12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Three things are critical for the New Testament believer:
- To rejoice out of a real hope,
- a deliberate endurance,
- and a prayer life that is unceasing.
These three are vital for us if we want to be authentic saints. These three aspects must become foremost in our discipleship.
Of the three, the first is to rejoice out of a real hope is the most important. It seems like I take the most “hits” over this one. There is a constant erosion over my joy and my hope. I encounter the false belief that I will be one of the damned. A variation is that I’m ‘cursed’ by God and my life from this point is always going to be hellish and miserable. Frozen like a mosquito in ancient amber.
For me, my mental illness is a sin– the sin of despair. I don’t insist on the right terminology or of definitions. Some believe these issues are demonic. Some wonder about the use of meds, or the value of seeing a psychiatrist or going into therapy. These are all valid, but it seems like polishing the brass rails as the Titanic is seeking.
I won’t try to give answers, because there isn’t a single one to be found. There’s a complexity about the human heart, and God’s sovereign plan that I can’t venture anything. I will only suggest we give room for our own misunderstandings. Perhaps it’s the presence of Jesus we can agree on.
“Rejoice in hope,” goes a long ways to combat the enemy, our own fallenness and our own sin of despair. A ‘song to the Lord’ breaks our souls free and is the brokenbelievers true hope is the best antidepressant. But I vote we keep singing out of our cells (Acts 16:25).
6 thoughts on “Hope for the Hopeless [Joy]”
Take comfort in knowing two things. Number one, as someone above posted, it won’t last forever. The day is coming when Christ is going to welcome you into His kingdom and wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more pain or sickness or death there, only ceaseless, eternal life with our God. Number two, know that even in your sufferings, you are impacting many lives for the good of the gospel. I have followed your blog for a while now and have been touched by your struggle and your faith, as I know many others have. Whatever God allows, He has a reason for. It all has to pass through His mercy and grace in order to get to us, so I just pray He strengthen you to endure and not grow weary. May God bless you and keep you. And thanks for blogging through it all.
The important thing to remember when you are going through a seemingly endless depression is: it will not last forever.
My favorite Scripture, when everything goes wrong and I feel like I’ve fallen head-first into an endless and bottomless vortex is:
“God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – 1 Cor 14:33
Thank you so much, Pastor Bryan, for your ongoing encouragement. I hope you never drop out of doing this, because so many readers, most of whom never comment, are depending on you.
Brian, thanks for continuing to fight for faith in all these desperate, difficult seasons. I thought what you said here was absolutely brilliant:
“I won’t try to give answers, because there isn’t a single one to be found. There’s a complexity about the human heart, and God’s sovereign plan that I can’t venture anything. I will only suggest we give room for our own misunderstandings. Perhaps it’s the presence of Jesus we can agree on.”
We agree on the presence of Jesus and trust that he still draws near to the brokenhearted.
Some things have to remain a mystery, but I believe you’re suffering for the sake of Christ and the church. Who knows how many souls your suffering has helped to escape torments in life and torments after? I know i have been and continue to be aided through your life. I’m glad you’re back. Lots of Love and Prayers in our Lord. Mary
Praise God, his loving kindness never fails.
I’m so thankful to see you finding hope, clinging to the hope of Jesus. It’s an answer to the prayers of many. Peace, Linda
So good to hear from you…your own authentic, seasoned, weathered words of truth that God speaks so loudly through you even in your deepest moments of silent darkness. Thank you for struggling to share them forth. Your weary but valiant effort brings to mind Nahum 1:7: “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” I know that HE knows and He SEES you in all your innumberable pains even when the torment tells you otherwise.
Keep choosing “tomorrow” as you waiting patiently for the Lord’s help.
Much love and prayers…..
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