Maybe your life up to this point has been a feeling of despair, a sense of hopelessness, believing that there is no way out, with no expectation that anything will ever change. One thing social media and 24-hour news have done is help us to appreciate that everyone is touched by a tragedy of one sort or another eventually. Maybe you see nothing in life that gives you hope as if you could see the light at the end of this tragic tunnel.
Have your circumstances alienated you from others? This can result in isolated thinking making you believe that your situation is different from others. You begin to feel as though you are a castaway; no one loves or cares about you. This feeling only moves you to move further away from human companionship. The word “forsaken” means that you feel completely abandoned, alone in all that you do. You are now withdrawing from all companionship, protection, or support from family, friend, peers, or teachers.
This alienation has left you feeling powerless over your life. Why work toward any goal when life will just move the goal post or take it away. The sense you are feeling is a crushing weight that is on you and you are unable to lift it off. You feel deficient, lacking in the right stuff to make it in the world. Those who are poor or handicapped feel this way most often. However, it can come upon even those who are well off financially and healthy.
You being weighed down with such despair, you begin to assume your life is over, why even go on trying, death seems like the only option. You feel doomed, trapped in a fog of irreversible circumstances. You have arrived at the point where you can no longer live in this world. You literally believe that you are completely helpless to affect any kind of change.
“I used to have a friend and being around her made me feel so second-rate. She seemed as though she could do anything. It was so easy for her. I often wondered what was wrong with me, as everything I attempted failed. I am totally my own worst enemy. I feel completely devastated when I am around her.”―Addison
Can you see the irrational thinking that Addison was telling herself? It is a bit of All-or-nothing thinking and absolute thinking. All-or-nothing thinking refers to thinking in extremes. “Everything I attempt fails.” “She could do anything.” Absolute thinking is the tendency to think in concrete, black and white terms. “I am totally my own worst enemy.” “I feel completely devastated when I am around her.”
When we think in black and white or extreme ways, it can make us feel inadequate to almost anyone. It can prevent us from having goals, trying to face new challenges in life, and having a purpose. When we have irrational or bent thinking, it can take the well-intentioned comments of those that we love and respect out of context, blowing them out of proportion. Then, we are our own self-fulfilling prophet because we believe we are a failure; therefore, we begin to fail at almost everything we try. These failures are because we never really tried. “I am in a slow learner’s class, so why even try.” “I suck at sports, so why even try.” This outlook simply breeds more failures, which reinforces your belief, “everything I attempt fails.” So, how can you set aside past failures that were based on not even trying, as well as your perceived failure status as a person?
Finding the answer to that question will move your life into the successful column. If you do not truly try, you cannot succeed. If you are not lovable, you cannot be loved. Do you see the pattern? Everyone fails from time-to-time, it is part of life. Even the best NBA player that ever lived, Michael Jordan, had failing moments, or even worse failing streaks, where he had a series of failures in succession. However, if your perception or outlook is fine-tuned as to how you view failures, deal with failures; you can become resilient, able to recover quickly from setbacks. This means that you can see failures as setbacks, not an end all be all failure. This means that you can put your setbacks into perspective, get up, and prepare yourself and your mind even better, to try again and again if necessary. With this mindset (way of thinking), you are very likely to succeed. Now, let’s put this to the test.
Potential Failure: This is a possibility or likelihood of failing, so you hold back from even trying because what are the odds of succeeding anyway, right?
- Signing up for an extracurricular class that you like
- Applying for a job
- Trying out for a sport
- Signing up for choir
- Playing a musical instrument
- Defending your beliefs publicly
What would you like to be able to do?
What is my greatest fear that might happen?
Defend why you should truly try.
Make a list of times when you tried something and actually did better than you had expected.
What does that tell you?
How do those moments of over achieving help you on future considerations at attempting something?
Perceived Failure: This is seeing something in a particular way. Those with irrational thinking would see things in a distorted way. You see others succeed and assume you are a failure by comparison.
Whom have you wrongly compared yourself to and how did their success make you feel?
Give a school example where a friend or someone you at least knew did well on something (A+), such as a test, and you did acceptable (B-). Does this mean that you were a failure? Does this mean you should have never even tried? Might your grade have been a bit higher if your perception of the outcome had been better?
Why is it worth the effort to have the correct perception and truly try things?
List your own unique abilities and express how they can be improved upon by viewing them differently.
Actual Failure: This is real and existing failures.
What is the one failure in life that hit you hardest? Why was it so discouraging?
Why does the above failure not truly define who you are? Suppose it was that, you gave into some weakness that you were trying to overcome, would that mean you were hopeless. On the other hand, was it simply a minor setback? Does it not indicate that you simply might need a little more assistance? If you stumble in the backfield as a running back, would you take a handup to get back to the next play, or walk off the field because you are a complete failure? What do you need to do after both major and minor setbacks?
How would things change as to your outlook if you focused on the good parts of a temporary setback?
List one person that you know personally or from the media that is perfect and has never had a setback.
Overcoming This Sense of Hopelessness
You need to understand that you are, in fact, the author of your life story. Our next chapter will touch on these thoughts in more detail. What I am about to tell you will again be a shock to you. Nothing happening to you or said to you, and no event or no circumstance is causing your sense of hopelessness. You are the author of your hopelessness. You see, it is your perception of your events or circumstances that contribute to your hopeless feelings. It is what mental health professionals call cognitive distortions, but we will call it irrational or bent thinking. Every bad feeling that you have is a direct result of our bent thinking. It is called mind reading (thinking that you know what another is thinking), all-or-nothing thinking (thinking in extremes), or overgeneralization (draw too general a conclusion about something). Those who live in isolation tend to assume that no one will ever be there for them that it is they alone against the world. To undo such irrational thinking, one just has to examine the evidence. Therefore, to suggest that not one single person in your entire life has ever been in your corner to support you, is highly unlikely and bent thinking.
