October 29th 1929 was a dark day in the history of the United States. For all you history buffs you already know that that date was the day the stock market crashed and began an era known as the Great Depression. During that time 37,000 businesses went belly up, the unemployment rate rose to 24% nationwide, the divorce rate skyrocketed and the number of suicides increased (tonyevans.org).
In the middle of a great depression it’s easy to feel like Jesus isn’t there, and that the bible isn’t real. But I’m here to tell you it is all very real and alive. I can feel the eye rolls as I write this; “I’m tired of hearing these cliché’s and cute antidotes, I need real answers.” Has that thought ever crossed your mind? I know it has mine more than once. It’s hard for us to read the bible and see all these miraculous things God did in and through people’s lives like King David and Apostle Paul for example. But they faced depression and despair just like the rest of us. Take a look….
Job 3:3-5 (Job)
“After seven days Job cried out and cursed the day he had been born, saying: “Let the day I was born be destroyed, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is born!’ Let that day turn to darkness. Don’t let God care about it. Don’t let light shine on it.”
Jonah 4:3 (Jonah)
“So now I ask you, Lord, please kill me. It is better for me to die than to live.”
Mark 14:34 (Even Jesus himself dealt with bouts of depression)
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Apostle Paul)
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient or you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Psalm 43:5 (King David)
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
In Washington DC a boy was walking on the sidewalk and came across a solider that was crying. The young boy asked, “What’s wrong mister?” The man answered, “I have a problem and the only one that can fix it is President Lincoln.” The boy took the man’s hand and walked him right past the front gate, past all the guards, into the white house and finally into the oval office. As the boy walked in he said to President Lincoln, “Dad, this man needs to see you.”
When you know the son, he is able to get you past all the junk getting in the way. He can give you access and the ability to come BOLDLY into the very presence of God himself. Jesus is the ultimate “I have a guy that can hook you up.”
If you are deep down in the valley of the shadow of the death, keep fighting! Please don’t give up!! Jesus will not use your suffering in vain, but rather use it for his glory. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been able to use my suffering to help someone else going through a tough time. God can and will do the same for you. He has a purpose for you and has you right where you are for a reason. Keep your nose in the bible during these times and the Lord will speak to you and bless you in ways you can’t even imagine.
One last thing, always know that I am praying for you. I may not know you personally but you matter to me and you matter to God. DO NOT let anyone else tell you different.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”