Today hope had become obsolete for me. I had remembered my mother describing it as a dark hole that she was sinking into. That gloomy feeling that makes it hard to cope on a day to day basis. A feeling of unworthiness and low self esteem.
As this feeling was coming over me the song by Steven Curtis Chapman titled Treasurer Island came to mind. Part of the chorus is the following.
“I’ll go sailing out to Treasure Island”
“The Treasurer Island that God’s word can be;”
When in the depths of despair. When making comparisons between myself and others. When self pity cuts me like a knife and life itself becomes gray and bleak, I need to take a trip to Treasure Island; God’s word.
It seems like such a hard task just to open up my bible and read it but when I do I find the treasures that God has put there for me. I feel better, am encouraged, and learn something every single time. I sometimes reason in my head that I’ve read that book of the bible over and over again what can I possibly learn from it now? But sure enough when I fight off those waves of doubt then God’s truth comes alive for me.
During these periods of emotional pain I like to submerse myself in the Psalms. I believe that David struggled with many types of emotional distress. Types that we call mental illness now. Depression, anxiety, and panic. He seemed to struggle with doubt in God’s ability to help him. He sinned greatly, yet, repented and found favor with God. So I can relate to David. His writings match the thoughts in my head very often.
The Psalms seem to have a pattern of a problem followed by a solution. Agony then peace. When he speaks of his enemies pursuing him and overcoming him he physically had enemies trying to kill him. Our enemy is Satan. He is continuously pursuing us seeking to kill us; to destroy our lives and to steal our hope and faith in God. When I read the Psalms I realize this reality of the Devil’s plans against me and other believers. I think of those that laugh at me and whisper behind my back. Then I see that God’s plan is to be with me and encourage me. He can protect me from the enemy and those that are used to defeat me and squash my testimony.
“We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 NASB
A very good Psalm to demonstrate this truth is Psalm 13. I am going to put it here in its entirety for encouragement and strength in His truth. I want to encourage people out there that are experiencing the same kind of loss of hope that I am speaking of. Please don’t give up hope entirely. David didn’t. Ride through it. It may not be easily quenched but God can be the One that you lean on to get you through. Try very hard to lift your bible and thumb through the treasures that God has in there to encourage and strengthen you. If you can’t read or have the energy to open your bible then listen to it on your phone or a CD or DVD. Have someone read to you. It can’t hurt for sure.
“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, And my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13 NASB