Focus: Jumpstarting Hope
Lamentations 3:26 (NKJV) It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Hope is all about the future. We don’t hope in the past—it’s over! And there’s no going back and doing things again anyway. In the deepest stages of depression, it’s hard to hope at all. You have trouble imagining any kind of a future because your whole life seems to be in such a mess.
After you’ve been through difficult times, it can be a little scary to allow yourself to hope. You’re afraid of the disappointment you’ve felt in the past when things didn’t turn out as you had ‘hoped’. But, hope is a good thing.
The Bible says that it’s good to hope. Hope is healthy for your mind and your body. Proverbs 13:12 says, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.’
In other words, hope has everything to do with life and health. When hope is lost, the heart becomes sick. But, when something that has been hoped for comes to pass, the results are like a tree that branches out in all directions brimming with life.
So, how do we ‘lose’ hope?
Chances are, somewhere in your background, something you hoped for didn’t come to pass—which allowed a seed of depression to be planted in your heart. As things continued to ‘go wrong’, each additional disappointment added to the strength of the original root. By harboring and nurturing that root, depression became a stronghold.
Disappointment doesn’t have to lead to depression, but it often does. In a nutshell, you suffered a disappointment. Because of the pain of your disappointment, you chose not to hope. Without hope in your heart, it became ‘sick’.
Hope is an antidote for depression. A cure. When you have hope, you thrive. But if you have lost hope, how do you get it back? What can you do to jumpstart hope?
Romans 15:4 says, ‘For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.’
Proverbs 4:20-22 adds, ‘My son, pay attention to what I am saying; incline your ear to my words. Don’t let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to their whole being.’
So, it’s fair to say that the Word of God is life and health. If we compare Proverbs 4:22, to the words of Proverbs 13:12 that says in essence, ‘when something that was hoped for comes to pass, it is a tree of life’ we could conclude that the Word of God is life and we could also conclude that when something hoped for comes to pass, it creates a tree of life.
The Scriptures from Romans and Proverbs confirm that the Word of God gives us: life, health, patience, comfort, and hope. If you give a person who is depressed: life, health, patience, comfort, and hope…they will no longer be depressed.
So, what we need in order to jumpstart ‘hope’, is to keep our heart and mind filled with the Word of God. And yet, how many people will try everything else available before resorting to the Word.
When you finally get to a point where you can start to think of the future with some optimism, you might be over-anxious at times…hoping for a better future immediately. When you’ve been through a lot of bad stuff, it’s so hard to wait.
If you find yourself feeling impatient about something good that you are hoping will happen, and you feel discouraged because it’s taking too long—just try to remember when you weren’t able to be impatient because you didn’t have any kind of hope at all. You couldn’t imagine that anything good would ever happen again. Maybe you still have doubts.
That’s where you need to constantly remind yourself that it’s a good thing to ‘hope and wait quietly’ (Lamentations 3:26). Hoping and waiting quietly are the opposite of being anxious, impatient, and continually talking about how anxious and impatient you are feeling.
Declaration: I will hope and wait quietly for the things I want to see change for the better in my life.
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