Finding Hope When All Seems Lost
CBN.com –Young Johnny Callicott always loved being with his father. So when his parents divorced years later, Johnny was crushed. “When an adolescent needs guidance from his father, he’s not there.”
Johnny lived with his mother but rarely saw his father after the divorce. Music brought him comfort. His love for music started as a child. “I started playing drums when I was about six. I got my first little toy kit and played the radio, and I would just play along with it. I could pick up what the drummer was doing.”
In his teens, Johnny started a garage band. His skill grew over the years, and he became a professional drummer. The attention was intoxicating. “I think I was seeking attention from everybody because of the situation that happened with my father. That’s when the cocaine came in the picture. I loved it. I loved the way it made me feel. It made me feel like I was six feet tall and I could open up conversations with everybody and anybody, and just be the life of the party.”
But the drugs and alcohol had a harrowing downside. “It was literally destroying me physically. Not only was it destroying me physically, but my mind as well. I couldn’t remember where I was in the song sometimes, like, ‘Is that the first chorus or the second chorus?’ ‘Is this the end?’ and I would be messing up. So inevitably, my ability was no longer needed.”
Eventually he lost his music career. The women, the fame, and the crowds all vanished. “(I was) Very disappointed in myself. Because I had worked so hard to get to that point and I was throwing it all away. And I knew I was, but I had become addicted to the alcohol and the drug and I couldn’t’ stop.”
Johnny’s addictions made even daily, routine tasks difficult. “I went from job to job to job to job. I never had a problem finding a job; I had a problem keeping them. I’d do good for about four or five days and I’d just, ‘I gotta go out.’ And I’d get drunk and I’d go get high.”
He often checked into faith based rehabs. At one clinic after seeing some of the progress of the former addicts, he decided to give his life to Christ. “I really started to look to God on a daily basis and pray to Him and ask Him to guide me through this day and give me the strength to not to want to leave this place and go use again, and get on this path.”
But the addiction was strong and he always ended up back on the street. “I wasn’t staying there long enough to let God do His work. I would say, ‘I’ve given You eight months God. I’m done here. I going to take the wheel now. Let me drive.’ And I’d drive myself right back into a hole.”
“When my father was on his deathbed – He’d battled cancer for about two or three years – and I remember receiving a call from my uncle saying ‘Listen, they’ve given your father like two hours to live.’ And my addiction at that time was so severe and so selfish and so all about me that I didn’t even go. It’s a regret that I live with. I gave up. I gave up on ever being clean. I gave up on ever being the man God created me to be.”
One night his brother called. “He asked if I was ready to give God another chance. In my heart, in my mind, I thought, ‘No way.’ But out of my mouth said the word yes.”
His brother then helped Johnny contact Circle of Love, a faith based rehab center. “This place had a chapel and had a brand new set of drums in it and a piano. I would get in there and practice hour after hour. Every time I had an opportunity to get into that chapel and play the instruments, I would.”
Johnny began writing worship songs and spent time reading the Bible. “It was probably the most emotional time of my life ever, because I wept on a daily basis there. Not weeping in a sad way, but weeping of, what God is doing in my life and seeing what He’s doing in others around me. Yeah, God really filled me up there.”
He stayed at Circle of Love for two years. By the time he was released, Johnny was free from his addictions. “It was really an awesome experience. It was rough at times but God was stronger. God knew my heart for music. He knew that would keep me there.”
Today Johnny is married to Lisa. He says he has a renewed relationship with God, and a new sense of purpose. “He’s the one that is changing me and making me a better person. Without Him, I can’t do anything and that’s it. He understands me and He knows me. He always forgives me. And, He always gives me another chance to make it right.”
What you need to know when all seems lost
Many of us can relate to failure or defeat. In times when we feel our lives are spinning out of control, we may find it difficult to trust in the God who says He’s a God of power and love. The weight of our pain and disappointment can blind us to the lies of the enemy. Instead of leaning toward God, we turn away from God. We place blame on God and are even tempted to walk away from our faith. How can we trust and know that God is in control of our lives, especially when we are weighted with a sense of failure and defeat?
The Bible tells us in Revelation 11 that God sends two witnesses who make an enormous impact on the world. These witnesses are given power to do mighty works and are committed to telling people about Jesus. Despite their dedication and devotion, they are beaten and left for dead. What went wrong? Absolutely nothing! The Bible says that the bodies of the two witnesses lie dead in the street, but when all hope seemed lost, “they stood upon their feet” (Revelation 11:8-13)!
God is in control. He already knows the outcome, and, throughout the book of Revelation, He tells John what is going to happen each step of the way. In the same way, we can know today that we also will win. As believers in Christ, we may not fully understand the reason why we go through what we do, but we can be sure that we will always overcome! 1 John 5:4 says, “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
What Is God Doing? How to Find Hope When All Seems Lost
Inside: You know those moments in life when you feel like all hope is lost? They may be massively difficult circumstances or minor bumps that mess with your day. What is God doing? Two surprising things God might be doing that could turn your day and your life around.
I am bursting at the seams to share this devotion with you! Have you had those moments in life when you feel like all hope is lost? They may be massively difficult circumstances or minor bumps that mess with your day.
- You’ve prayed and prayed (and prayed and prayed) and have yet to see an answer. What is God doing?
- You are beside yourself at a decision your child or a loved one has made. How could this happen?
- That coworker, friend, or relative grinds at your nerves day after day. Really, God?
How can we find hope when all seems lost?
Elijah, our fully surrendered prophet, had labored courageously for the Lord, and it seemed to him it was all for naught. Despite a resounding victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, the people had only temporarily turned to God.
Were all of Elijah’s efforts in vain?
Not only was he the only faithful believer left–or so he thought–but he was also a wanted man. Were he to be found by Queen Jezebel, he would be killed.
“I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:14 ESV)
Do you hear the “woe is me”? We’ve been there, right?
I find God’s reaction to Elijah’s downheartedness fascinating and very telling for our own lives.
God Gave Elijah Purpose
God did not give into Elijah’s “woe is me” mentality, but He also did not ignore it. In His divine care, He poured kingdom purpose into His worn-out faithful servant.
15 And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.
God gave Elijah purpose–jobs to do–and not just any ordinary tasks. Each task had specific purpose in God’s kingdom: God asked Elijah to anoint two kings and his very own apprentice.
When all hope seems lost, look for God’s purpose. Listen to hear what He is asking of you. Notice if He is putting a particular task in front of you to do, and especially listen to see if God has called you to a task that has kingdom purpose.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)