When you feel like your misery and difficulty is hopeless, when you feel like giving up, when you feel like praying would be useless because there simply is no way out of your miserable and desperate situation, then cry out to the Lord. Remember God is mighty to save, he makes all things new, he is able and willing to help.
My favorite novel is Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. The title refers to an untranslatable term used to describe the most wretched and hopeless class of urban poor. Ironically, my snobbish sensibilities were irked when people pronounced it in an Anglicized mangling: “Less Miserables.” But then I got over it. The story is, after all, in a very real sense, about becoming less miserable.
My favorite part of the book is where the protagonist, Jean Valjean, is arrested for stealing all the silverware from the seraphic Bishop of Digne’s house. He claims the bishop gave it to him, so the police drag him to the bishop to disprove the lie. When he arrives, the bishop surmises the predicament and pre-empts the question by saying, “My dear fellow you forgot the candlesticks I gave you too.”
Thus, his goodness and love for the guilty thief bought Valjean’s freedom. There were no conditions and no obligations. But that act of kindness spurs Valjean on throughout the rest of the novel to live up to the type of person the bishop knew he could be.
The way to be less miserable in life is to realize that God’s goodness and love have bought you freedom, with no strings attached. And as you revel in that goodness and unconditional love, it inspires you to become the type of person God declares you to be.
The psalmist teaches us this in Psalm 107.