The Devil was having a yard sale, and all of his tools were marked with different prices. They were a fiendish lot. There was hatred, jealously, deceit, lying, and pride--all at expensive prices. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any of the other tools. It was also the most costly. The tool was labeled DISCOURAGEMENT.
When questioned, the Devil said, "It’s more useful to me than any other tool. When I can’t bring down my victims with any of the rest of these tools, I use discouragement, because so few people realize that it belongs to me." Satan’s is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Have you ever felt like your whole world is caving in around you and there is absolutely no hope. Your troubles seem to mount up insurmountably. Cheer up I have good news. There is hope for the hopeless!
I. There are situations , which appear to be totally and absolutely hopeless.
A. Ezekiel 37:1-2 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry."
B. The picture portrayed here was that of the nation of Israel in their Eastern captivity and Diaspora. The nation was virtually dead. It was lifeless, scattered, and bleached just as this conquered army’s corpses, which were strewn across a battleground. There was no way humanly possible that they would ever arise from this defeat. It would be impossible!
D. Job 7:6-7 "My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good."
E. There is no greater state of hopelessness than of man without Christ. Jean wrote: "Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth." Those apart from God have a feeling of meaningless and abandonment that they cannot explain. (H. Lindsell)
F. Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"
II. God alone holds the answer to hopeless situations.
A. Ezekiel 37:3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest."
B. From man’s perspective only one answer could come from the prophet’s lips, "Life is impossible?" It is absurd to suppose that these dead bones could ever live again. But it was God who asked the question, and it is God alone who knows the answer.
C. Matthew 19:25-26 "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
D. God delights in doing the impossible!
E. Charles L. Allen- When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.
F. There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
G. Psalms 42:11 "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
Have you ever been in despair? The answer is simple. Quit looking at your circumstances and look at God. A pessimist finds a problem in every opportunity, but an optimist finds opportunity in every problem. Don’t despair, for God is the answer.
III. God’s Word gives new direction.
God and God alone reveal the truth of all we call unknown. All the best and worst of man won’t change the Master’s plan, it’s God’s and God’s alone. God and God alone is fit to take the universe’s throne. Let everything that lives Reserve its truest praise, For God and God alone."