Hope in God

The Psalmist was having a bad day, actually a string of bad days. He then sat down and had a talk with himself and asked himself a question we all need to ask on occasion. His nation was divided, the temple destroyed, and the promise of a coming Messiah unfulfilled. The people were destitute and the situation desperate. His faith reasons with his fear, and his hope argues with his sorrow. To sit down and search out answers to these deep questions is expedient. A clear view of life can make monsters shrink into mice. The Psalmist analytically asked,

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him.” (Psalm 42: 5) Ask yourself that.

Hope in God is a good anchor. The self-interrogator implies there is no logical reason for his depression. In it all his hope in the Lord prevailed. He concluded: 

“Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

That describes the condition of many in our society. Fear grips their emotions like a wolf the throat of a lamb. They are in the process of giving up. This state of being is a summary of a depressed person.

Not to excuse depression, but in order to encourage the depressed, consider some Bible characters who were depressed.

MOSES  = “I am not able to bear all these people…kill me….” (Numbers 11: 14, 15)

ELIJAH  = “O Lord…take away my life.” (I Kings 19:4)

JEREMIAH  = “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears, that I might weep day and night….”  (Jeremiah 9:1)

ISAIAH  =  called depression “the spirit of heaviness.” (61:3)

JONAH  = “O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life….” (Jonah 4:3)

PAUL  = “…despaired even of life….” (II Cor. 1:8)

To be most effective this hope must be Christo-centric. Timothy expresses this in four all-inclusive words: “Christ Jesus our hope….” (I Timothy 1: 1).

Dr. Harold Esecover of the Columbia Psychoanalytic School noted: “I doubt that there is a person around who hasn’t been touched by depression.” 

It is so common it is often called “the common cold of emotional problems.”

“Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”      

Some forms of deep depression need clinical help. Don’t have any reluctance to seek it.

Some are caused by being overloaded. Evaluate your activities and sort them into three categories. Then – – –  ELIMINATE some, DELEGATE some, and DEDICATE the rest.

“Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”