Ever find yourself in a hopeless place? Where you can’t see a way out of or through a situation? When it seems nothing will ever change or nothing seems to help? I know I have and if you’ve experienced this feeling, you know there is no place worse to be than a place without hope. Maybe you’re experiencing a season of hopelessness from the time quarantine started last year. Maybe you had to close your business or you couldn’t attend school and so you missed out on potential opportunities. Maybe your life was put on hold or you or you’re loved one is dealing with a medical diagnosis. Whatever and why-ever your season of hopelessness is upon you, know that you are not alone! Sometimes we just need to hear that, don’t we? You are not alone!
In dealing with depression, I too have felt that sense of hopelessness and it’s a dark, dismal place. But if you can just see even the tiniest, faintest glow of light, reach out for it and don’t let it go! No matter what you’re experiencing right now, there’s always a glimmer of hope. Can you see it?
When I need to reach for that glimmer of hope, I love reading the Psalms. It reminds me of God’s great love and faithfulness. We read about his glory and wonder and how that same glorious God is with those who mourn. Reading how God is a Rock and firm foundation, gives me resolution in my heart about God and his character, encouraging me to put my hope in him.
Psalm 42-43 is especially inspiring because the author gets very real with God and himself. He acknowledges his desperate need for God and then continues on in his Psalm by speaking to his own soul. Do you ever do that? Talk to yourself. What do you tell yourself when you are in that hopeless place? Do you speak words like; Things will never change? Anxiety is just a part of life? Depression cannot be overcome? Let’s listen in as our author, still in conversation with God, now turns his thoughts inward. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 11, 43:5 NIV-emphasis mine) Three times the writer says this throughout his prayer to God.
So let me ask you again; What do you say to yourself when your soul is downcast? Where do you put your hope? In temporary things that will only satisfy momentarily? Have you ever tried putting your hope in the sure foundation, God? Have you talked yourself out of having any hope at all? Reading further into our chapter, the author cries out to God; “I say to God my Rock, why have you forgotten me?” (Psalm 42:9 NIV) Can you relate? That’s okay—God knows what we feel and invites us to get honest and real with him. This author does and hides no emotion from God, telling God exactly how he feels. But he doesn’t stay there! That is the key. He goes on and declares once again to his soul; “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 NIV)
It’s not that we will never feel hopeless or discouraged or downcast (because we will), but it’s what we tell ourselves when we are that can make the difference between staying in that hopeless place or seeing hope! Try encouraging yourself by speaking life giving words like; “God is with me!” “God is faithful!” “Put your hope in him O my soul!” “I will yet praise him even though I feel hopeless!” “Hope gives me a reason to keep going!” “My hope is in a firm foundation that will never fail!” “I can have confident expectation that with God, all things are possible!” “I can look forward to tomorrow!” “I have a hope in a good future!” “I will cling to the glimmer of hope when my soul is downcast!” “The God of hope fills me with all joy and peace as I trust in him, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!”
See, what you tell yourself is so very important and can either stir up hope within or squelch it. So I encourage you to start today changing your conversation you have with yourself! There is hope and you can find hope in a hopeless place!
I would love to encourage you to dive in deeper to scripture when you need assurance and help finding that glimmer of hope in whatever your current circumstance may be! Here is some scripture to encourage you;
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” (Romans 15:13 TPT)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,” (Hebrews 6:19 NIV)
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
And so many more, so dive in and explore!
And as always, if you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm or harming others, there are people who are there to help you through this! Please reach out to: 1-800-273-8255 – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/