For nearly twenty years the clouds have followed me. For nearly two decades I have wrestled with doubt, fear, overwhelming sadness, and despair. For nearly twenty years, I have struggled with depression. Like the clouds, it comes and it goes and often it is seasonal. But when it hits, it is heavy. And lonely. And dark.
But, God, He is the God of light and life and promise and through every season He has carried me and shown me grace and mercy and tenderness. But most of all it has been His hope that has carried me through the dark seasons. And it’s the hope found in His word that gives the most comfort…
- Though he slay me, I will hope in him. (Job 13:15)
- Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 33:18)
- And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7)
- Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation. (Psalm 42:5)
- For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)
- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)
- But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him. (Lamentations 3:21-24)
- Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope. I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. (Zechariah 9:12)
- In hope he believed against hope… (Romans 4:18a)
- Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 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. (Romans 5:3-5)
- Let your hope make you glad. Never stop praying. Be joyful always. (Romans 12:12 paraphrase)
- So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:17-20)
And that’s just a few of them. And when a word comes to define what God is doing in your life, when a word from His word is what you cling to and your forgetful heart needs it ever present before your eyes a constant reminder, you write it all over the house but it’s still not enough, and sometimes you just want to write it on your skin where you can never stop seeing it. So finally one day, you do….
Hope – that anchor for the soul that gives wings to the heart.
And the battle isn’t over, but we will continue to fight, because God gives hope.
For His Glory ~