You may have found yourself in such a horrible pit in life, that you may have asked yourself this question or fleetingly thought it in your mind. Am I beyond hope?

You may have looked on your situation, your age, your past, what people have said about you and are still saying about you and wondered if you were too far gone for any meaningful change to be made in your life. You may have wondered, if you went too far, took too long to get things right with the Lord or have too much of a sinful track record, for God to still want you or to still consider you (if you are saved), to be one of his dearly loved children.

Life has a way of throwing such vicious arrows and laughing at us in our adversities, that we may have all been tempted at one point or another, to entertain such thinking, even if briefly. We may have wondered at times if we were under some perpetual curse cloud and whether almighty God was so fed up of us, that he had given up on us and decided to withhold his grace. To add insult to injury, we see others around us, basking in glorious sunshine but we seem to forever be sheltering from one storm of trying circumstance or the other.

Keeping this theme in mind, this morning, I found a sermon on the very issue of despairing in life and God’s bountiful grace, which was delivered by one of God’s servants, Charles Spurgeon, on 27th August, 1882.

Charles Spurgeon (deceased) is a man who lived boldly for the Lord and preached and taught his truth without apology. He is a man whose ministry I respect, as I have seen and heard from his many sermons and writings, how mightily God operated in his life. He was a stalwart for the faith, a mightily used servant of God and although he passed the scene many eons ago, he has left such a legacy, that God still uses his preaching and teachings, to bless others. His sermons recorded in audio and written form, still bring conviction, to both the saved and unsaved and serves to edify the saints.

In particular, his message on despair, though delivered so many years ago is relevant to us today. Even as Christians, we can sometimes fall into feelings of despair for different reasons. People can so provoke us, harass us, trouble us, viciously attack us, express how impossible our situation seems to them and behave as if we are in such a mess and are so hopeless, constantly reminding us of our plight and rubbing salt into our wounds, that their efforts, serve to discourage us. Battling our own thoughts, those planted by the enemy and the seeds of doubt that people sow, we grow tired and weary of fighting, tempted to throw up our hands in futility and thinking that somehow, God has shut us out, has rejected us, turned his back on us and is refusing to hear our prayer. For some, we have tried our very best for years and years and years, yet, we keep failing, keep being stuck in the same circumstance, even in the face of much ridicule, criticism, cruel commentary and condemnation from others. All we seem to inherit is dust.

Yet, irrespective of where we find ourselves in life, how much we have messed up, the extent of our failures, how weak and overwhelmed by life we might feel and how low in the valley we may be, Charles Spurgeon reminds us of the awesome power of God and his grace. In his sermon “Despair Denounced And Grace Glorified“, he pronounced on the danger of despair, both for an unbeliever and the believing Christian, declaring it a wicked thing. For, he reminds us that no matter our current situation, there is ALWAYS hope in Jesus. No human being, once in the land of the living therefore, lives without hope. This applies to the unsaved man, the saved man seeking to live for Christ but encountering adversity and the saved man who has backslidden or found himself fallen into some sin, whether considered small or great.

We must never allow our circumstances, our thoughts, our past, the devil’s suggestions, what people say about us or how they treat us, to make us so discouraged, that we fall into feelings of despair and hopelessness. God forbid! Even when we are at our wit’s end (the situation that I currently find myself in), we must not cast away our hope, in Jesus. We must therefore guard against despair by clinging to God’s Word and believing it, no matter what. We may not have a solution to our problems or the strength to go on but Jesus does! We must therefore cast ourselves and all of our burdens on HIM.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus encouraged us to come to him and to give him our troubles. He said:

  • “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


In his sermon, Spurgeon stated:

“It is a good thing if our false hopes are lost; but true hope is still to be had. Hope is not denied to any man: if he will believe in Jesus he may yet be saved.

…To despair is an unwarrantable thing, a thing full of sin, and fraught with mischief, besides being false and unreasonable…Despair, which is the mind’s declaration that there is no hope, is not so much a sickness of the understanding, as a sin of the soul. It is a crime against the truth, a high offence against the Lord of love. God is “the God of hope,” and those who are without hope are also without God. No mortal has a just pretence, to perish in despair, and if he does so, despair is a form of suicide, a form of wilful self-destruction. No man has a right to despair; no man can be right while he is despairing…

Despair is a high insult to God; it casts dishonour upon his chief attributes. In the first place it is most derogatory to the truth of God. If a man says, “I cannot be saved,” he contradicts the divine voice, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” God has sent the gospel to men, and it is no other than good news to them; but despair virtually says it is no gospel, it is no good news. God has set up a throne of grace, and promises there to meet with the sinner; but this man professes that there is no throne of grace, for he denies that there can be any grace for him. He refuses to come to the loving Father because he feels sure that he will show no mercy, though he has declared that he will do so.

