Hope out of Despair

Bible Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20
Author: Mrs. Kate Underwood (Illinois, USA)
Saturday 6 June 2020 © The Upper Room.
As a sophomore in college, I found myself floundering, depressed, and unsure of myself.  No major event had triggered it; I couldn’t explain why I felt so alone.  While I still believed in God, I began to doubt that my life was worth anything to God.  It was a struggle just to get out of bed every morning and go through the motions of each day.

Though that year was painful, I did learn one crucial lesson: that God is never nearer to me than when I am suffering.  And that suffering was not a punishment from God; rather, it forced me to stop relying on my own strength and abilities as the sources for my worth.  I learned to lean on God and the powerful truths of the Bible, not on my own unpredictable emotions.  God loved me.  God had good plans for my life.  God would not hold my sins against me. Those truths anchored my soul amid the storm-tossed waves.

As I navigated the shame and sorrow of depression, my prayer life grew and deepened.  My heart clung to the truths in the Bible.  Gradually, through the help of many who reached out to me, prayed with me, encouraged me, and counselled me, I found my way out of despair.  Then I realised that I had not been abandoned; instead, God had filled me with hope.

Prayer: Dear God, when we’re tempted to despair, teach us to put our hope in you.  Amen.  

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