Hope is an optimistic attitude of expecting something good to happen in our future. When such expected things don’t happen, it sometimes causes agony and depression in some of our lives.
While depression leads people to take the wrong decision, sometimes even walking on the path to suicide, a prolonged depression may even cause natural death. Ultimately, depression is a weapon commonly used by satan to end the lives of mankind, before they obtain the spiritual maturity that some call ‘mukti’ but we know it as our salvation.
Depression and Hope
The most common cause for depression, is expecting things to happen as we see it is happening in other’s life. For example, a patient with chronic condition may expect a healing that just happened in the life of a patient suffering with acute conditions.
Acute conditions are severe and sudden, patients may be healed within a short span of time but chronic conditions are a long developing syndrome and this kind of illness may only be treated but never be healed.
Likewise, some of our life problems may be solved immediately and some others may not. Comparing our situation with other people’s situation is not a healthy attitude.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
Bible, in the above verse illustrates hope to explain the aspect of faith. According to the Bible, hope is an optimistic approach towards life’s challenges and in no way does it shatter the confidence of anyone. Then, how are people losing their confidence?
Reasons for Depression
When people start focusing on the outcome of hope and do not try to find the originator of hope, they may lose their confidence. For example, when a person concentrates only on doctors and medicine without venturing and finding out about the one who is giving knowledge to the doctors, frustration may creep in and shatter their confidence.
There are so many aspects that block a person’s sight from being able to see beyond the visible outcome. Some of these aspects are knowledge, wealth, fundamentalism, traditions, rituals and religions. One should come out of these barriers to find out the true originator of hope.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.Isaiah 43:18-19
Thinking over and again about our past failures may lead us towards depression. For this reason, the Bible teaches us to forget the former things. A heart filled with the feelings of past mistakes and failures will not be able to recognize the new path laid before it.
In John Chapter 5, the author narrates an incident of Jesus visiting a pool called Bethesda, where he found a man waiting for almost four decades to receive healing through the available resource i.e., the magic of the pool. With a bustling hope, this man would have arrived at the pool to receive his healing.
However, as the days had gone by, he started comparing himself with the people who have enough friends around them, to help them get into the pool at the appropriate time. His main focus was on the pool and the people around him. For thirty-eight years he was left alone at a place that provided healing to many others but him.
He witnessed their healing but could not claim that for himself. You may be living in a similar condition today. Everything may be available to you but you are unable to claim it for yourself. If that is the case, Jesus, the originator of healing is asking you, “Do you want to get well?”
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”John 5:6
God with Us
Do we understand why Jesus is asking this question? Because we are broken inside and Jesus recognizes this helpless condition. When man understands our helpless situation, he inevitably distances himself from us but Jesus draws nearer to us, when we are going through such situations.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:18
The invalid man at Bethesda did not recognize Jesus, the master of healing, because of his predominated grievances. We too may do the same if our heart is filled with hatred and frustration.
We need to try and recognize God amidst the chaos of this world, calm ourselves and try to understand that there is a mighty power which is operating everything. Trust God, who has flawlessly placed every planet of this universe on its track. The same God is standing near us to show His love.
It is not because of our deeds but it is because of His grace that God has chosen us as His children and given us the authority to call Him Father.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.John 1:12-13
A Turning Point
The man at the pool of Bethesda was lacking this grace. That is why when Grace approached him, he was healed. The same unchanging Grace will approach us during our helpless situation. If we are able to understand this Grace and the Love of God that is being poured on us, though we are still sinners, our life will be transformed.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.Isaiah 54:10
This simple understanding may bring us out of our frustrations and depressions and we will have enormous peace in our hearts. A simple realization of the truth that Jesus died on the cross for our sins will give us a spiritual maturity.
The death penalty is removed and replaced with an eternal life through Jesus, who has defeated the cruelty of death on our behalf and was raised to life, to be with us forever. This life changing factor cannot be seen but certainly be experienced by everyone and the outcome of that experience is an unspeakable joy that drives our hope.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked…John 5:8-9
A Ray of Hope
The invalid man neither recognized Jesus, nor made any effort to seek Him. Yet Jesus came to him and he was delivered from his sickness and walked freely.
Likewise, His grace will help us in keeping everything aside that comes between Him and us and will also deliver us from all our sickness and a ray of hope will lead us ahead.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13