On the Wire Once Again

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“I hope everybody can find a little flame
Me, I say my prayers,
then just light myself on fire
and walk out on the wire once again.”  

Counting Crows, “Goodnight Elizabeth”

Hope is a powerful thing— nothing compares. It truly is the ‘anchor of the soul.’ Without it, life would be hopeless, and that is intolerable to a human being. We will implode without hope. The psalmist was well aware of this tendency; he speaks to himself about this. He ‘talks to himself’ which can seem a little weird to some.

“Why are you discouraged, my soul?
    Why are you so restless?
        Put your hope in God,
            because I will still praise him.
                He is my savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

Day-to-day life can be arduous. Sometimes faith falters and hopelessness becomes a deadly option. For those of us with debilitating illnesses this can be significant hazard. Depression can severely hinder us.


The writer of Psalm 42 understood this. Discouragement was a real issue, especially when he wondered what was swirling around him. (And I daresay he is not alone in this.)  

He insists a certitude. He refuses to give in to the idea that failure is final. He will not allow himself to accept the finality of hopelessness. He will not surrender himself to this idea that ‘all is lost.’ The way he battles back is seen in an inner conversation with his soul. He speaks to himself directly concerning the great faithfulness of God to his situation.

It is real, it’s definitely not fluff. He operates in reality. He can’t pretend that the feeling of despondency is imaginary, it is far too cruel and real for it not to be.

However having a hope will cement me in the goodness and mercy of God. It is the sterling silver (.925) belief that He cares for me. The verse in 42:11 ties in with praise and worship. This is no minor thing. When we praise, we break the bonds of hopelessness, in a way that our souls can know, and appreciate. It decisively disarms the depression, and fills the embattled soul with hope. Pain can be a powerful indicator of depression unchecked. But hope changes the manner of which we live.

“Every Christian who struggles with depression struggles to keep their hope clear. There is nothing wrong with the object of their hope – Jesus Christ is not defective in any way whatsoever. But the view from the struggling Christian’s heart of their objective hope could be obscured by disease and pain, the pressures of life, and by Satanic fiery darts shot against them.

All discouragement and depression is related to the obscuring of our hope, and we need to get those clouds out of the way and fight like crazy to see clearly how precious Christ is.”

–John Piper

I wish you the best even as the battle intensifies. Jesus is enough. Look around, see Him and run right to Him. Your faith will hold you.


2 Comments

  1. Hi Brian! I am so thankful for you! I know God opened a window for me to experience your gift of writing. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to my Lord for bringing your posts to me as He uses you mightily to both encourage and inspire me on the toughest days. I just wanted to say thank you for listening to God and being obedient as it warms my heart and fills me with such comfort when I read what you post but most importantly it draws me closer to Him. Thanks brother.

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  2. Hi Bryan, I thank God that you are so dedicated to reaching out to those that struggle with mental illness. This past September I had the opportunity to speak at a “Walk For Life: Depression Awareness and Suicide Prevention event. God placed it on my heart to share parts of my life story will the people in attendance and I concluded with an inspiring “Hope Acronym”. Here is a copy of it…I pray that it helps those that read it on your blog.

    HOPE

    H = Healing (seek it)
    No matter what you are going through healing is at hand so long as you do not quit!

    O = Open up and allow others to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

    P = Pain Ask God to take your pain and turn it into passion and purpose for living.

    E = Every storm of life can have a bright ending! Once healed you can be an encourager to others
    going through a similar situation.

    May today be a turning point toward hope, healing, and victory over any circumstance you or a loved one might be facing.

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

    By: Barbara Alpert © August 2014

    I’d also like to leave a link to a book that God placed on my heart to write in hopes of helping others deal with mental illness, suicidal thinking, etc. Thank You!

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