Depression is a mental illness that can involve things like chemical imbalances or finding yourself in a “dark hole” with no way out. If you struggle with depression, I would encourage you to take it seriously and seek out professional help. That is not what this post is about. I don’t want to act like I’m a professional in this area because I’m not and I’m speaking to people who say “they are depressed,” when in reality they are really struggling with hope, finding a purpose, and trusting in The Lord at the end of the day.
In fact, I would include that for those who are struggling with a lack of hope, purpose, or trust, that it probably isn’t a matter of depression as defined above, but more of a matter of where your priorities are in life.
For the believer, we are prone to wander away from The Lord even after making the decision to trust Jesus and follow Him forever. Going back to the Gospel each and every day is critical in allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you out of a lack of hope, a lack of purpose, anxiety, etc.
When we return to our first love (Jesus), we are reminded of everything He has done for us and that we are forgiven for all eternity. The true joy that flows out of that will crush anything that comes against it. If we trust we have the Holy Spirit within us, we can trust God to deliver us from all things.
For the nonbeliever, I want to be careful how I say this and I know saying this in person to you would be much more fitting than on a blog, but I believe there are real reasons for your lack of hope, purpose, and trust. I believe you are trying to find satisfaction in life through various means such as your job, grades, performance, money, status, fashion, friends, knowledge, retirement, children, family, or your house, and at the end of the day true satisfaction can’t be found in any of those things.
I believe the more you’re realizing those things can’t satisfy, the more you find yourself struggling. Let me encourage you that you can find satisfaction and it’s found in Jesus. There is meaning in life and it’s found in Jesus. You do have a purpose in life and it’s found in Jesus.
Jesus can only satisfy and is better than anything or anyone else you can ever imagine. He offers you forgiveness for all your past, present, and future sins if you believe in Him and choose to follow Him for the rest of your life. I pray you do this and consider talking with others around you or within the Church to learn more about Jesus and what He has done for you.
Here is what the Bible has to say to encourage us to have hope and trust in The Lord:
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Psalm 34:17 – The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
Psalm 40:1-3 – I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Romans 8:38-39 – 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.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
1 Peter 4:12-13 – Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.