What have I left to hope upon?
As I write this on Thursday, May 14 the Covid-19 world-wide death toll has reached 300,000. Personally, within the past few weeks four persons have died from other causes among our sphere of relatives and friends. One other has come very near death, but thanks to the prayers of many and grace of the Lord, is recovering.
Additionally, numerous families are experiencing domestic tensions as emotions are aggravated by prolonged isolation stress. Depression affects many. Amid such loss and disruption it is easy to feel helpless… even hopeless. Even believers may be tempted to ask, “What have I left to hope upon?”
Does that surprise you? It ought not. Several of God’s most noted servants experienced this depth of depression…
Moses was depressed. He cried, “But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” (Exod. 32:32).
Elijah was depressed. He complained, “I have had enough Lord… Take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4).
David was depressed many times and for many reasons: the death of his sons, the guilt of his sins, the need for God’s touch. He prayed, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps. 42:11).
Job was depressed. He lamented, “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11). “I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:26). “Terrors overwhelm me…my life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones, my gnawing pains never rest.” (Job 30:15-17)
Jeremiah was depressed. He moaned, “Cursed be the day I was born…why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” (Jer. 20:14, 18).
Jesus was depressed too! He said to His disciples, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death” (Mark 14:34), and Luke records how, as He wrestled in prayer with the Father, “His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
Yet each of the above godly men found hope and experienced great blessing.
Moses & Elijah: It is Interesting to me that these two most often cited examples of servants of God who experienced depression ended up being the two most honored and exalted of men experiencing divine intervention at the ends of their earthy lives (God buried Moses and raptured Elijah) and it was these two saints who were later privileged to stand with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration!
David repeatedly drew strength from God: “My soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Ps. 62:5-6).
Job yet testified: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” (Job 19:25-26). “…He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10).
Jeremiah took hope in His own prophecy for Israel: “…I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11).
Yes, fiery trials accompanying in this life, but they should not surprise us. “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” wrote Peter (1 Pet. 4:12). Jesus told us in advance “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33a), But what does He add? “Take heart!” He says. “I have overcome the world.” (v33b).
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.