God has given a thousand precious promises, such as this: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The despairing sinner says he does not believe this: his sin is too scarlet to be made white, the crimson of his guilt is too ingrained ever to be washed away. Thus he gives God’s promises the lie, and this is a daring thing to do. “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

It would be an exceedingly heinous offence for me to stand up and say to the Great Physician, “Thou sayest, ‘I can heal thee,’ but it is an empty boast: my wound is incurable. Great God, thou sayest, ‘I can forgive thee,’ but it is false; my sins are such as thou canst never pass by.”

Mark you, brethren, the Lord our God is very jealous of his truthfulness. His name is “God that cannot lie,” and he that dares to say that he will break his promise has done him sore despite. I need not surely show the infamy of this crime. Let your own hearts condemn the treasonable thought.

He that despairs, insults God’s power. He doth in effect tell the Lord that he pretends to a power which he does not possess. God saith, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”: the man saith he will not trust in Christ, for he does not believe that God can save him: he declares that he has gone beyond the bounds of mercy, and so he tells the ever gracious One, that he has no power to save him. The Lord loves not that his omnipotence should be thus denied. He is grieved with those who thus limit the Holy One of Israel. They that would restrain his power, shut out one of the brightest beams of his glory.

But despair abundantly casts dishonour upon God’s mercy. Know ye not that his mercy endureth for ever? “The Lord God merciful and gracious” is one of the ways of his manifestation. Has he not told us that he “delighteth in mercy”? Yet if you say, “He will not have mercy upon me, I have out-sinned his grace, I have gone beyond all possibility of forgiveness,” you do as much as lies in your power, spit in the face of the God of love.

Have you ever thought of this? Grieve to think that you have ever grieved him in this fashion. This is the cruellest of sins; it aims its dagger at the heart of the Lord; it pierces the Redeemer’s hands and feet. The Lord glories in his power to save, and he has plainly declared that he will save all those who confess their sins and put their trust in him; and do we doubt him? Dare we so derogate from the glory of the Most High as to say that there remains no hope of grace for us? Shame on such insulting falsehood!   

Mark you, while it does this, which is bad enough, despair brings out the devil and crowns him in Christ’s stead. Despair says to Satan, “Thou art victorious over the mercy of God; thou hast conquered Christ himself.” Christ saith that he is revealed that he may destroy the works of the devil, and you stand up and say, “Here are certain of the devil’s works which Jesus cannot destroy, namely, my sin and my sinful inclinations.” You wave the flag of the devil in the face of an insulted Saviour; and whereas he is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, you in fact tell him that he has not half the power to save that Satan has to destroy, that Satan can be more successful in destruction than Christ can be effectual in saving…Can you assert that he, the father of lies, is more worthy of belief than the Christ who died that men might live? Yet despair says as much as this, and says it in the most offensive manner. It prefers Beelzebub to Jesus; for it believes the lie of hell and rejects the word from heaven.

I go a little farther, and I say, with a deep feeling of solemnity, that this heinous sin of despair tramples on the blood of Christ. Christ has died and shed his blood, and we know that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. We have God’s word for it; yet here is a man who says, “It cannot cleanse me from my sin.” If we look deep into the essence of actions, we shall see that despair despises the atonement and denies its efficacy. We tell the man that there is forgiveness, but he mutters, “It is not for me”: we tell him that Jesus Christ has emptied his veins to fill a sin-cleansing fountain, and he answers: “It may be true; he may be able to save all others, but not me.”

Now, what you have a right to say other people may also say; and if all united with you it would be tantamount to declaring that the crucifixion is an empty show, that the Redeemer’s atonement is a mere pretence, and that Christ is powerless to save. You reduce the Saviour to an impotent pretender; and can this be done with impunity? We preach in vain if this be so; we preach a Saviour who cannot save, an atonement which cannot cleanse. Will not God deal with you for this, if you persist in this provocation?

Perhaps you think it is very humble of you to talk so, but it is not: it is the height of arrogant impudence. Despair is highly insulting to the dear Redeemer, the glory of whose person is involved in his power to forgive. Remember, Judas who despaired was damned, while the men who crucified Christ were led by Peter’s sermon to believe and live. Great sinners who believe shall find mercy; but far less offenders who despair, shall find misery. God save you, then, from the Judas sin of despairing, and enable you to believe in Jesus Christ at once.

