Hope for the Hopeless

Section 1

Although the condition of all the descendants of Adam and Eve is hopeless without Jesus, the anointed Savior of mankind, through Christ, there is hope for those who are apparently the most hopeless of mankind. The following statements contain encouragement for those who feel hopeless:

“God sees all the possibilities there are in men to work out His divine end; and those who are called to be laborers together with Him, He will instruct to work according to His plans. As co-workers with Christ they will labor for the poor, the outcast, and the depraved. They will not fail nor be discouraged, for, imbued with the Spirit of Christ, they will see hope for the most hopeless. They will work in God’s lines, realizing that man must be sought for and labored for in order to be made Christlike.” Review and Herald, May 29, 1900. [All emphasis supplied throughout unless otherwise noted.]

“This is the work of God’s laborers—to bring to Jesus souls who have gone away from His direct teachings and have apparently gone to pieces on the rocks and reefs of sin. These broken lives, which have been apparently hopeless, He promises to make whole.” Upward Look, 162.

“Tell the poor desponding ones who have gone astray that they need not despair. Though they have erred, and have not been building a right character, God has joy to restore them, even the joy of His salvation. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those through whom Satan has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from the wrath which is to fall upon the disobedient. Tell them there is healing, cleansing for every soul. There is a place for them at the Lord’s table. He is waiting to bid them welcome.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 234.

“I entreat the heralds of the gospel of Christ never to become discouraged, never to regard the most hardened sinner as beyond the reach of the grace of God. The one apparently hopeless may accept the truth in the love of it. He who turns the hearts of men as the rivers of water are turned, can bring the most selfish, sin-hardened soul to Christ. Is anything too hard for God to do? ‘My word,’ He declares, ‘shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’ Isaiah 55:11.” Gospel Workers, 267.

“Jesus is now sending His message to a fallen world.…He has committed Himself to the work of our redemption. He resolved that He would spare nothing, however costly, withhold nothing, however dear, which would restore the moral image of God in man. And He holds in store gift upon gift, waiting for the proper channels through which He can communicate the treasures of eternal life.” Signs of the Times, February 22, 1899.

“Come to Jesus, and receive rest and peace. You may have the blessing even now. Satan suggests that you are helpless, and cannot bless yourself. It is true; you are helpless. But lift up Jesus before him: ‘I have a risen Savior. In Him I trust, and He will never suffer me to be confounded. In His name I triumph. He is my righteousness, and my crown of rejoicing.’ Let no one here feel that his case is hopeless; for it is not. You may see that you are sinful and undone; but it is just on this account that you need a Savior. If you have sins to confess, lose no time. These moments are golden. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled; for Jesus has promised it. Precious Savior! His arms are open to receive us, and His great heart of love is waiting to bless us.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 352, 353.

“Do not, I entreat of you, sit down in hopeless despair and do nothing. Do not heed any further the great tempter that it is no use for you to try. You could but perish if you came to Jesus just as you are, sinful and polluted, vile and depraved; but Jesus is amply able to save the very hardest and the most wicked and defiled sinner.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, 143.

“There are multitudes today as truly under the power of evil spirits as was the demoniac of Capernaum. All who willfully depart from God’s commandments are placing themselves under the control of Satan. Many a man tampers with evil, thinking that he can break away at pleasure; but he is lured on and on, until he finds himself controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot escape its mysterious power. Secret sin or master passion may hold him a captive as helpless as was the demoniac of Capernaum.”

“Yet his condition is not hopeless. God does not control our minds without our consent; but every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they may find deliverance in Christ. The demoniac, in place of prayer, could utter only the words of Satan; yet the heart’s unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Those who consent to enter into covenant with God are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature.” Ministry of Healing, 92, 93.

Section 2

It is possible for human beings to make choices that will result in their condition becoming hopeless. The following statements show how this is done:

If we close our eyes to the divine light that is shining upon us: “Men who will not admit the claims of God’s law, which are so very plain, will generally take a lawless course; for they have so long taken sides with the great rebel in warring against the law of God. . . . Their case is as hopeless as was that of the Jews, who would not see the light which Christ brought to them.” Review and Herald, March 23, 1886.

If we indulge pride and self-sufficiency: “The evil that led to Peter’s fall and that shut out the Pharisee from communion with God is proving the ruin of thousands today. There is nothing so offensive to God or so dangerous to the human soul as pride and self-sufficiency. Of all sins it is the most hopeless, the most incurable.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 154.

If we cherish unbelief: “The Jews through unbelief felt no need of Christ. Bodily diseases, however aggravated and apparently hopeless, were met and baffled by His divine power; but the disease of the soul, fastened in unbelief and blind prejudice, took firmer hold upon those who closed their eyes against the light. The most powerful evidence that could be produced only strengthened their opposition. Leprosy and palsy were not so terrible as bigotry and unbelief. Jesus turned from the teachers of Israel, and their chains of darkness and skepticism tightened about them.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 176.

“The stronger the evidence that was presented to their minds that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins, as well as to heal the sick, the more they armed themselves with hatred and unbelief, till God left them to the forging of chains that would bind them in hopeless darkness. There was no reserve power to reach hearts so hardened with malice and skepticism.” Signs of the Times, October 16, 1879.

