Hope is the one thing we always want to have in our life to be the ultimate antidote to depression. Never lose hope.
[Darris McNeely] Can a Christian be a Christian and still be depressed? We’ve been exploring that topic here on BT Dailys – a very important topic any time of the year, but especially as we get into the winter season and again around the holidays, where people tend to maybe too much imbibe in alcohol to stave off sadness, discouragement, and it can create some deep problems. As we’ve already said, yes, you can still be a Christian and be depressed, but you don’t want to stay depressed if you’re going to stay being a Christian.
We’ve talked about the prophet Elijah, we’ve talked about statements that Jesus Christ has made about the topic. I want to go into a topic here, or subject, out of Romans chapter 5, from the apostle Paul in one of his great passages in this book that helps us to understand, again, this topic of faith. He said, “We are justified by faith, and we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ” – that anchors our relationship with God – he said, “through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2 Romans 5:1-2 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
American King James Version×). So faith and grace are very important elements of our relationship with God, and we stand in that grace which is a critically important matter that, once God grants us that, we do not need to fear that we are going to ever have to lose that, as long as we stay in a right attitude and relationship with God.
But in verse 3 he says, “Not only that, we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3 Romans 5:3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience;
American King James Version×). This has always been a troubling scripture for me because I don’t necessarily glory in trials that come upon me, but we all have them, and you do, as well. And that is what leads at times to these issues of depression, discouragement, and sadness – the things that either we do because of our own actions, even our own sins, or the things that other people do that we don’t have any control over that disrupt our life, creating unhappiness and issues that we have to work through that can make us sad and even make us depressed if we allow them. But Paul says, use those. “Glory in trials, knowing that trials produce perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-5 Romans 5:3-5 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
American King James Version×) The end result of these trials, if we apply the right principles, is hope. And hope is the one thing we always want to have in our life to be the ultimate antidote to depression. Never lose hope. Never let your discouragement, your sadness, or your depression get you to the point where you lose hope. Hope is the critically essential aspect of our life, not only with our relationship with God and the hope of His kingdom and of the resurrection and life eternal, but the hope that we have in this life today. And what Paul is showing is that trials are going to happen.
You know one of the critical issues that so many of us face in the world today and cause people to slip off into depression is we think that life is always going to be a bed of roses, and it’s not. There are challenges, there are difficulties, there are trials. It’s getting through those with the right way of life that is the key to maintaining hope and keeping from slipping into uncontrolled depression that causes our life to really get into some very, very serious situations. Paul is saying, when the trials hit, accept them, deal with them, move forward with them, be persevering, get the help, get the counsel, get up every day, go back to work, face the issue, and in the end, if we accomplish it, and if we work through it, we will have built and maintained our hope. That’s faith. That is the essence of faith – that we know that with God’s help, we can work through to an end and maintain our hope. What Paul writes here in Romans 5 is a very critical matter for us to understand when it comes to the issue of depression. We’re going to have one more in this episode – episode in this series. We’re going to talk about a very, very important passage from one of Paul’s writings that all of us should focus on at a time when we need some encouragement.
That’s BT Daily . Join us next time.