There is a great deal of sadness and hopelessness in our world; lawless race rioting in Missouri, madness as always in the Middle East, and a funny, thoughtful man too sad to go on living. As I’ve read the news this week and studied the Scripture text I had planned for this morning, it seems to me there are two important directions we need to take this morning.
First of all, I feel the compulsion to say clearly, as a pastor having counselled people for many years, that some depression is not something easily cured by the right prayer, decision, sermon or Bible verse. Sometimes some people physically cannot “look on the bright side.” While most depression is relatively superficial, temporary, emotional or intellectual, there is a depression that is chemical and physical. Sometimes the brain and body can get physically and chemically out of balance – for all sorts of diverse reasons. If you find yourself in a depressive condition you just can’t seem to shake, no matter what Bible verse you quote, sermons you listen to or resolutions you make, please talk to someone about it. You might be dealing with a form of depression that has nothing to do with what sort of Christian you are. It can happen!
But secondly, considering all the hopelessness in the world around us and our powerful verses today, I believe our great scripture passage should help us all clearly understand, in a world filled with sad, broken, tortured and hopeless people, where rock solid hope truly comes from. As a preacher and grandpa, as a man who desperately longs to keep the smile on the face of this little girl, I want us to understand our passage.