If we attempt to excuse or conceal our sins: “Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealings with Jacob that He will in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. The more exalted their profession and the more honorable the position which they hold, the more grievous is their course in the sight of God and the more sure the triumph of their great adversary. Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless.” The Great Controversy, 620.

If we delay to overcome: “But let no one neglect present opportunities and delay repentance, presuming on the eleventh-hour conversion of the thief, and trusting to a death-bed repentance. Every ray of light neglected leaves the sinner in greater darkness than before, till some fearful deception may take possession of his mind, and his case may become hopeless.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 159.

If we do not make an absolute surrender of self: “Without the absolute surrender of self, soul, body, and spirit the contest is hopeless. Self must be hid in Christ. Said Paul, [Philippians 2:7–11 quoted].” Bible Training School, October 1, 1916.

Section 3

Through the results of past wrong choices, some people are very near to becoming hopeless, but if they will turn to the Lord He will still save them. Situations that result in this condition are discussed in the following quotations:

Bad marriages: “He [Satan] is busily engaged in influencing those who are wholly unsuited to each other to unite their interests. He exults in this work, for by it he can produce more misery and hopeless woe to the human family than by exercising his skill in any other direction.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 248.

Sexual Sins: “You have a work to do for your own soul. Make haste, or it will be forever too late. God will now forgive the scarlet sin if you will do those things you ought to do to make your wrongs right. I do not say your case is hopeless, but you have certainly almost sinned away your day of grace; and yet Jesus is in the sanctuary. Jesus pleads in your behalf. Your brethren and your sisters have labored much for you; so much interest have they manifested for you that you have regarded crime and sins as a light matter. But Jesus loves you, and I present or lift up Jesus before you.

“Satan tells you that it is not best for you to cease sinning; you have gone so far in disobedience and transgression that it is no use for you to try to come back to God. While I feel that full disgrace of your sins is upon you, while I would have you see sin as it is, I would all the time present Jesus as a sin-pardoning Savior. The sands of your life are nearly run out, and now if you will come to God just as you are, without one plea but that He has died to save the chiefest of sinners, you will find pardon even in this the eleventh hour. Man must cooperate with God. Christ did not die to have the power to cover transgression unrepented of and unconfessed. Not all sins are to be confessed publicly, but some are to be confessed alone to God and the parties that have been injured.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, 133–137. (See the entire chapter called “Counsels to People With Moral Problems.”)

Depression and the contemplation of suicide: “You say you are tempted to cut the brittle thread of life; but if you do, then your case is hopeless, for you add the sin of murder to all your other sins. But if you come just as you are, helpless and sin-polluted, and cast yourself at the foot of the cross, poor, miserable, blind, and naked, there is a Savior to lift you up.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, 143.

Long established habits of talking doubt and unbelief: “To question and doubt and cherish unbelief in order to excuse ourselves in stepping aside from the straight path is a far easier matter than to purify the soul through a belief of the truth, and obedience thereto. But when better influences lead one to desire to return, he finds himself entangled in such a network of Satan, like a fly in a spider’s web, that it seems a hopeless task to him, and he seldom recovers himself from the snare laid for him by the wily foe.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 46.

Section 4

The following inspired statements contain cautions and counsels to keep you from despair and hopelessness and to help make you a blessing to those who feel hopeless:

Do not overwork. This will make you hopeless in your outlook: “The Lord expects His servants to be diligent in business and fervent in spirit. But He does not want them to overwork. It is not work, but overwork, without periods of rest, that breaks people down, endangering the life forces. Those who overwork soon reach the place where they work in a hopeless way. The work done to the Lord is to be done in cheerfulness and with courage. He wants us to bring spirit and life and hope into our work.” Signs of the Times, May 10, 1905.

Avoid debt. Debt brings depression and feelings of hopelessness:

“The Lord does not want anyone to be unhappy. My brother, your case is not hopeless. . . . Leave the business which makes you nervous and restless. When you have done all you can, trust in God. Get out of debt, and never again get into debt. Live so economically that you will not have to feel the galling burden of debt.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 136.

Do not look down on any sinner as though you are better than he is. Remember that we all must have infinite mercy extended to us daily or we would be hopeless: “There is need of an impartial examination of our hearts to dispel the pleasing illusions of self-love. Our condition is helpless and hopeless unless infinite mercy is granted us daily, and pardon is written against our names in the heavenly records. Those only who see and feel their spiritual necessities will go to Jesus for that help which they so much need, and which He only can give. He alone can cleanse us from all sin. He alone can place upon us the robe of righteousness.” Signs of the Times, January 4, 1883.

Give the gospel invitation for as long as possible. Even in the last hour of life the gospel can be presented and a soul saved if it is accepted: “Would that physicians might understand the greatness of the service they could render to humanity if they were able to speak simply and tenderly of the love of Jesus and of His willingness to save souls, even at the last hour of life. Many physicians fail to see what a noble influence they might exert by accepting Christ and laying hold of eternal interests. They continue to live a hopeless life, a life in which God is not recognized. They refuse to be illuminated by the Light of the world, and are in a far worse condition than the one who is suffering from physical disease.” The Kress Collection, 41.q