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Walking Through It – Part 1

“Rejoice in our confident hope.”

My third cycle through seasonal depression has reminded me of the pain and struggles those with depression experience. Shame, isolation, avoidance of social interaction, tears shed in secret, and an overall lack of motivation making even the simplest of tasks seem monumental; these are a few of the symptoms.

The one symptom that is most draining for me comes from the battle with negative thoughts. For a person struggling with depression, an average negative thought turns into a barrage of negative thoughts on steroids, piling up they cloud our view and grab us at suffocating levels.

As a Christ-follower, leader, and one many look up to, this type of battle brings the most shame. We are told to read more scripture, pray more, know who we are in Christ, or sing worship music. These are great weapons of warfare against the doubts, condemnation, and slam of destructive thoughts.

However, a person struggling with depression has more going on than a battle inside the mind.

Nonetheless, there is an aspect of spiritual warfare regardless of any condition or situation we may be in. When I moved into acceptance of my depression, I was able to address it and one of the things I did was make Romans 12:12 my battle cry.

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying” (Romans 12:12, NLT).

When reading the Pauline letters, there is a point in most of his letters where Paul begins to fire off a list of actions Christ-followers need to do. Romans chapter 12 has one of those lists and verse 12 is in the middle of that list. God used these three actions listed in verse 12 to help me walk through rather than avoid or go around the tough season I was in.

Action 1:

“Rejoice in our confident hope.”

The Amplified Versions puts it this way, “constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ].”

When my mind begins to spiral down, my thoughts are far from rejoicing, or on Christ, or hopeful. It did not come easy to claim Christ solely as my hope and be grateful for it because I wanted more. I wanted my situation to turn.

The challenge to rejoice in Christ as my confident hope brought me face to face with this question, “Is Jesus’ death on the cross enough for me?” This question was a painful confrontation. It wasn’t the first time I had answered this question, but with every season, wrestling with the answer is a game-changer.

I believe Paul had to wrestle with this same question when he prayed for the removal of the thorn in his flesh and the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

If God never did anything else but pour out His grace for me through the loving act of sending His Son to die on the cross to take my place for the payment of my sin, would that be enough?

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received… (Colossians 1:19-23a, NLT)

There is so much we could unpack from these verses, but the highlights that will help us rejoice confidently in Christ as our Hope are:

  1. We must continue to believe Jesus is our Hope and stand firmly on this truth.

  2. We also need to remember what Christ did for us and in humility, we need to surrender to God’s grace gift being more than enough.

  3. We can with confidence then, place our hope in Christ to walk us through our difficult season.

“…We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope {who is Jesus} is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls…” (Hebrews 6:18-19, NLT). {added}

Our hope is like an anchor sunk deep into the depths of God’s love attached securely to the cross. Meanwhile, miles above the peaceful depths, a storm is raging, wildly tossing the ship of our soul. But we will not be taken under or ripped apart when our soul is tethered to the anchor who is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Action ONE teaches us we can walk through it because Jesus is our confident hope.

It is my prayer that in stormy seasons you remember where and with Whom your hope lies.

Meditation: Jesus, you are my hope.

Reflect: Where am I placing my hope? Is Christ’s death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and the life we have through Him enough? If yes, how does this perspective affect your life? If no, what will bring you the satisfaction you need and will it hold you up for the long run?

Digging Deeper: Romans 12: 9-21; 2 Corinthians 4: 14-18; Colossians 1:13-17; Hebrews 6:18-20

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Thank you for reading. Please forward hope to others. Share hope with others on social media.

(Bible References: NLT – New Living Translation)

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