Depression: Hope in God

Depression Series: Four Ways the Church Can Come Alongside the Weary Sojourner, United Together in Christ

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”)

Dante writes these haunting words as he begins his classic Inferno, a descent in the very pits of Hell. Abandon all hope. These words have stuck to my bones since first reading Inferno.

For those battling depression these words feel all to real. I’ve felt as though all hope was lost. Like the Psalmist I cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest” (Psalms 22:1-2). But God says he has a better expectation of us in Christ. All hope isn’t lost. We can hope in God. We can exchange our despair for joy in Christ.

We can do this partly because these words were not only spoke by the Psalmist but also by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was forsaken of God so that we might be united with them.

I earnestly desire Christ “as a sure and steadfast anchor of [your] soul, a hope that enters into the inner places behind the curtain” (Hebrew 6:19). Our hope walks into the heavenly realities, into the very presence of God the Father and so our hope in Christ is assured. We forget this often and so we lose hope. I write to inject hope from Scripture in your spiritual bloodstream. From there I would encourage you to wrestle with these truths in Scripture. Take comfort and violently pursue Christ.

Psalms 9:18-19

For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hipe of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, Or LORD! Let no main prevail; let the nations be judged before you!


Psalms 33:18-19, 22

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. . . . Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.


Psalms 39:7

And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.


Psalms 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God' for I shall again praise him, my salvation.


Psalms 42:11

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.


Psalms 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.


Psalms 62:5

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.


Psalms 65:5

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;


Psalms 71:5

For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.


Psalms 78:7

so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;


Psalms 119:49, 74, 81, 114, 116, 147, 166

Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope. . . .
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word . . . .
My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word. . . .
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in your word. . . .
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
and let me not be put to shame in my hope! . . .
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words. . . .
I hope for your salvation, O Lord,
and I do your commandments.


Psalms 130:7

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.


Psalms 131:3

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.


Psalms 146:5-6

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;


Jeremiah 14:22

Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Are you not he, O Lord our God?
We set our hope on you,
for you do all these things.


Jeremiah 17:13

O Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you[a] shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.


Lamentations 3:24

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”


Acts 24:14-15

But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.


Acts 26:6-7

And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king!


Acts 28:20

For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.”


Romans 5:2-5

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.


Romans 8:20-25

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.


Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


1 Corinthians 13:7

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


1 Corinthians 13:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


1 Corinthians 15:18-20

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.


2 Corinthians 1:7-10

Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.


For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

Galatians 5:5

For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.


Ephesians 1:18

[H]aving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,


Ephesians 4:1-4

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call


Colossians 1:4-5, 23, 27

[S]ince we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel . . . . [I]f indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. . . . To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.


1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Thessalonians 5:8

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.


1 Timothy 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope . . . 


1 Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.


Titus 1:1-2

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began . . . 


Titus  2:12-13

[T]raining us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ . . . 


Hebrews 3:5-6

Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.


Hebrews 3:18-19

And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.


Hebrews 7:19

[F]or the law made nothing perfect; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.


Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


1 Peter 1:3, 13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . . . Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


All the hope we read about from Psalms until 1 Peter points to the return of Jesus when he will return to right all wrongs, reward his Church, and punish those who rejected him; to redeem the world, re-create it, and re-fashion our bodies to live within it. John’s vision at the beginning of Revelations one stands as a testament to that promise.

Revelations 1:9-18

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”


Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.