There was a romantic movie called Hope Floats. It was about a woman trying to put her life back together after a divorce. She went into a deep depression where she just wanted to sleep instead of coping with her life and all of its problems. The most important thing about that movie was the emphasis on the power of hope.
Martin Luther King Jr. said it like this, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
“’Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison
Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”
The quotes by famous people who recognized the importance of hope go on and on. It is as if “hope” has a power of its own. Perhaps hope is the power that sets things in motion in a positive direction.
The Bible also bears up the importance of hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for good and not for evil – to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 17:7 –“ Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”
Romans 8:24 – “For we are saved by hope.”
Psalms 71:14 – “I will hope continually…”
Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Romans 8:25 – “But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”
Psalms 71:5 – “For thou [art] my hope, O Lord GOD: [thou art] my trust from my youth”.
Psalms 43:5 – “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.”
I believe that hope is the antidote for depression. Hopelessness leads to depression. The following information about depression comes from the website everydayhealth.com.
“People who have stressors in their life that make them feel hopeless and helpless are more likely to become depressed,” says Dr. Lieberman.
“According to depression statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9 percent of adult Americans have feelings of hopelessness, despondency, and/or guilt that generate a diagnosis of depression. At any given time, about 3 percent of adults have major depression… In fact, major depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the CDC. Understanding these very real depression statistics helps paint a fuller picture of the impact of depression in America.”
It seems to me that when people lose faith in a higher power than themselves, when they let go of their faith in God or have never found it in the first place, they are very likely to also lose hope in the middle of difficult times. They become depressed because they can’t cope with what life has handed them and don’t know how to fix themselves or the situations around them. They don’t know where to turn to get help.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait (hope) upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”
The Judy version of that is that if we have faith in God and hope that He will help us, the power of that hope and faith will keep us from giving in to depression.