The Danger of Despair: Why we need hope

Five years ago despair held me hostage.

Our entire family was called into a conference room in the hospital. We stood in a big circle facing the doctor who announced the verdict that my sister’s situation was void of hope.

On that day I learned how vital hope is to our hearts. You simply can’t live without it.

We took her home, and I became her care giver in Oklahoma. My husband and three kids were back in North Carolina. I didn’t know how long I would stay away from them–how long my sister and her husband would need me. That’s the hardest thing about situations like this. The not knowing when it will be over. The wondering how much your heart can take and the feeling that God has left the planet, at least your little part of the world.

Though thankful for the promise of heaven, heaven could not erase my pain. . . yet.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years. I remember watching a couple coming out of a store front laughing, big smiles on their faces.

Will I ever laugh again? Through the fog of grief even the hope of genuinely laughing one day seemed gone.

But it wasn’t. Laughter returned.

After the anger subsided and I tired of the fight, I came back to my faith in the goodness of a loving God. Hope grew in my heart again. Hope beyond this world. And I experienced His voice and presence once more.

It’s a delicate balance, this thing called faith. Though I hold strongly still to the faith of Jesus’s power to heal and restore on this earth, I know my ultimate faith must reside on the promises of what’s to come.

This blog post was prompted by situations faced by dear friends, circumstances seemingly void of hope much like the one I faced five years ago and a paragraph from the June 1 devotional in Streams in the Desert. I found these words both wise and encouraging.

I implore you to not give in to despair. It is a dangerous temptation, because our Adversary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle. Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God’s blessings and grace. It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem too heavy for you to bear. Yet God’s plans for you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely wise. ~Madame Guyon

Madame Guyon Hope

This demon called despair lurks in the shadows all around us. Whether our own circumstances or our neighbors, best friend’s or someone in the news, despair threatens living.

Don’t let it. See it for what it is. Call Despair a liar and tell it to flee.

You are treasured. Called by God. Purposed for good things.

For now and eternity.

Much love,



Linking with Juana Mikel’s today.



  1. Pam

    Just sent your words of encouragement to a friend at church. Very timely

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Pam. Praying the post helps your friend. Blessings!

  2. Remi

    Thank you, Andy…I’m fighting this battle now and am so tired. Would really treasure your prayers. God bless, Remi

    1. Oh Remi, I’m so sorry. I will be praying for you.

  3. Cheryl Johnston

    Thanks for such a beautiful post, Andy. I’ve just come from the funeral of my 59-year-old cousin-in-law who has had Alzheimer’s for ten years. So sad, but we do have the hope of heaven and God’s mercy. Blessings, my friend.

    1. Oh Cheryl, that is heartbreaking. I thought my mom was young! I’m so sorry, but yes, thankful for our greater hope.

  4. Jan Doke

    What a blessing to anyone who reads it. Good, good message, Andy! I love you!

    1. Thank you, Jan. I love you too!

  5. Wow. Beautifully said, Andy. So true. “That’s the hardest thing about situations like this. The not knowing when it will be over. The wondering how much your heart can take . . .” Remembering the hurt of staying with Mom as she finished her good fight. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Terry. I know you know. So glad you’re on the other side of it. And she is too. :)

  6. Andy, Thank you for sharing your heart. Your words touch mine. Valerie

    1. Thanks Valerie. You know when your writing is inspired by Someone greater. It seems He uses the deepest hurts to bring the sweetest words. Love you my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *