Ten times the word despair is used in the Holman Bible. Fittingly Job is the source of one third of them. The Psalmist cried out, “Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one” (Psa. 69:20). Despair is the stuff of hopelessness. It is a sinking feeling that saps one’s resolve. If not properly addressed it becomes the lingering glue of gloom.
Ruth 1:12,13--Return home, my daughters. Go on, for I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons, would you be willing to wait for them to grow up? Would you restrain yourselves from remarrying? No, my daughters, my life is much too bitter for you to share, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me.
Imagine losing your husband and two sons in a foreign country, which meant no more income and only a blanket of bitterness to cover oneself at night. The book of Ruth begins like a novel of doom for Naomi. But if we keep reading we learn a valuable lesson.
Naomi’s fortunes changed because of Ruth—her loyal and faithful daughter-in-law. She returned to Israel and through Ruth God blessed her with grandson Obed. Two generations later, she became the great-great grandmother of King David! Despair is temporary.
The Apostle Paul declared to the Corinthians that at one point he was so overwhelmed that he despaired of life—1 Co. 1:8. Just three chapters later he claimed not to be in despair and concluded “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (4:18). Despair is temporary.
So are you despairing? Does life seem overwhelming? Do you feel crushed by circumstances? Does it seem the Lord’s hand is against you? Take a walk. Leave the valley and climb up the nearest hill. Look up and remember that your unseen Father loves you, has a plan for your life, and will lift you up. Take your eyes off the problem and worship the Problem-Solver.
Sure, others may not understand what you are facing! That’s ok. God understands. Yes, you may have prayed and received the ironic message of silence. Have faith; He hears. Don’t let despair define you. Defy it. Better days are coming—God promised. Give Him the glory. Acclaim Him in the rain. Did you know if you change the letters arounddespair becomes aspired and praised and that is both profound and something to think about . . . in reveration!
When we get to despair we know that all our thinking will never get us out; we will only get out by the sheer creative effort of God, consequently we are in the right attitude to receive from God that which we cannot gain for ourselves.—Oswald Chambers in Baffled to Fight Better
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)