Hopelessness is a dark place. Hopelessness can overtake you in the middle of one of life’s storms, or in the aftermath. You survey the situation. You look at what you had, and what you lost, and you just give up! You give up, not only because of what happened, but because of what you no longer believe can happen. The situation seems to have no solution—no remedy. It can’t be fixed. It’s not going away. It’s not going to get any better. Somewhere across the days of dealing with your circumstances, you lost your last bit of hope.
Hopelessness invaded the home of a woman in the New Testament.
11 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. 12 Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. Luke 7:11-12
This woman was no stranger to hopelessness. Her husband was dead already, now her son had died—her only son. What tragedy invaded your life and robbed you of hope? Was it divorce? Was it a disease? Was it a disaster? Was it death, or something that seems worse than death?
A large crowd joined this grieving mother as she made her way to the cemetery. There are no words that will soothe such sorrow. Imagine the emptiness and the loneliness that compounded her life though surrounded by this well-meaning crowd. Some of you don’t have to imagine. You are living amidst a similar sorrow.
The cemetery was just a short walk from town. Burial usually took place the same day as death in those days. Her son died only hours before. The body was likely prepared for burial in her home. She said her last goodbye to the darling of her heart. There was one last touch, one last kiss, one last look at his face. That is hopelessness—terrible and terminal hopelessness!
How do your circumstances compare with hers? The situation may not be the same, but the hopelessness is just as real and overwhelming.
Jesus Met Her in Her Moment of Hopelessness.
He made the first move. He came to her in her hopelessness. She didn’t ask for His help. He reached out to her. Could Jesus be reaching out to you right now? It was no coincidence that Jesus was passing by at the very moment this funeral procession was leaving town It is also no coincidence that you are reading these words.
Jesus Came to Comfort Her in Her Hopelessness.
13 When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13
What kind of statement is this that Jesus made to this heart-broken mother? Had He somehow missed the pall-bearers and the coffin? Had He failed to recognize this as a funeral procession? Jesus was not surprised to meet a woman headed to the cemetery. The Bible says that He “saw” her. I think it means that He saw her before He arrived in her city. He was there for the express purpose of meeting her need. The words “do not weep” were words of comfort spoken to her hopeless heart. He was about to dry her tears and end her heartache.
Could it be that you are reading this for the express purpose of discovering that Jesus knows what you face and what you need?
Jesus Is the Only One Who Can Bring Hope out of Hopelessness.
Imagine what transpired between Jesus and that woman. I picture Jesus with both hands her shoulders, His piercing eyes looking directly into her own. Softly, but firmly, with all the authority of a commanding general, He said, “Stop Weeping.”
Only Jesus can bring hope out of your hopelessness. Leaving the mother, Jesus turned and moved confidently toward the coffin. He extended His hand and laid it on the open wicker basket in which her son was carried. The pall- bearers stopped dead in their tracks! Then Jesus addressed the corpse!
14 And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:14-15
If Jesus can speak to a corpse do you think that He might also be able to speak to your circumstances? Don’t you know that His mother and His friends had begged him to get up from his bed… to awaken from his sleep? You’ve heard the mournful pleas from family for loved ones who have died. Oh, at the times I’ve seen wives, and children, and parents fall across the body of a loved one and beg them to speak—beg them to live. But never have I seen the dead respond to the voice of the living. Yet this boy responded to the command of the Lord Jesus!
That mother could shriek to the top of her lungs, and her boy would never hear her. She could plead with him from then until now, and he would not twitch a finger. You can’t speak to your own circumstances! You can’t speak to your own hopelessness—but Jesus can! Only Jesus can bring hope out of hopelessness! Jesus gave that boy back to His mother. But He gave her more than that. He gave Her back her hope!
16 Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!” 17 This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district. Luke 7:16-17
Perhaps you read these words while living in a setting of hopelessness. If so, you read them by Divine Appointment. Jesus is meeting you where you are and He is speaking to your heart! Perhaps you sense that somehow—in the midst of your own hopelessness—Jesus has the power to give you back your hope.
Maybe hopelessness is not your problem. Instead, you have a heart that as cold and dead to spiritual things as that boy’s corpse. Yet, in this moment, you hear the voice of Jesus speaking to your cold, dead heart, calling you to renewed faith in Him and in the power of His resurrection.
I have no way of knowing who you are or what you face. But the Jesus who met this woman, is reaching out to you in the midst of your circumstances. As you reach out to Him, I pray that He will give you back your hope!
All Scripture comes from the NASB® www.lockman.org
Photo by whoislimos