 …Despair has something in it of sinning against the Holy Ghost; for the Holy Spirit brings you rich cordials in the promises of God, which will raise your spirits and will restore you from death; and what do you do with them? You take them and dash them against the wall; as if this almighty medicine, devised by infinite wisdom, were the deceitful nostrum of a quack, and you could not receive it. It seems to me a great and horrible offence to deny the testimony of the Spirit of God, even of him who gives to the Holy Scriptures inspiration and certainty, and this you do, when you refuse to believe for eternal life.

Jesus has put it before you himself, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” How can you think that he will cast you out? The prophet cries, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come buy wine and milk without money and without price.” But despair answers, “There is no wine and no milk for me,” and it denies that grace is to be had without price. In the teeth of Scripture it declares that there is no pardon, no mercy, no salvation: thus it denies the witness of the Spirit of God. Oh, take heed, despairing one, lest it be said to thee, “Thou hast not given the lie unto men, but unto God.” It is a master sin, this sin of despair. God save you from it if you are in danger of falling into it, or if you are already its prisoner.

When a man gives way to despair, there comes upon him usually a habit of wrangling against God and his truth. Oh, see him at it. He is very low, and he comes to see the minister, and the minister’s compassionate soul would comfort him in a moment if it were possible, and therefore he begins to talk to him about the gospel. “But,” says the other, and he introduces a tough question which throws the gospel out of sight. “Oh,” saith the minister, “but God heareth prayer.” “No, no,” says the man, and he begins quarrelling about prayer, and its disagreement with divine decrees, and so forth.

The man snarls like a dog, not to keep his bone, but as if he begged to have good food taken away from him. He does not want it. His soul abhorreth all manner of meat. The minister sets before him a precious promise which he thinks will certainly meet his case, but the perverse mind strives against it, and fights with the promise as if it were his direst enemy. It is not a promise that suits his case at all; there is a word in it which he does not understand, and off he goes at a tangent, beclouding the word, and eclipsing its light, so that he may, if possible, keep himself from being comforted.

If God’s people come and try to cheer him with their experience, he fights against their experience tooth and nail: it may be theirs, but it never can be his: there is something particular and peculiar about them why they should have mercy, and something equally particular and special about him why he should not have mercy. He has the key of the door of hope, and locks it on the inside, and then murmurs, “I am shut up, and cannot come forth”; whereas he fastens the door himself.

Sometimes the despairing one gets into such a nasty, ugly temper against everything that comes to him from the Bible and from the ministers of God, that you begin to think that he must be half mad. So perhaps he is, but it is not a madness that saves him from responsibility; it is a madness which will be laid to his charge in the great day of account, because it is self-inflicted and wilfully persisted in. Oh, what a wrangling, contentious spirit will despair breed, so contrary to receiving the kingdom of heaven as a little child!

Worse than this, despair makes a man ready for any sin, for there are many that say, “I can never go to heaven, therefore I will take a good swing here, and get what pleasure I can while it is within reach.” Have I not heard them say, if not in words yet in their actions,— “There is no mercy for me, and I may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. I will go the whole hog now I am at it; I will, at least, know the heights and depths of sin, as there is no chance of mercy for me”?

Ah, and when Satan takes a man in another temper, he tells him that God will never forgive him, and the poor creature sits down in sullen rebellion, murmurs, thinks hard things of God, wishes he had never been born, and curses the day in which it was said that a man-child had seen the light. Then he will be filled with blasphemous thoughts, and it may even come to pass that he rushes into self-destruction and takes a leap into sure perdition. How many have been driven by despair to the knife, and to the halter, or to a watery grave I cannot tell! But this I know, that if Satan can once fill a man’s mind with that, and make him say that God is not true, that the gospel is not true, or at least not true to him, then the enemy glories and cries, “I have him, body and soul. I can do anything with him now.”

It was said of the Russian soldiers that they would not go to the battle till they were drunk with raki, and certainly some men are champions for the devil when they are drugged by despair of pardon. Captain Pasthope is a fierce leader of bandits, and will do and dare the blackest crimes.

With all my might I cry to you,— above all things shun despair, NEVER say your hope is lost. There is salvation for you yet. God has NOT cast you away. Oh, do not cast away yourself! What are you at? The Lord has not given you over to the tormentors, but you are writing your own sentence. You sit down and seem to think that you cannot be happy till you are thoroughly unhappy, and cannot be at rest till you are driven from all peace.

