Traditional Values

How to Fight the Hopelessness So Prevalent Today

A young and successful dietician in New York City who took her own life said she felt 'nothing' — but God is eagerly awaiting our prayers

I recently read a story about a young woman named Tara Condell, who was a successful dietician living in New York City.

Her Instagram was filled with photos of her international travels, featuring restaurants she dined at in the most exotic locations imaginable. She was living the life many only dream of — dashing across the globe, visiting places most of us have only seen in books and movies—yet, she still tragically committed suicide.

In her suicide note she revealed that despite a great life, she had been feeling absolutely nothing. She wrote, “I have accepted hope is nothing more than delayed disappointment, and I am just plain old-fashioned tired of feeling tired!”

She is not alone.

Related: Young Dietician in New York Commits Suicide: See Her Heartbreaking Note 

This hopelessness she mentioned has become nothing less than a national epidemic. As Karol Markowicz once wrote, “The economy is booming. Crime has fallen dramatically all over the country. We are richer and safer than ever, and yet, we are in the middle of this terrible malaise.”

I have personally felt that deep depression that drives people to the brink. Growing up, I had a tumultuous childhood, with a mother who was married and divorced seven times.

She was also a raging alcoholic, and in her attempt to find meaning in life, she dragged me around the country looking for something to fill her up.

I know the numbing feeling of depression and feeling lost in life. My wife Cathe and I lost our oldest son Christopher in a tragic automobile accident in 2008.

He was married with one child, with another one on the way. So I know this pit of despair all too well.

Let me say this: Though I have often felt helpless, I have never felt hopeless.

Related: ‘If God Didn’t Come Through for Me, I Would Have Given Up Preaching’

It has been said before: A man can live 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air — but only one second without hope. Regardless of what we are facing, we all need hope.

But where do we find this hope we all so desperately need? We will never find it in people or things, nor can we find it in a politician or political persuasion — regardless of what side of the aisle we are on. We can’t find it in technology or science, and it won’t be found in any relationship or accomplishment. We can travel the world and visit the most exotic locations, and yet, we still won’t find the hope our souls crave.

Some people put their hope in their investments, bank accounts or their homes. But listen to what the Bible says in Job 8:13-15: “The hopes of the godless evaporate. Their confidence hangs by a thread. They are leaning on a spider’s web. They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last. They try to hold tight, but it will not endure.”

We can’t keep putting our hope in people, things, places or possessions. We need to put our hope in God alone, because that is where it truly can be found. Psalm 42:5–6 says, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!”

We find our strength in these words, knowing that we can keep going in this life because there is an afterlife where things will finally be made right.

Did you know that God is thinking about you right now? That might be somewhat unnerving, depending on how you view the Almighty.

Reach out to God today. He longs to have a relationship with you. He proved that by sending His very own son, Jesus, to this dark world of ours on a rescue operation.

But I can tell you that God is thinking loving thoughts toward you. Here’s another promise, this time from Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope!” This verse promises that whatever hardship you are facing right now — whatever difficult road you’re walking — it will not last forever. You can have HOPE. That is, “Holding on with patient expectation.”

The Psalmist wrote, “I am counting on the Lord, yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in his word” (Psalm 130:5).

Reach out to God today. He longs to have a relationship with you. He proved that by sending His very own son, Jesus, to this dark world of ours on a rescue operation.

Jesus was born in a manger, and He died on a Roman cross for the sins of the world. He was born so we might born again. If we will turn to Him, we will find the hope we are all desperately in need of in this life and in the life to come.

Hope has a name. It’s Jesus — and He is only a prayer away.

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. He is the author of more than 70 books, including his latest, “Jesus Revolution,” host of the national radio broadcast “A New Beginning,” and the founder of Harvest Crusades.