Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Wonderful Grace Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Sometimes, I have a hard time writing. I think that I have to be optimistic and clever — or at least try — and I want to send the positive message of Christ and His love. So, there are days when I feel that I cannot write because my feelings are far from optimistic, my heart is heavy, and there is no dancing in my soul. At least, that is what I thought, until my daughter shared with me about her favourite singer. Like me, this Christian vocalist has chronic depression. My daughter explained that she can feel the singer's pain in her songs, but even better, she hears the hope in the Lord that she also possesses and relays through her music.
I should know this, since the Bible is a collage of people who are, at times, downtrodden, discouraged, defeated, and depressed. There are those who suffer not only physical pain but mental pain as well. If they would all end up in the office of some unlucky therapist, you would find a very colourful waiting room. This cast of characters would include, of course, Jeremiah, who would be there using up all of the tissues with his weeping. I know that Job would be there trying to explain why he curses the day that he was born. For sure, Paul would have to explain the problems that he has with that pesky thorn in his flesh.
King David would also be there, telling about his pain, his hurt, his regrets, his persistent enemies, and the fear that is at times his constant companion. Yet, the psalmist proclaims, "Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 43:5 NCV)
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, writes, "God, you are my comfort when I am very sad and when I am afraid." (Jeremiah 8:18 NCV) Job lets his crazy friends know that no matter what, "Even if God kills me, I have hope in him." (Job 13:15a NCV) Paul writes, "Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times." (Romans 12:12 NCV)
So, if you are afflicted in any way, downcast, afraid, or like me, depressed, we sit in good company with God's faithful, colourful cast of characters. Their words have brought hope to millions down through the ages, not with their perfect lives in a perfect world, but with the same problems that you and I share. We, too, can have the same hope that prevails all through Scripture. Go ahead! Don't be afraid to tell others of your afflictions. You fit into this colourful group! Weep if you need to, but always proclaim the hope that we have in Jesus Christ!
Prayer: Lord, thank You that amidst our down times, we can still find abundant peace, hope, and joy in You, our dear blessed Redeemer. Amen.