Confronting “I Can’t” with Hope

Fear began the mad dash for Brian Clark to escape the flames and smoke of the North Twin Tower in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Stuck on the 84th floor, fear mingled with hope of survival motivated him and many others to persevere down the crowded stairwell onto safety– ground zero of the streets of New York City. Without at least some shred of hope of survival, he and the many others who survived would have perished in the collapse, because once all hope is gone, all effort will cease.

What is the greatest challenge you are facing today? What seeming impossibility are you stuck in, that no matter how hard you try, you can’t improve, break free or escape the flames that seem certain to destroy? Maybe you are so discouraged that you have ceased trying or reduced your efforts to effect positive change. You feel you can’t change the troubling emotions that incessantly chase you throughout the day or loom dark over your attempts to sleep soundly at night. You keep blowing up when offended, freezing up when challenged, or giving in when tempted. You feel hopeless for influencing change in a difficult marriage, with a wayward son or daughter, or in some other significant relational pursuit.

Biblical counseling helps people regain hope every day, because without hope there is no chance of change in a crisis. If the arms of hopelessness are holding you tight, may we introduce you to a new hope?

If there is going to be any chance of change in the difficulty you face, you need hope. If you have repeatedly tried and failed, then you need to find a new hope. This issue of the Change Digest introduces you to a revolutionary and unique approach to find hope for change. It is a hope that has motivated many to miraculous personal and relational changes. You can listen to their stories on our web.

This hope does not look within yourself, hoping that affirming your ability to “just do it” with mere willpower will propel you to freedom and victory. This new hope will teach you the exact opposite! Are you ready to be radical?

You will find life-transforming hope by learning to actually affirm your inability to change yourself or another person. You will only find transforming hope by affirming the ability of Someone both strong enough and willing to help. This omnipotent Someone loves you enough to lay down his life for you. If you desire, all his resources of wisdom and power to affect change in yourself and those around you is graciously available.

Respond to your “I Can’t” thoughts with agreement that you can’t! This may sound odd but it is effective. This strange new start to a new hope begins with believing you can’t. Jesus Christ said it this way, “Just as a branch can not bear fruit unless it abides in the vine… apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

But please DON’T STOP with “I Can’t” or you will not find new hope to begin again. This negative self affirmation must lead you to the most important positive affirmation you can make – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Php 4:13). Christ is the only one both able and willing to help you. Join the millions throughout history that discovered a new hope to live by. They chose to embrace self-to-Christ paradoxical affirmations.

  • I can’t forgive me – but Christ can (1John 1:9).
  • I can’t change me – but Christ can (Galations 5:22-23).
  • I can’t positively influence my relationships – but Christ can (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).
  • I can’t find strength and provision for all my needs – but Christ can (Phillipians 4:19).
  • I can’t assure that I will live in a place of joy and delight after death, but Christ can (Johnn 14:3).

This Change Digest introduces you to the above five essential hopes for change. These are used effectively in counseling true changes in lives we see at LCBCC. We want to motivate you to try once again, building on these hopes — and this time you will succeed!

Paul, a leader in the early church that wrote much of the Bible, was at one point in such a major difficulty physically and relationally that he actually wanted to die. Have you ever been there? Here is what he learned—that God led him to such despair of life itself that he might hope in God more. “We were burdened beyond our ability that we might not hope in ourselves but in him who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)

God actually orchestrates events in our lives to stop us from hoping in ourselves and our resources, but rather to acknowledge that our limitations in our desperation drives us to His sufficiency. He desires to fill us with joy and peace by believing that He alone is able to help. He not only can help, but promises repeatedly in the Bible to help. Do you want what God is offering?

If you are interested in finding new hope, then read on through this Change Digest. These articles on hope will empower true change in your life. As you read, remember this is just an introduction to this unique hope. We have developed an extensive free course on these five hopes with a manual and five audio lessons, “Abounding in Hope.” You can access these today at LCBCC.org. Call us at (843) 278-0072‬ if you would like to receive personalized counseling to experience this new hope for change. Our Biblical counselors are here to help.

May these five hopes do for you what they continue to do for me and countless others. May they comfort you in your temptation to doubt, and confront you in your temptation to quit.

May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing…. that you may ABOUND IN HOPE! (Romans 15:13).