Monday, July 20, 2015


This last week has been kind of rough.  I have a family member who has been struggling with depression.  They have gone through multiple medications and ECT.  But nothing seems to be helping.  Early this week they were checked into a hospital for round the clock monitoring.

And it got me thinking about hope and peace.  How do we find it in our lives?  Then in church, one of the hymns we sang was “Because He Lives” and the chorus struck me.

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Where do I find hope?  When I’m struggling and the darkness is closing in, where do I turn?

Psalm 62: (HCSB)

Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from Him.

Hope comes from God, freely given to those who have called on His name.

(Romans 10:9: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

1 John 1:9 (HCSB)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

1 John 5:13 (NKJV)
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[a] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

But that doesn’t mean our lives are without trials and tribulations.  We still struggle with things because we live in a fallen world.  But instead of feeling hopeless, we can rejoice in hope.

Romans 12:12 Version (NKJV)

12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

With this hope, we can have peace. 

Isaiah 26: (HCSB)

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You
in perfect peace,for it is trusting in You.

Peace.  Knowing that in the midst of the storm, in the midst of the waves there is an anchor for our souls.  A lighthouse that we can focus on to find our way to the shore once again.
We need to believe there is a reason for our trials. God is not far off and unconcerned. He is in control, using the circumstances in our lives to transform us from what we are into what He wants us to become. We need to accept trials and tests and understand what they are doing for us.
When Sarge was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, some of my friends couldn’t understand how I could be so calm about it.  There were still times when I struggled and was fearful about all the “what ifs.”  But knowing there wasn’t anything I could change by worrying, I made the effort to rest in Jesus’ gift of peace.

John 14:27 (HCSB)

27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.

Our peace was tested again four years later, when Sweet Pea was born and we learned that she would need open heart surgery.  I remember sitting in the hospital waiting for her to come out of surgery with a feeling of peace.  Other parents in the waiting room that day were pacing back and forth, looking fearful every time a doctor came out to speak to a family.  I knew that Sweet Pea was being bathed in the prayers of our church family.  I knew that they were praying for a successful surgery, but they were also praying that Sarge and I would have peace in the situation.
We’ve faced other trials that have tested our hope and our peace.  And every time we feel like things are spinning out of control, we know we just need to focus on the One who is in control.  By allowing Him and the Holy Spirit to work through and in our lives, we know that the spinning will stop and we will continue to grow in our faith.  And as we continue to grow, the fruit of the Spirit becomes more and more evident in our lives. 

Galatians 5:22-23New King James Version (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

As we continue to grow and mature as Christians, we can look towards the future with peace and hope and with a blessed assurance of what is to come.

Blessed Assurance By Fanny Crosby
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

 Disclaimer:  It is always important to seek out professional help when dealing with severe depression.  

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