“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)
Life has a way of taking us through painful seasons. So painful, in fact, we can even start to feel hopeless. It’s hard to talk about our hopeless feelings sometimes. We think, If they knew the real me, would they still love me? If I tell them I feel depressed, will they think less of me? I know I asked those questions when I battled a season of depression.
For us to walk through suffering in a healthy way, we need to have a strong understanding of the Christian life. God never promised us a life free of pain. Today’s verse reminds us trouble is inevitable. So during our grief, despair, and hopelessness, what do we do? Is there hope?
Here are three things to keep in mind when feeling hopeless:
First, we must remember, we are not alone. The enemy will do his absolute best to convince us we are the only ones feeling this way. That’s a lie. We can rely on the promises of God, even if our feelings don’t match what His Word tells us. That doesn’t mean we ignore our feelings; feelings are natural. But we can’t allow our feelings to determine our actions. Instead, we need to allow God’s truth to determine our steps.
Second, we cannot fight alone. It’s tempting to distance ourselves from family, friends, and church when we feel hopeless. But we can’t forget that God uses people. When I was depressed, it was tempting to stop attending church and ignore phone calls from friends and family. The more isolated I became, the more I was tempted to fill my time alone with things like binge eating or excessive shopping. Isolation is not the answer. We need a place to process our pain, feelings, and questions; and friends and family can offer that safe place.
Finally, don’t lose sight of God’s love. Even when we are anxious, scared, depressed, lonely, and hopeless, He still loves us. God’s love for us does not fluctuate based on our performance. His passion is constant. Psalm 36:5 says, “…Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.” On our best day and on our worst day, God loves us just the same. Let us never forget what a good, loving, and faithful God we serve. In our darkest moments, Christ calls all of us to run to Him. Matthew 11:28 says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’”
If you believe in Jesus, you are never without hope. If you find yourself in a season of depression, know that you are not alone. There is hope, and hope has a name. His name is Jesus, and you can come to Him right now, just as you are.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
- Have you experienced a time when you felt depressed and hopeless? Think of a safe person you can share your story with and then reach out to them.
- If you are currently feeling depressed and hopeless and don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to, call (800) 525-5683 to speak with one of our pastors. We would love to pray for you.