important steps you can take is to identify the cause.

In other words, instead of wrestling with a vague sense of hopelessness, try to figure out where it’s coming from—because your problem isn’t hopelessness. The real problem is what’s causing your hopelessness.

In Jonah 2:3-6, we discover eight common causes of hopelessness. Take a look and see if any of these root issues feel familiar.

  1. You feel like you’re in over your head. “You threw me into the ocean depths” (Jonah 2:3 NLT).
  2. You’ve hit the bottom. “I sank down to the heart of the sea” (Jonah 2:3 NLT).
  3. You feel out of control and powerless. “I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves” (Jonah 2:3 NLT).
  4. You feel overwhelmed. “The mighty waters engulfed me” (Jonah 2:3 NLT).
  5. You feel rejected. “O Lord, you have driven me from your presence” (Jonah 2:4 NLT).
  6. You feel remorse and regret.I thought I had been banished from your presence and would never see your holy Temple again” (Jonah 2:4 GNT).
  7. You feel crushing fear. “I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head” (Jonah 2:5 NLT).
  8. You feel trapped. “I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O Lord my God, snatched me from the jaws of death!” (Jonah 2:6 NLT).

When Jonah started talking to God about his hopelessness, God began to heal him. “When my life was slipping away, I remembered you—and in your holy temple you heard my prayer” (Jonah 2:7 CEV).

Talk to God about your sense of hopelessness. He is the God of hope, and through Jesus, he offers the only real and lasting hope you can find.

Talk It Over

  • Of the causes of hopelessness identified in today’s devotional, which one do you think applies to you right now—or which one feels most familiar from past times of hopelessness?
  • If you’re experiencing a sense of hopelessness, what is God telling you about it?
  • How have past feelings of hopelessness drawn you closer to Jesus?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.