In fighting despondency, hope is your greatest weapon. Since the fall of man (Gen. 3), we have been hard wired to find our hope in everything but God. These are temporary joys, broken cisterns, and not true joy. This produces false hope. Being followers of Jesus, we know the ultimate source of true joy. There is ultimate satisfaction in knowing God. There is ultimate hope in knowing Jesus.
Rejoicing in Hope / Rejoicing in Suffering
Very early on in my experience with suffering, a very wise friend/counselor pointed me toward Romans 5.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
This is part of a larger concept called future grace. Simply put, future grace teaches you to look beyond a temporary circumstance into the eternal perspective. Hope allows you to see beyond the fog of depression, anxiety, and fear. Hope gives you the courage to cling to what is eternal. The beautiful thing about depression and anxiety is that it is always temporary. It may feel permanent, it may feel like you are drowning in an ocean of fear, but it is a very temporary experience. Cling to Jesus. His perfect love is casting out fear.
Because what is written here in Romans, and what I have experienced in my own life over the past year, I know that we serve a God who does not waste our suffering.
Look to the future, as distorted or foggy as if may seem, there is always hope.
Look to Jesus because He is our Living Hope.
Suffering produces endurance.
Endurance produces character.
Character produces hope.
Hope does not put to shame because of God’s love.
Hallelujah! Praise God, He does not waste our suffering!
Jesus is a Living Hope
Through Jesus, we have been born again into a living hope! (1 Peter 1)
Because our hope is alive, as we press hard into it, it presses back. it blesses back. it breathes back. It’s not a band-aid. It’s not a temporary solution. It’s not medication. It’s a cure.
The fight against despondency is a fight FOR hope.OUR ULTIMATE LIVING HOPE IS JESUS. Look beyond the fog of fear and press hard into Jesus. He will deliver you.
If you are having trouble finding hope in a “hopeless” situation, please seek help. You are not alone. There is no shame in reaching out, and i assure you, hope is to be found.
Scripture to Consider
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.