I must still plead with you over this matter. Let me say further, despair degrades a man, degrades him below the brute beast; for brutes do not despair. See how an insect will struggle, even when it is cut in halves. Look at a poor bird: what hope it has even in its worst state, of yet escaping the fowler’s net; still it flutters, and does its best to get away. Will you despair where ants and wasps and birds still hope?

Have you never seen a dog that had done something wrong, and has been beaten by its master? He tries to lick the hand that has beaten him, and he cannot be happy till he is forgiven. Poor creature, how it looks up for a smile! You have been chastened, you are smarting under it now, but you do not turn to God, nor seek his favour. You think worse of God than your dog thinks of you. Instead of crouching to his feet, as your poor dog does to you, to try and get a gracious word, you growl at the great Lord— “It is of no use for me to be humble: there is no hope.” You slander the Almighty, you calumniate the name of Jesus Christ, you deny the power of the Spirit of God, and so you degrade yourself below the beast that perisheth.

Oh this despair— avoid it, I pray you, as you would avoid death itself, for it will render all means of grace useless to you. If ye will not believe, neither shall ye be established. If you fall into despair, the songs of Zion will be dolorous ditties in your ears, and the preaching of the gospel might as well be the preaching of the law. See how a despairing man shuts his ears, like the deaf adder that will not hear, charm you never so wisely; it matters not what the theme may be— if it be infinite mercy, free forgiveness and everlasting love, yet as long as the soul is despairing, you do but make it the more wretched. The hopeless hearer rejects all consolation, his soul refuseth to be comforted, and his despair embitters every morsel he eats and every drop he drinks.

Despair, too, is certainly vain and wicked, because it has no Scripture whatever to support it. “Oh,” say you, “but there are many dark Scriptures.” I know there are, but I have not time this morning to take them up one by one, and show that they need not lead any man to despair; but there is one text in the Bible which covers all texts, be they black as they may. I do not mind what the passages of Scripture are, nor what they testify: I am sure they speak the truth, and therefore I know they cannot speak contrary to other parts of divine revelation. Here is the famous text: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

If you come to Christ you cannot be cast out anyhow. “Oh, but there is a text.” I do not care about your text: you misunderstand your text, but there is no misunderstanding this one: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

“Oh, but he will cast me out because.” Stop now. Are you going to contradict my Lord Jesus Christ? I cannot have patience with you. You will greatly provoke the Father. “I will in no wise cast out.” That means, for no sort of reason, under no circumstances, under no possible conditions, will Christ ever cast out a man that comes to him.

“Oh, but do listen to me.” No, I shall not listen to you, and I wish you would not listen to yourself. You must listen to me as I repeat the Lord’s words,— “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” You are not to be listened to when you want to make out God to be false. Oh intolerable sin! Jesus says he will not cast you out. Again he cries: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Does Christ mean that, or not? Look the Crucified One in the face: look at his wounds, and after having looked at them, say, “I do not believe him: Christ lies unto me!” Will you dare to say it? Can you thus defame him? I tell you, there is nothing within the covers of this Book that ought to lead a man to have any doubt about the infinite mercy of God to him, provided he will just come and trust himself with Christ.

There is no God at all if a soul that trusts in Jesus can be cast away, for the essential of Godhead is truth. I am an atheist, if the God in whom I have believed, casts away those that trust in his Son Jesus. He must be true, if every man be proved a liar. What say you, then, to that blessed word, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”?

Now, listen, thou desponding one, on the border of desperation! Hast thou never heard of the freeness of God’s mercy? Dost thou not know that everything that he bestows on sinners is given freely and graciously? The ground of God’s love is God’s love, and nothing in us. When he made his eternal choice there was a remnant according to the election of grace. It is free grace that chooses for its love, and then loves for its choice. When Christ redeemed us, he did it freely— he freely delivered himself up for us all: when he pardons sins, he is “exalted on high to give repentance,” and there is nothing freer than a gift,— “to give repentance and remission of sins.”

All thou hast to do is to own to the truth that thou hast sinned and deprived thyself of all claim upon God, and then believe what God declares to thee, that he is in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. Do but accept this word of reconciliation, and thou art a saved man as sure as thou livest. The moment thou believest that Jesus is the Christ, the moment thou dost trust thy soul wholly and entirely in those dear hands that were pierced for thee, thou art a saved man.

