Friday, October 1, 2010
Hope And Prayers (Are They Antidotes To Depression And Despair?)
Yes, we are depressed. Yes, we are desperate. Are there any remedies to these conditions? Whether depression is a state of the mind or a result of a chemical imbalance of the brain is not the issue here. I leave that to the experts. What I'm after is, how we can alleviate the pain and misery that depression brings to its untold number of victims. The effects of prolonged depression is catastrophic to the psyche of its victims. It leaves behind a lingering sense of hopelessness and despair that may even trigger a violent tendency towards self destruction. It's like entering a dark tunnel without any hope of ever coming out of darkness into the light. People loses their sense of right or wrong. They are bewildered, totally disoriented and seemingly helpless. Can hope and prayers overcome depression and despair? With due respect to the medical experts, I say yes. Hope is like seeing a flicker of light in the all pervading darkness of a tunnel. It gives us a sense of anticipation that finally, as we reach the end of the tunnel, we shall finally see the light of day. And who gives us this hope? Only God can and will. And we can fan the flames of hope through prayers. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31) How do you think those early Christians were able to face death with calm equanimity as they were crucified, mauled by lions and bears, or defenselessly butchered by battle scarred gladiators? They sang songs of praise and worship and even uttered prayers of forgiveness for their tormentors. They were clinging to that glorious hope of a blissful afterlife. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1Corinthians 2:9) Surely depression, outright insanity and total helplessness would have set in to those who have no hope whatsoever if faced with the same situations. Today, situations may vary but the results will still be the same. Those who have hope and diligently nurtures it with regular and intense prayers are those who will be able to overcome any obstacles and trials in life, whether they be depression or despair. Unflinching hope and intense prayers usher us to the very presence of God, where we can pour out all the pains and sorrows welling in our hearts. Did not the Lord admonished us to, "Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you." (1Peter 5:7) When depression sets in, we must never give it a foothold by lingering on it. We can counteract its effects by claiming the promises of the Lord and through His triumphant Spirit. "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty." (Zechariah 4:6b) If we persist in prayers, our hopes will be rekindled like a blazing torch that will illuminate the total darkness surrounding us. In God's time, we will receive our most cherished healing and deliverance. PRAY! IT WORKS!