Dealing with Hopelessness

By Christopher Hunt

October 12, 2018

We live in troubled times. Pick up a newspaper, or visit your favorite news website, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by stories of contentious politics, random violence, social discord, international terrorism, and other conflicts. If we add to this the trials of everyday existence―disease, divorce, job loss, wayward children, and too many other hardships to name―it’s no wonder so many people struggle with an increasing sense of hopelessness, even to the point of despair. In times like these, where can we find comfort? How do we deal with hopelessness? From whom can we find relief? Today devotional has assembled a special series of devotions entitled, “Our Only Comfort: A Devotional Series for Hard Times,” to speak to questions like these.

The series draws its title from the first question of a post-Reformation teaching tool called the Heidelberg Catechism:

  • Question #1: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?”
  • Answer #1: “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

From the title onward, this series encourages us to embrace the promise that in Christ no trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, or anything else in creation, can separate us from the love of God: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37). For those experiencing great anxiety, these devotions offer encouragement and point to where true comfort comes from amid apparent chaos. They also offer readers a tangible sense of hope; a hope that is far more than just a fervent wish for a positive outcome (“I hope we win!”). Instead, the devotions offer a kind of hope based in the certainty of God’s goodness, providence, and his gift of salvation.

The full series breaks down into three weeks, each dealing with a different theme: hope, comfort, and our response in hard times. In sharp contrast to the tone of the news, social and political commentary, “Our Only Comfort” helps us face trouble with calm confidence in Christ’s promise to be with us “always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b). Readers can sign-up for the series by subscribing to the Today daily devotional. The devotions are available as a 21-day email series or, for those looking for something briefer, a 7-day abridged version.

Biblical figures like Daniel, Job, Naomi, and Paul were no strangers to long periods of intense suffering and pain, yet they all found comfort in the only one who could truly give it, their Savior, their God. In our own times of difficulty, may we do the same as we participate in this special devotional series from Today, and seek our only comfort, our Savior Jesus Christ.

For additional resources during difficult times, visit our "What is your only comfort when life is hard?" page.

About the author — Christopher Hunt

Chris loves to see God transform lives through the gospel. Prior to joining ReFrame, he served with the global ministry of Awana. Chris also served for 16 years in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve. He studied history at Alma College and has earned a Master's degree at Northern Illinois University. He blogs frequently for Today and all of our ReFrame Ministries sister programs. He and his wife have five children and serve as leaders in their church.

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