Paralyzing effect of hopelessness

By Dave Henning / February 2, 2024

“Hopelessness and depression . . . [have] a paralyzing effect at a time when most people need to get up and do something. Whatever you do, don’t let it paralyze you.  If you’ll take a step toward God, He will take every other step toward you, no matter how many it takes.  But you have to respond.”- Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram concludes Chapter 11 of Discover Your True Self as he talks about the feeling of angst.  First, Pastor Ingram defines angst as a feeling of deep anxiety and dread.  A feeling that lacks focus.  Thus, it’s hard to identify angst.

Furthermore, Chip notes, we find several emotional cousins in the angst family.  These emotional cousins include:

1.  A recurring thought of meaninglessness.  Not always a conscious thought, at times it’s simply a sense, mood, or lack of interest in or energy about life and the direction it’s taking.  In addition, you feel like no one would miss you if you were gone.

2.  Purposelessness – living without an aim, a goal, or a plan.  You feel that no discernable direction exists for your life.  And there’s no way to create one.

3.  Hopelessness.  Here you believe that nothing good can happen.  And you view happy endings as either impossible or quite unlikely.  Also, real change, while out there, is elusive and never really coming.

In conclusion, Pastor Ingram offers these final thoughts about angst:

“I believe most people experience angst at some point in their lives. We go through dips of discouragement and depression, and even the most good-natured and positive people still ask the big questions that bring moments of angst.

That’s one of the reasons why I love to read the Psalms.  David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he could be dancing before God in worship one day and in a valley asking why God had forsaken him the next. . . .  So this may not be just somebody else’s problem. . . .  It’s a common human experience.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you ward off the paralyzing effect of hopelessness?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Relieving our feelings of angst”

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Dave Henning

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