DESPERATION IS AN ABANDONMENT of hope that impels us into a furious struggle, internal or external, against adverse circumstances, sometimes with utter disregard of consequences. Frustration has reached such an intensity that we look frantically for a way to escape.
This volatile emotional state is one of the most dangerous conditions in which a Christian may find himself. For in this posture he is wide open to Satan. Scripture tells us that Satan prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart. The Christian, feeling abandoned by both God and man, may at this moment remove himself outside the boundaries where God can bless and protect him. In willfulness and anger he may set irreversible events into motion that can never be retracted.
How can we be creative with such a devastating emotion? At this moment we are like unreasoning beasts. The first thing is to realize that even in such an agitated state, God does not abandon us.
"When my heart was embittered, and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant. I was like a beast before Thee. Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy countenance Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me with honor."
Psalm 73: 21-24
Do not leave God at this moment. Cry out to Him. Pour out your anger, hurt, bitterness, and disillusionment. Remember desperation is not sin. Continue with Him even though you cannot feel His presence or His comfort. Know that it is your emotional turmoil that blinds you. He is there!
And do not seek the help of other people at this time. You may momentarily find some emotional release but your former state of desperation will return as soon as you are again alone.
When your reason returns ask yourself not how do you feel, but what can you do? What can you do to relieve the pressure that you cannot tolerate? What activity or future plans will ease your present tension, offer you comfort and hope, and still keep you within the bounds of God's love and care? Then do it.
Do not make any big decisions during this time. Do not feel guilty. Promise yourself that you will find new patterns for your life that give you hope and fulfillment. Check your thought patterns. Refuse to repeat negative patterns that heighten your feelings of desperation. Thank God for this terrible time. Then let your world go free and out of your control. Trust the One who loves you and did not desert you. See yourself mature, open to life. Then you will experience first-hand that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, even desperation. And once you know this truth by experience, you will never be so desperate again.
The next time you are in the supermarket line with someone using food stamps, smile at them. It will be good for both of you.