"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God." (2 Corinthians 4:1-2 ESV)
Human hands have never been able to bring about what was most needed. Human wisdom has failed to heal humanity. If humanity is our hope, then all is lost. Our best efforts have done little to tip the scales in any true positive direction. The history of mankind is a sad tale of repeated failures and a seeming incapacity to learn from the past. Humanity’s track record really leaves no reason for hope.
So why do we not lose hope completely?
Though humanity in and of itself is hopeless, mercy came down bearing a hope not crafted by man’s wisdom or design and offered it freely to all. God, from the depths of His love for His children, chose to give an unshakable hope for this life by promising and then providing a way to be made new. He made a new way and promised to walk with us in it.
With many clients, we'll be tempted to lose hope. We'll see them repeat the same self-destructive patterns time and time again. We'll offer the wisdom of God’s Word and see them nod with an understanding that seems to evaporate the moment they leave our office. We'll see their situations go from bad to worse, despite our sincerest efforts. And yet, our reason for hope will not have changed.
God is not hindered by our failures. He is not slowed down by our stubbornness. God is able to make all things new and, in a moment's time, restore what has been defiled. Our hope is in Him for He has faithfully shown His willingness and ability to save the lost causes of humanity. No one is beyond His reach.
There is no greater hope we can offer our clients in any situation than the hope God has given. May this truth shape the way we counsel. May it inform our method of care for our clients. And may it fill our hearts with peace when we face seemingly dry and fruitless seasons in our ministry to others.