Desperation is one of the most dangerous feelings a single person can have.
It's dangerous because anxious, despairing people often do things without thinking about the long-term consequences. This sense of panic can cause you to make bad decisions. It can trick you into thinking that if don't act now, you'll never have another chance.
We don't talk about Satan much at inspiration-for-singles.com, but desperation must be one of his most-used traps. This feeling of hopelessness can detour singles off God's path and put us on a wrong path. By the time we realize the truth, we've lost months--maybe years--that we can never get back. There's an old saying about sin:
Sin takes your farther than you wanted to go, keeps you longer than you wanted to stay, and costs you more than you wanted to pay.
So how do you defend yourself against this problem of desperation? What can you do, as a Christian single, to conquer this state of mind?
Every second, the universe keeps running, more precise than a Swiss watch. The earth doesn't crash into other planets, days and nights come and go, and the seasons turn exactly as they always have. Stars and galaxies interact meticulously. Our God created every bit of this, he orders it and he controls it.
But he is also a personal God, and he is just as concerned about your life as he is with any cosmic bodies in his universe. This unspeakably powerful God hears your prayers. He loves you and cares for you, no matter how things may seem in your life.
When you're feeling desperate, it's easy to believe that God has forgotten you. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's when you're feeling helpless that God is closest to you.
God gives each person unique talents and abilities--including you. You may not feel that's true, but if you look back on your life, calmly and objectively, you'll be able to remember situations in which you brought your skills to bear to solve problems.
If you feel that your situation is too much to handle, it could be that you're just trying to handle too much at a time. Even the most overwhelming situations can be broken down into smaller chunks. We live life one moment at a time, one hour at a time.
Sometimes it's a struggle to even live one day at a time, but focusing sharply on the task at hand takes a lot of the intimidation out of life. Jesus told us not to be anxious about tomorrow. If you prepare for tomorrow by doing the best you can today, you'll rob tomorrow of many of its fears.
Are you expecting and praying for a solution to fall into your lap, with no effort on your part? God gave you intelligence and abilities to do what you have to do. A potential spouse can't find you unless you put yourself in places where potential spouses can be found. And I'm not talking about bars here. Too often the people you meet in bars will not share your Christian values.
Besides the help of God, you also have the help of friends and family, if you're willing to ask for it. Often friends want to help but don't know what they can do. You may have to make your request very specific. You have to be humble enough to accept help, too. People can be remarkably understanding and kind once you tell them what's really going on in your life.
Having close friends or family members who support you and stick by you can also take much of the scariness out of your situation. The Bible tells us that two are better than one, because if one falls, the other can help him or her up.
Today, there's a wide variety of government help available for various situations too. The key is to be persistent. If one agency can't help you, ask them who can, and don't give up. Don't be too proud to ask; at one time you paid taxes--a lot of taxes--to support these bodies, and now it's time for a return on your investment.
Desperation can come about when you think you've exhausted all your options. But that's rarely the case. God can show you new ways, and he can make a way when it seems there is none.
If you're in your car and want to get to Philadelphia but you end up in Pittsburgh, you've taken the wrong road. No matter how many times you take the road to Pittsburgh, it's not going to get you to Philadelphia.
That's obvious when we're driving, but not so obvious in life. If what you're doing now isn't getting you to where you want to go, it's time to try a different way. Just make sure your different way still follows God's ways.
We singles often get in the habit of trying to rush God. We hear the clock ticking or see the calendar turning and want what we want right now. But when you do all that you can do to bring about the change you want, when you try new approaches, and when you keep praying, you can live with a sense of expectancy, watching for opportunities.
The more you trust in God, the more confident you'll feel that the right opportunity will come your way. That's the difference between living in desperation and living in hope and faith.
Change can take time. And patience. You can move beyond desperation to a closer relationship with God, but it won't happen immediately. Give yourself time, and be patient and forgiving with yourself. God doesn't want you to be desperate. He wants you to be dependent on him.
God can be trusted. He does want the best for you. Grasping those truths will take time and effort on your part. Jesus never acted out of desperation or hopelessness, and he wants that same assurance in your life.
Ask God to deepen your faith in him. The more your faith in him grows, the less desperate you'll feel.
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