How To Believe When There is No Hope

Gold Brush Stroke

Some days I get tired of the digging. I get tired of digging out of the many holes I find myself in. 

Financial. Marital. Parental. Physical. Mental. Emotional. And worse, some days those “-al” holes cave in, burying me in mounds of dirt.

Stifling and suffocating, the situation appears helpless … hopeless. 

believe when no hope

I know you’ve been there, too. We all have. It’s part of living in this fallen world.

Hopeless or Not

Our tasks, obligations and relationships often lie insurmountable in front of us. We see no path around, over or through them. Waves of despair smother us. 

Like the fleeing Israelites when they came to the Red Sea, we are blinded to the possibilities of the impossible.   

But that doesn’t mean the impossible is unattainable.

Hopeless doesn’t have to mean without any hope. It just means we have to look at things from a new perspective. And the only true perspective is the Lord’s.

Hopeless doesn't have to mean without any hope. It just means we have to look at things from a new perspective: the Lord's. Share on X

My understanding of “hopeless” and “impossible” took on a new meaning when a particular Scripture passage arrested my attention not long ago. In Romans 4:18, Paul writes of Abraham’s faith: “Against hope, with hope he believed …

The first thought that struck me was, How can you both have hope and not have it? But that’s how Scripture reads. And indeed, Abraham is credited with both. 

Hope in the Impossible

If anyone has had reason to believe a situation is … say … slightly impossible, Abraham did on this occasion: He was quite certain He and Sarah could not have any children. They were long past childbearing years with He being 100 and Sarah 90. Yet, he believed God’s promise that he would be a “father of many nations” and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

To our thinking, such a promise would be laughable and ludicrous. But not to Abraham.

Although he had no hope of accomplishing such a feat, he had the guaranteed assurance from the Lord it would happen. In a nutshell, Abraham had no human hope, but he held onto Divine Hope.

We can do the same thing.

God declares He will orchestrate all things for our good (Romans 8:28). He promises “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He guarantees He will never leave nor forsake us. 

These words from the Lord are not just trite hopeful wishes, but blessed assurances. Something we can count on, without fail.

Abraham stood strong on these promises before his son’s birth and when he was asked to sacrifice him.

Noah held onto these truths while being ridiculed for building an ark when no flood was in sight.

Moses believed in these pledges as he led the Israelites out of slavery.

And Mary held fast to all His promises as she willingly took on the role of mother to the Son of God. 

So against all hope, you and I can Hope as well as we trust in the promises of the sovereign Lord. Trust in His impossibly possible economy. Trust that He will never let the “-al” holes get too deep.

Against all hope, you and I can Hope as well as we trust in the promises of the sovereign Lord. Share on X

And trust that on the days when the holes cave in and we begin to suffocate, He is breathing for us. 

“Against hope, with hope he believed … “ (Romans 4:18 HCSB).

Reflections: Have you seen evidence of Hope when none was possible? Have you ever sensed the Lord breathing for you when the holes of your life caved in?

Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 for my Joy Dare list  for Multitude Mondays (#1455–1475, read them all by clicking here):

  • Phone call of encouragement; Disc of photos from dance; Delicious homemade cornbread in castiron skillet
  • A beautiful wooden laptop stand built by hubby so I can stand to work; Joe & Rach playing football in livingroom; The sun
  • Productive,inspiring day; Congregational singing a cappella style during AshWed service; My boys’ constant encouragement
  • First real jog in a long while, and I lived!; Much-improved limp from my knee injury; All the love in my life
  • My agenda flipped 180 deg.; Snuggling under covers w/ bk & tea at 9 on a Fri. night!; Day w/ kids home sick=time together
  • Son worrying about me staying hydrated–so sweet; All pitching in so I could lay low & convalesce; On road to wellness!
  • Discipline of memorizing Scripture; Just being with my children; My health

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Also linking with the following wonderful sites:

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By His Grace,



  1. Brent Peterson on February 19, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Wonderful post Julie. Justification by faith is such a powerful message. Thank you.

  2. bluecottonmemory on February 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    ““Against hope, with hope he believed …” – I am standing on this with a situation! When it comes to mind (all the time), I will throw this scripture at it. As a matter of fact, I’m posting it on my desk:) Thank you – I so needed this!!!

    • Julie Sunne on February 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Good for you! This verse captures the mysterious nature and unfathomable power of the God we serve. Praying for strength and peace during your trial.

  3. DP on February 11, 2014 at 7:10 am

    HMMMMMMM. Hope against hope………My story. I’m almost 60. Most people think I’m successful because I guess I have that look (unwillingly) and carry a smile. I’m behind on my mortgage, 2 months back on utilities, all credit cards are maxed and behind, my car’s in the shop with no funds to get it out, raising my 15 year old beautiful grand daughter since she was born, no retirement, etc. My wife and I are realtors with absolutely no clients (except for one that will not answer our calls). I never discuss this with anyone. except my daughter at sundry times. (Since I’ve become older, I’ve learned that it’s best for older people to keep their troubles to them self). Hope is a funny thing (being based on the future). It’s perspectives and final objectives change with time. When I was young, I had hope for a small house that is paid off, and a little pocket money. You know your hoping against hope when you hope through painful hopeless tears. I HOPE AGAINST HOPE. — STILL. Is it really worth it though? At times I’d rather just leave the hope thing behind. Maybe that is where real peace is found. No, I think I’ll just keep hoping against hope. Been doing it too long to stop now.

    • Julie Sunne on February 11, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Dear DP, I appreciate your courage in sharing your heart. It’s not easy to do. My heart breaks for you and your wife. I would never pretend to know your pain. But just as our biblical forefathers hoped against hope, we need to so as well. The Lord promises we will have troubles, but He also promises He will never forsake us.

      There is no hope if we look to this world; God gave us each other and His Word to help see us through until we glory with Him in Heaven. Soak in the Word and steep yourself in prayer. I know you don’t want to burden others, but it is also important to find others who can help lift you up and carry your load. The Lord surrounded Himself with encouragers while on earth as well.

      “For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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