Please remember—your age is not a mistake…nor an oversight…nor an afterthought. The command to multiply your faith in the lives of others often occurs most effectively when you’re older.
We are imperfect people living among other imperfect people in an imperfect world. That has numerous effects. We do things contrary to God's Word and experience guilt as a result. We also get angry but mishandle it by repressing it or becoming bitter. We suffer physically and emotionally. All these things can result in depression—feeling hopeless, dejected, and sad—becoming inactive and not being able to sleep or focus on normal tasks. Most of us experience this at one time or another.
The Lord knows depression is part of the human condition and provides answers to help us. He gives biblical examples of people who experienced it. In His Word He shows us some of its causes and cures: Elijah (1 Kings 19); Jonah (Jonah 4); David (Psalm 69). The Lord provides hope to the depressed. His Person (He is faithful, powerful, loving, and wise), His promises (to meet our needs, give strength, to protect), and His presence (He will never leave us or forsake us) all bring hope to the weary of soul. God also gives reasons for suffering and pain—to teach us (James 1:3), strengthen us (1 Peter 5:10), discipline us (Hebrews 12:5-11), and make us like Christ (Romans 8:28-29), to name just a few reasons. His unfailing love is also offered to comfort and encourage us when we are depressed (2 Corinthians 4:8-11; 7:6).
Day after day of darkness leads to the winter blues, where everything feels “blah” and seems like it will last forever. However, I’m learning there are ways to combat the blues.
True to James 1:2-4, my troubles tested my faith. They brought hardship and hidden tears, but, also true to Scripture, they became opportunities for great joy. Here are several insights I gleaned through my experience.
Have you ever met someone whose life seems to be a never-ending string of amazing, marvellous, wonderful, and awesome? Do you feel like punching them?
If we take Solomon's counsel to heart, two are better than one, we learn how to survive lonely, desolate days.
The interlude in Ecclesiastes 3:11-15, though brief, brings into perspective several things Solomon had missed in his search for purpose and direction.
With disillusionment and despair casting ever-enlarging shadows across his path, Solomon begins to intensify his reactions in Ecclesiastes 2:12-26.
Life to many people is nothing more than chasing excitement to combat monotony. Such is the bold, dreary message of Ecclesiastes 1.
“Dear Mr. Callaway, I enjoy your books and your sense of humour. In my early teens laughter was easy. I'm 17 now and the joy is gone from my life. How do you live a life of joy?”