Those living in oppressive type environments tend to be quick to blame themselves. There is irrational thinking that is tied to your sense of powerlessness as well. For example, discounting the positive (you discount the positive about an event and see only the negative aspects), personalization (take things personally, blaming yourself for what others do and say), and labeling (you label someone based on one experience or event instead of believing that he or she made a mistake).
How to Build Your Hope
Supposed helplessness combined with hopelessness leads to depression. Very few of us are truly absolutely helpless in life. There are people paralyzed from the shoulders down, who end up painting masterpieces by holding the paintbrush in their mouth. Talk about never giving up. Moreover, we also state the not one of us needs to be hopeless. If we have hope, we can endure whatever level of helplessness that we may have. Otherwise, we would just be moving through the storms of life in abject misery. Therefore, hope is paramount to happiness.
Let us return to our football analogy from above: the running back that stumbled in the backfield, who took a hand up from a teammate to get back to the next play. Think of the football helmet that he wears. This helmet protects his head from one blow after another. No football player would ever dare play without his helmet. Nevertheless, the helmet does not mean that he will never incur a head injury. The helmet does not make him invincible, nor does it mean he feels nothing when being slammed to the turf by a defensive player. What that helmet means is that most of the blows to the head would not do fatal damage.
In the same way that the helmet protects the head, so too, hope protects your mind. Hope does not allow us not to be affected by any crisis, difficult times, setbacks or failures in life as if it were nothing. However, hope can cushion the blows that we receive from this wicked world. Hope ensures us that we will not receive a fatal blow to our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
Hope is not based on wishful thinking but is grounded in fact, reality, and the truth. Some cynics will tell you that hope is a dreamer’s way of rejecting the truth. However, genuine hope is not simply something pleasant to ponder, while very unlikely to be realized. Hope also is not the absolute belief that everything will work out all of the time either. The imperfection of man and the evilness within this world will throw water on pie-in-the-sky optimism. However, the daily news of bad things around the world will not quench your practical and balanced view of life.
The hope of a better life now and a happy future comes from knowledge, the correct mindset (way of thinking), not from wishing it so. Hope promises that if you can change your worldview, the way you see things, there will soon be evidence of successes one after the other, to fuel even more hope. This gives you the reliability of your hopes being satisfied.
Additionally, you should make certain that your hope for the future is not just an ambiguous thought. You need to make it real in your mind. Do you hope to finish high school or go on and get a college degree? Do you hope to land a job or have your own business, doing something that you love? Do you hope to find your one true love? If so, do you see yourself in that graduation gown, can you hear the voices of your friends as they throw their caps into the air. Can you close your eyes and see yourself working as a prosecutor in a criminal trial after law school? Can you smell the courtroom, feel the law books, see the judge that is presiding over the case, and hear the chains of the convict being brought into the courtroom?
Visualizing these moments is not daydreaming. Rather, it is seeing with your mind’s eye, contemplating your future reality. You need to grow your talent for mental imagery. Some people have a much higher capacity to form a mental image. The more you grow this image of you in your future, the more real it will become, and your hope will be greatly strengthened that you will be a part of it, resulting in your working hard toward your future reality. Such a firm, intense, deep and profound hope will protect you from staying down when you stumble or refusing to go on when there are setbacks, as there always is. In fact, it will become so real you; you will find yourself sharing your hope with others as though it has already happened.
Let us return to our football helmet analogy. If the football player left the helmet out in the weather so that the elements affected it, causing the fiberglass to get porous, so it would crack during a game, and he would be severely injured. Negative thinking is like the helmet of hope. It has become porous, and eventually, the helmet of hope would be useless. You need to use your journaling to identify your negative thing and replace it with rational thinking. Do not let others fool you into believing that a cynical, critical, pessimistic attitude is the same as intelligence. Truly, negative thinking demands little of the intellect.
Because humans tend to lean naturally toward wrong thinking, it can come quite naturally to a young and inexperienced mind, to have a hopeless attitude about others. Maybe it is because of a painful experience in your past. Therefore, out of despair, you reject the idea of ever accepting help from others again. Maybe you even refuse to go to qualified adults to assist you with the problem, like a teacher, your school counselor, or a coach.
You need to have a proper view of other people. True, not every adult can end our troubles. However, there are many people, who give their lives, so as to help others: such as police officers, firefighters, emergency services, counselors, teachers, and parents. Many of these are careful, thorough, meticulous, trustworthy, and reliable. They can be like a hiding place from a bad storm.
Never allow yourself to give into hopelessness just because the world that surrounds you is very treacherous and difficult to maneuver through. Hope is there at your fingertips; you just need to reach out for it, both for the present and your future. It will get you through many difficult times and help you to endure immediate problems. Remember this when your emotions toss you around like a boat at sea, it is your perception of an event that moves your emotions in any direction. A correct outlook can be like an anchor that keeps you stabilized. What you can do today is, pledge to invest in a better understanding of cognitive distortion, irrational or bent thinking.
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The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …
THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content
…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …
THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …
THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …
INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
ANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
MIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
HOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
DEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN: Daily Meditations on Scripture
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
THE SECRET HIDEAWAY ON BRIDGETON HILL
Rachael Garrison knows all the shrewd ways to successfully close multi-million-dollar real estate deals with her father’s famous New York real estate enterprise. But beyond her savvy to rake in huge deals is her premonition that an impending global takeover of the world’s financial wealth is on the horizon by evil leaders of The Great Ten Nations. From New York City to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and into the streets of Detroit her life takes on enormous purpose as
THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.