“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43.5
The repetition of the words, “despair” and “disturbed,” sound like a needle stuck on a scratched record: “despair” … click … “despair” … click …“disturbed” … click …“disturbed” … Anyone who knows the reality of the experience of despair knows it is hard to think of or verbalize much else. When emotional pain is front and center, everything else is pushed to the sidelines. We may acknowledge that this is only a fleeting reality, but it’s severity easily overshadows that fact.
Hope is no guarantee against despair, but it points us to the way out. It’s like a bright spotlight in the pervading darkness of a cave. We may not be out of the cave, but at least we see the way out. And that fact alone begins to lift the gloom of despair.
I would never minimize the reality of despair and depression. I’ve been there, and am not immune to returning there. For some, it is a lifelong struggle. Whether a short-term or long-term struggle, it cannot be willed or wished away. Counseling and treatment for some are necessary tools. But ultimately it is hope that minimizes or lifts us from those circumstances. Hope points the way to future praise and ultimate deliverance - whether in this age or the perfect age to come. Hope drops anchor amidst these emotional storms.
- From the upcoming book, "Hope for Uncertain Times."
©Steve Taylor, 2018 --Used by permission