Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

3 Ways to Respond to Hopelessness

Last weekend at my weekly student and young adult forum, we explored the subject of biblical hope. Drawing insights from the life and suffering of Job, we explored the character, tragedy and theology of the man that has become synonymous with hope.


Job’s suffering was unprecedented. To lose properties is a loss some never recover from; to lose 10 children is another level of pain. And all of that in one day.

Job’s reaction to the news of his significant personal tragedy always brings tears to my eyes:

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped…” — Job 1:20.

What sort of a man responds this way to such tragedy? A man with a solid God-centred theology and  spiritual foundation. In this post, I explore three ways to respond in seasons of hopelessness.

Give your life deep root

We find a consistent evidence in the life of Job that he was God-fearing and had a deep relationship with God. Despite some of his theological shortcomings (which we see as the story unveiled), Job’s heart was right with God. And it stayed so.

Hopelessness starts in the mind and it’s important to feed your mind and soul with a healthy dose of ‘spiritual diet’: the Word of God — Joshua 1:8.

Give your life deep root by meditating on God’s promises for your soul. Renew your mind daily on it. Recount His blessings from it.

Preach to yourself

When I first heard John Piper speak about preaching to yourself, I thought he got his message notes wrong. But he didn’t and it made a lot of sense.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation — Psalm 42:5.

The visual imagery of this verse is very powerful. When my spirit feels downcast, I often stand before the mirror and speak this verse to ‘me’, reminding myself of God’s promises and faithfulness.

Try it! The power of hope (from God’s Word) is in your mouth. Use it.

Don’t suffer in silence

We naturally feel vulnerable sharing our problems. As a result, many suffer in silence. As much as his friends bombarded Job with skewed and misrepresented theology for his suffering, I believe their presence was a healthy check for Job.

Don’t suffer in silence. Spiritual mentors and leaders were made for times of hopelessness. They are there to help and strengthen you. Key into their wisdom and counsel. Don’t go through seasons of hopelessness and personal challenges alone.

It’s evidence of a man’s strength, not weakness, to ask for help when it is appropriately needed.

Image courtesy of Abhinav Toshniwal | Flickr

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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