There's Hope

Dear Friend,

Are you hurt or in pain?
Do you feel everything would be better if you were dead? ~ Do feel your situation is hopeless? ~ Are you tired of living?
Many people face depression or thoughts of suicide.

DID YOU KNOW? At one point in his life, the great prophet Elijah wished he was dead. He even prayed that God would take his life. He was frightened, exhausted, and fed up with living. (1 Kings 19) But God was not finished with Elijah's life. His greatest achievements and blessings lay just ahead. God is not finished with your life either. He says this to you:

"I know the plans I have for you. I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you. I have plans to give you hope and future.
"If you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me. I will listen to you. Search for Me. You will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart."(Jeremiah 29:11, 12, 13 - paraphrase)

Linda Shepherd says, "I too was once discouraged to the point of suicide. What I finally learned was this, I (we) have an enemy. He knows the ones God has called for special purposes. Those are the ones the enemy discourages and tempts with thoughts of ending their life. I find that those who are most discouraged are those with the greatest pupose." Linda goes on to say, "Don't let the enemy rob you of your life, hang in there. You can trust God. He will lead you through this tough time. Your future is filled with hope. Give God a chance and see! Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.

"I'm so glad I waited on God. Yes, I've had tough times, but He has turned them into good."

Have you ever stopped to think that even Jesus felt loss? When His friend Lazarus died, He wept, even though He was about to call Lazarus out of the tomb. (John 11) He feels your loss, too, and grieves with you.

Jesus' incredible sadness was never more apparent than when He knelt in the Garden and begged His Father to change the future - but only if God was willing. In this lonely hour, He knew His friend Judas was plotting with His enemies against Him, His closest friends were sleeping, and the Romans and the religious leaders were coming to arrest Him and torture Him to death.

Yet, He had the courage to do what God was asking Him to do: Give up His life. (Matthew 26) You can hear His desperation in His cry from the cross: "My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?"

Jesus had courage to face his tough times and He will give you the courage to face yours as well. He speaks the same words to you that He spoke to His grief-stricken disciples: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. But not a peace like the world gives. Don't let your hearts be troubled. Don't be afraid. The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things."
(John 14: 27, 25)

Remember: He won't teach you peace like the world teaches peace by the absence of all trouble and conflict. But the Counselor WILL teach you how to have peace the way Jesus had peace by giving you courage, strength, plans, and hope in the middle of the storm.

Are you ready to say Yes to Jesus, if so, Take the God Test.

In the meantime, as you learn peace from the Counselor, here are some things you need to do:

Do what Elijah did when he was fighting depression: He ate a healthy meal and took a nap. The angels brought Elijah his meal, but you'll probably have to come up with something healthy on your own. Lean heavily to fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and whole grain breads. Stay off the booze completely. Cut back on the caffeine and get plenty of sleep. Everything is bleak when you're jittery and tired. It's harder to cope.

Find Godly counsel
...not a psychic or your horoscope, but good books on the subjects with which you are dealing. It may be hard to believe right now, but your situation probably is not totally unique. There are answers for you.

Find a pastor or a friend who will listen more than they talk and who will pray with you.
Jesus' friends slept through His darkest hour and scattered when He was crucified. Hopefully, you can find some better friends than He had.

See a doctor.
While you may have legitimate problems, there are physical conditions that cause depression and feelings of hopelessness. When Jesus healed people, He sent them to the doctors for a check-up. (The village priests were the doctors in Jesus' day.) The doctor may not be able to cure a terrible situation, but you can better survive it if you are healthy.

Get some fresh air and moderate exercise while you pray.

Frequently in the Scriptures you will read that Jesus went mountain climbing and praying. Since He was a carpenter - have you ever seen a carpenter who wasn't buff? - and He walked everywhere He went, He was probably in better shape than most of us, so let's leave the mountain climbing to Jesus. But a prayerful power walk is a good thing.

Memorize Scripture that will give you hope.
The Word is alive. It's powerful, astute, and so very wise. It divides between the soul and spirit. The Word will change you and you will be a conqueror in Jesus' Name. Get the Word inside you and lots of it. Start with these verses: Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 12:2; Matthew 8:26; Philippians 4:6, 7; Isaiah 30:15, 32: 17; John 14:27; Revelation 1:4.

Let us hear from you.
We don't have all the answers, but we know the One who does. We'll pray for you and send you encouragements, e-mail us.

If you would like to send the "God Test" to a friend, click here and use the sahre faetures under the test.

Additional Reading

On the Stormy Waters
(Based on Matthew 14:22-34)