Have You Lost Hope? ~ blog

One of the great things about being a human being is we have been given the ability to hope. Hope plays a very important role in our lives. Last night there were hundreds of thousands of people putting their hope in either the Georgia Bull Dogs or the Alabama Pachyderms. The Georgia fans were elated as Alabama was degraded.

In Proverbs 13:12 we read…

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

I remember when my heart was sick…while I was still active feeding my addiction. It felt like I was getting further and further from God and more distant from my wife and family. I had tried to stop looking at porn more times than I could count. And to make matters even worse I was going deeper into sexual sin…not a good thing for anyone but especially if one is a pastor…like I was for 26 years.

Some of you are on the verge of losing hope that you will ever be able to stop using porn and it feels like you are drifting further and further away for the Lord. There is also a greater distance between you and perhaps everybody in your life because you feel you must remain guarded. You have masks you wear at different times and different places while the real you has become like Gollum…a frightful creature shivering with fear in the dark.

And this can be your situation regardless of who you are and what you have accomplished. In our 180 Online Support Teams we have people from all different walks of life and from 12 different nations. There are doctors, lawyers, pastors, teachers, school principals, and garbage truck drivers.

All of them…just like all of us have lost hope that they can ever recover from their sexual brokenness. Not without trying…and there are many things one can try like a new book, recovery videos, counselors, conferences, and pastors. Each new tool offers freedom by using their product…but seldom do they deliver.

And if you were to ask me what is one of the most important factors in finding success becoming unentangled from this highly addictive behavior I would say a good place to begin is not something from the outside…but something from your inside. And that something is hope or faith.

If there is no hope within you because it has been beaten out of you by so many failing attempts, you perhaps have given up and are just trying your best to keep anyone from finding out. You have lost hope in yourself, and you have lost your hope in God.

So, how does one begin to climb out of this dark pit into which we have fallen? My answer might surprise you. Not that getting help from a counselor, pastor, or group of other men fighting the same battle…although all of those can be helpful. Let’s look at Romans 15:4

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Notice the two E words…endurance and encouragement that help to restore hope in our hearts. And where do we find endurance and encouragement…FROM THE SCRIPTURES. This passage is teaching us something very important…and that is God has a history…a proven track record of helping those who place their hope in Him. Even if they have been slaves in Egypt for 430 years.

Now I am not saying that just reading your Bible is going to cure you. I failed to get any help by reading Leviticus and learning all the recommendations God gave Israel on how they should live or memorizing the genealogy of Jesus.

However, what does help restore hope in our lives and becomes a foundation for a biblical and Christ-centered recovery? Hope comes out of the stories in the Bible where we learn how God has worked to save and deliver His people. Stories like David and Goliath, Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den, his friends in the furnace, and others where we see God is not only willing but completely able to deliver His people.

One thing that years of falling back into sexual sin do to us is we lose hope, our faith begins to die, and because we are so deep in isolation we believe many lies. Lies about God and lies about others. But when we read the story of Joseph accused unjustly of trying to rape Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison for 2 years…then suddenly he becomes the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt we begin to learn that nothing is impossible with God.

Then the next lie comes and tells us that God did that for those people, but He would never do that for me. Oh…really??? That’s the conclusion you are drawing because He hasn’t done a work of healing in you…yet?

Listen now this is critical. Hope comes from faith. And Hebrews 11:1 tells us exactly what faith is…
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.”

I firmly believe that the starting line for every Christian who is addicted to porn and sex is to believe that God can heal you…wants to heal you…and will heal you. It is believing what is true about God and His love for you.

And if you are so far down into your addiction that you can no longer see or feel that then I have one suggestion…you start at the foot of the Cross. On the Cross, God has forever demonstrated to all of us the full extent of His love. Dying to pay the penalty for every single one of our sins.

Go now and read Hebrews 11 and begin to have hope in God’s will to deliver you which He has promised to ultimately do forever in heaven…but the work can begin here and now.

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