It is a wonderful thing to be a child of God, a Christian. You have made your apology to God, believed on the truth of the resurrection of Christ, and by faith he has saved you. Somehow, however, the joy of the Lord has not become your strength. You are discouraged, and it seems that despair has become your constant companion. What can you do? Many of the saints in the Bible went through a similar trial that is haunting you. Below is a list of things that might cause you to despair, and following is a list of things you can do to enter a life of hope again.
Causes for Despair:
Medical problems can affect your emotions greatly. Please schedule an appointment, and have your doctor evaluate your physical condition.
Sinful actions affect our spirits. God is displeased if we do anything that we know is against his will. Ask his forgiveness. If you have sinned against a person, go to them and seek forgiveness.
Your attention is not focused on Christ. The news of the world will cast down our emotions as we focus on war, murder, national problems, and life in general.
You are confused. Despair and confusion are like brothers. Where one goes the other follows. Confusion may be eliminated though learning, asking questions, and thinking (especially from God and his Word.)
You are a people watcher. Your husband has failed you. Your church doesn't understand. Your wife neglects you. Your heroes and friends have forsaken you. The problem? You are following them instead of Jesus Christ. You are a people watcher.
Despair comes quickly to those who are new Christians. Please give yourself time to grow. Finally, keep in mind that we are only human and will naturally experience a swing in emotions. Despair is not necessarily a sin. Again, please give yourself time, hang in there, do not panic, and avoid making big decisions while in the valley of despair.
Building a Life of Hope:
- Trust in the facts of the gospel (the reality of God, Jesus Christ is God, the Bible is God's Word, the resurrection of Jesus, the reality of Heaven, God's faithfulness to honor all his promises, etc.). Feelings come and go and our faith is sometimes affected by our emotional ups and downs. Facts will always be there.
- Begin to read the Bible, the book of hope. Start at page one like any other book and work your way through the Bible. It was written to help our hope grow. The Bible is there to comfort you in times of trouble. Romans 15:4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (KJV)
- Learn to have patience with yourself. Rome was not built in a day, neither is a strong Christian life. Learn to forgive yourself and leave the past in the past. Learn to forgive others as well.
- Remember that the love of God is stronger than the hate of the Devil. Nothing is going to happen to a Christian that is outside of God's will.
- Keep in mind that God is still in control of the universe. He knows all about the wars, crime, and problems. Leave these in his hands as much as possible.
- The building of hope begins with putting God's thoughts into your thoughts. Begin to think and act like him. Since he loved others, ask him to love others through you. He came to serve others, so you should too. He died for others, so we should at least live for others. Put others first and yourself last and see what happens.
- Finally, take life one day at a time. Worry will destroy hope. Worry is telling yourself how terrible things have become. Instead, tell God he is wonderful and trust him with whatever is worrying you (Matthew 6:25-34).
Used by permission. http://www.parchmentministries.com