ANTIDOTE TO DEPRESSION
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
I read recently about Dr. Northoff, a medical researcher and psychiatrist, who is researching the neurochemistry of hopelessness and why so many young people turn to suicide. One survey revealed that 20 percent of 140,000 Chinese high school students have considered suicide. Most of these victims have no hope because they cannot see into the future. They cannot see the end of the tunnel, only a dark hole. He believes this is due to a dysfunction in part of the brain.
This may be so, but God, who created us in the beginning, knows what is necessary for us to live in victory and joy. The antidote to depression is hope, and our God is the God of hope. Our hope is found in Him. Hopelessness can trigger problems in the brain, but the brain can also be made whole as we learn to trust in the God of hope. (Proverbs 13:12).
Myriads of people take comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” The Hebrew word for “expected” is tikvah which means “hope” and many translations say, “To give you a future and a hope.”
It is hope that gives us a good outlook on life, and often, it is what keeps us alive. I think of the Jewish people, who for nearly 2,000 years, were scattered to the four corners of the earth, going through persecution, pogroms, herded into ghettos in the countries where they lived and eventually suffering Hitler’s holocaust. Through all these years, they never ever gave up hope for their land of Israel. There were times in history when Jerusalem was by called other names, but they never forgot their city they had never seen. Every year at Passover, they recited in hope, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
In 1886, Naftali Hertz Imber from Bohemia wrote a poem which in 1948 became the Israeli national anthem. It is called HaTikvah meaning “The Hope.” The translated Hebrew words are…
As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope, the two-thousand-year-old hope, will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
These words were written before there was any dream of Israel becoming a nation again, but hope kept the nation of Israel alive as they waited for the promise. Many years ago, while walking through the bush in Australia, Colin and I met a Jewish couple. Colin immediately began witnessing to them about Jesus and they became our dear friends. The guy was a Russian Jew and the wife a Persian Jew, both having made aliyah to Israel. The gentleman shared with us, that although living in Communist Russia and never having heard of the land of Israel, he always longed and hoped for his homeland that he didn’t even know existed.
Hebrews 6:11 NASB inspires us “to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish.” The Amplified Version explains the actions we need to take in order for hope to work in our lives, “We do (strongly and earnestly) desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity (all the way through) in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of your hope until the end.”
The word “sluggish” is nothros and means “a sluggishness which makes a person unfit for activities of the mind or spirit.” That’s a picture of depression! What saves us from this kind of state? Hope!
Hope in God who puts hope into our soul as we look to Him and trust in Him. Psalm 31:24 tells us that when we put our hope in the Lord that He will put courage and strength into our very soul! Teach your children from a young age how to put their hope in the Lord, rather than getting into the habit of dwelling on their problems. David’s mother must have instilled this into her son. David confesses in Psalm 71:5, “For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.” Read also Psalm 78:4-7.
I can’t let you miss out on this Scripture, Psalm 146:5 says, “HAPPY is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose HOPE is in the Lord his God.” We are reminded again that hope is the antidote to despair. When we put our hope in the Lord we will be happy. This particular “happy” in the Hebrew is esher and is only ever used in the plural. It means “doubly happy!” Don’t you love that? Proverbs 10:28 says, “The hope of the righteous is GLADNESS” and Proverbs 16:20 reminds us that “Whoso trusteth (hopeth) in the Lord, HAPPY is he.”
The meaning of hope is to be constantly looking, waiting and expecting something good to happen. This is the way God created us to live. This is what keeps us in health and happiness.
Hope in His “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4).
Hope as we go through trials. Hope is what enables us to endure our trials. (Romans 8:28 and Hebrews 12:2-3).
Hope for a glorious future—eternal glory forever and ever. Our hope goes beyond this life. Our true hope is for eternity.
To be encouraged in your soul, read the Scriptures at the end of this devotion.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“I thank you, Father, that you have destined me to live a life of hope. Help me to get into the habit of knowing that you are working out everything for my good, even if it isn’t to my liking. Fill me daily with your Holy Spirit so that I will go around my home ABOUNDING IN HOPE. Amen.”
I am ABOUNDING in hope today!
Read these Scriptures about hope.
Hope in God. (Sometimes The King James Version translates the Hebrew word for “hope” as “expectation” or “trust.”
Psalm 4:5; 9:10; 13:5; 25:2; 26:1; 28:7; 31:6b, 14, 24; 32:10; 33:18, 21-22; 37:3-5; 38:15; 39:7; 42:5, 11; 43:5; 50:10; 52:8; 56:3-4, 11; 62:5-8; 71:5, 14; 84:12; 86: 2; 91:2; 112:7; 115:9-11; 125:1; 130:7; 131:3; 143:8; 146:5; 147:11; Proverbs 3:5-6; 28:25b; 29:25; Isaiah 12:2; 26:3-4; Jeremiah 17:7, 13, 17; Lamentations 3:22-26 and 1 Peter 3:5.
Hope in God’s “exceeding great and precious promises.”
Psalm 119:42-43, 49, 74, 81, 114, 116; 147, 165-166; 130:5 and Romans 15:4.
Hope as we go through trials.
Job 13:15; Psalm 22:4-5; Romans 5:3-5; 8:24-25; 1 Corinthians 13:13 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Hope in a glorious future.
1 Corinthians 15:19-22; Ephesians 1:18-20; Colossians 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:10
Titus 1:2; 2:12-14; 3:7 and 1 Peter 1:3-5, 13.
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