What right hast thou to doubt that God can save thee when everything is prepared and given of free grace? I tell thee the Lord Jesus has saved many others like thee. Art thou a harlot? Did he not save the harlot Rahab? Art thou exceeding wicked? You are not worse than Manasseh, who is said to have cut Isaiah in halves with a saw, and filled the streets of Jerusalem with blood; and yet the Lord saved him. I know that even though thou be the worst that has ever lived, still thou canst not outrun my Master’s wing-footed grace. Paul said he was the chief of sinners, but he obtained mercy to be a pattern to you.

Why talk, then, of sullenly lying down in despair. You sigh— ah, if thou mindest not what thou art at, what thou sayest in thy despair will come true through thine own making it so. If a man says, “I shall die, I shall die of starvation,” and there is a dish before him, and he will not eat, I am afraid that the probabilities are that he will die of starvation, and it will serve him right. If another person cries, “I shall die of thirst,” and there is a cup of drink before him and he will not put it to his mouth, I fear that he will die of thirst; and (I come to where I was before) he will die a suicide. He that refuses to eat, and therefore dies, is as much a suicide as if he stabbed himself to the heart; and he that will not believe God’s mercy, and will not accept it in Christ, is a soul-suicide as surely as if he plunged into debauchery, and gave himself up to every lust. Oh that God the Holy Spirit would overcome some of you this morning, who have yielded to this great and grievous sin.”

(Uploaded on 28th December, 2022)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ page:

  • Note 14 – ‘Feeling Depressed? Realign Your Focus!’
  • Note 42 – ‘When That Door Wouldn’t Budge’
  • Note 50 – ‘Making Sense Of The Awful Stillness – The Process Of Metamorphosis’
  • Note 70 – ‘Has He Forgotten Me?’
  • Note 31 – ‘God Loves Persistence – Fight On!’
  • Note 112 – ‘Lessons I Learned From The Lazarus Story’
  • Note 135 – ‘Are You At A Low Point In Life And Feeling Depressed Or Distressed?’
  • Note 154 – ‘They Say I Can’t But By God’s Grace I Will’
  • Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
  • Note 305 – ‘The Lady With The Issue Of Blood’

Also under the ‘BIBLE-Believing’ page:

  • Note 36 – ‘Faith In God vs Faith In Our Circumstances, People’s Opinions And Our Own Feelings’
  • Note 71 – ‘…But God’
  • Note 74 – ‘Whose Report Will You Believe?’
  • Note 80 – ‘We Serve A ‘Let There Be’ God’
  • Note 81 – ‘Are You One That Has To See Before You Can Believe?’
  • Note 82 – ‘Unbelief Cannot Come’
  • Note 104 – ‘If That Tree Could Talk’
  • Note 106 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases.’
  • Note 124 – ‘It Is Well’
  • Note 125 – ‘When God Promises To Write-On A Write-Off’
  • Note 127 – ‘Left For Dead…Then Resurrected’
  • Note 174 – ‘Grace And Glory – The Lord Will Help Me’
  • Note 242 – ‘Feeling Defeated? Check Your Armour’
  • Note 267 – ‘The Christian And Cloud 9’

Additionally, under the ‘BROKEN Daughters’ page:

  • Note 2 – ‘Would God Want Me Back Now?’
  • Note 4 – ‘Once You Repent, There Is Always Hope In Jesus’
  • Note 5 – ‘Forgiveness, The Sea Of Forgetfulness And Freedom’
  • Note 12 – ‘After Repentance – Deliverance From Guilt And Shame’
  • Note 19 – ‘What Jesus Thinks Of You Is All That Matters’
  • Note 20 – ‘God’s Power To Save Is Greater Than Your Sin’
  • Note 22 – ‘After Repentance, Must You Wear A Perpetual Badge Of Shame?’
  • Note 26 – ‘The Dying Thief’
  • Note 27 – ‘He Is The God Of Second Chances’
  • Note 29 – ‘Of All People, God Chose…’
  • Note 30 – ‘His Grace Is Sufficient And His Blood Is Enough’
  • Note 31 – ‘A Magnificent Work Of Grace’
  • Note 32 – ‘Until These Calamities Be Overpast’
  • Note 37 – ‘His Heart Is For Reconciliation And Restoration’
  • Note 40 – ‘ When Life Throws You Lemons’
  • Note 41 – ‘Do You Feel Broken?’
  • Note 44 – ‘Walking And Leaping And Praising God’
  • Note 47 – ‘A Sea Of Trouble’
  • Note 50 – ‘Hedged In: A Sea Of Hurt’



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