Hopeless & Hostile

There is a spiritual force that the Bible talks about called hope.  Without it, people quickly turn hostile. Don’t you mean hopeless Stephen?  Hopeless people turn hostile.  It could even be toward themself.  The Mayo Clinic says that self-injury, such as cutting or burning yourself, is a way that some people cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration.  You can see how that if this hostility is not remedied with hope a person could graduate to greater extremes, even taking their own life. 

I have found that the further a person moves from their true identity the more hopeless they become.  The more hopeless they become, the greater the intensity of hostility.  It may manifest toward themself, or toward others, and possibly in every direction. 

Here’s the thing about hostility: you can’t subdue conflict with more conflict, and yet that’s what we see people doing.  Everybody wants a resolution but the problem with acquiescing to immorality is that it only devours the wounded.  The fires of hopelessness intensify and for a brief moment the sin of self-injury distracts from that inescapable pain, but then shame and guilt come racing back.  The person feels even more removed from a sense of identity and worth. 

You can recognize hopelessness in a person when they take the limits off of what they eat, or how much they drink, or in abusing drugs.  They’ve become hostile toward themself.  They grasp at straws about their identity making it completely carnal and nothing spiritual.  They might base their identity on their sexuality, occupation, intellect, possessions, abuses, history, address, or a thousand other things.  None of it though can be the true source or wellspring of hope in a person’s life.  Hopeless, these faux identities become platforms for hostility, either expressed in self-harm, or hatred for anyone who doesn’t fully agree.

King David had a son Absalom who stole the kingdom, plotted to murder his dad, and raped ten of his concubines in a display of dominance on the king’s rooftop for the city to see.  I’d call that, a major identity crisis!  Anyway, David’s loyal fighting men defeat the enemy and when Absalom is fleeing for his life on a mule, he accidentally gets his head caught in the fork of an oak tree.  The young soldiers surround him and kill him.  Here’s what I want you to see.  David’s life, his family, all the rest of his sons and daughters, the kingdom itself are all in jeopardy because of a sinister enemy who happens to be born of his flesh.  When news comes to David that they’ve won the battle and Absalom is dead, he goes into severe mourning, so much so that his army of men who just risked their lives for him, sneak back home ashamed and humiliated.  Joab, his general, rebuked David with these words in 2 Samuel 19:6, “For you love those who hate you and hate those who love you.

When you’re hopeless you engage in self-injury.  Sometimes it’s so subtle it’s hard for those around you to even recognize it.  Some don’t even see that they’re doing it to themself, but when you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you, it says that you’ve lost track of real hope.  David had shifted his hope from God to his flesh, his offspring, his genetics. 

Jesus came to save you and me from our flesh, our genetics.  We are all predisposed to sin and the death that comes from sin.  Jesus conquered death and paid the price for sin with His blood because our blood was contaminated.  Without the hope of Christ all of humanity is conflicted.  God is love and yet we hate God.  Hopeless people don’t believe God cares, or cares enough to help.  They are conflicted - hopelessly conflicted.

Abraham is in the book of Hebrews hall of fame for his faith.  Romans 4:18 says, “When it was beyond hope, he had faith in the hope ... according to that which had been spoken”.  There are other translations that simply say that “against all hope, he believed in hope.”  Abraham had no objective grounds for believing and absolutely no confidence in his flesh.  He was an old man, and he and Sarah had produced no child.  The promise was a child.  The hope was a child.  Abraham became famous for having faith in hope, against all hope.  You can have a hope that triumphs over all hopelessness right now.  It’s Jesus!  Hostility doesn’t have to own you.  Let Jesus in and let hope flood your soul today.  Hope is the antidote.    

Pray the Word:

Heavenly Father I need an infusion of Your triumphant hope in my soul.  Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin, and to deliver me from the hostility of my emptiness.  Here is my heart.  Fill me with Your Spirit and all the blessed hope I need to begin living a giving life.  I want to be strong to give love and mercy to others.  Where hopelessness shut me down and closed my heart, now fill me with hope so I can boldly give, live, and bless others.  Thank You Father for Your goodness.  In Jesus Name, amen.



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