A wise person once told me to go and read Lamentations 3:17-26 whenever depression or sadness or hopelessness or despair overcame me.
I thought they were joking because the writer of Lamentations, Jeremiah, is known as the ‘weeping prophet’ and Lamentations itself is basically a funeral song, known as the book of tears.
The book is filled with sadness, regret and disappointment similar to how I feel at times.
Lamentations is a very depressing book, thank God it only has five chapters!
Depression can be genetic or the result of some great trauma or because we are weighed down by the poverty and injustice we see worldwide.
It can also be caused from not being in right standing with God or due to unconfessed or hidden sins.
Often my depression is caused by the fact that God does not answer my prayers. I feel called to do things for Him and yet all doors remain closed and I begin to doubt my ministry, I begin to resent the feelings of desperation that often arise because my heart longs to follow God, I long to serve Him in a mighty way and be recognised as His beloved child and I have this secret fear that life is passing me by and I will never achieve my heart’s desires.
And it is then that I confess my lack of faith to my God, my God who promised in Jeremiah that He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.
And that hope is found in Lamentations 22-24:
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘the Lord is my portion; therefor I will wait for Him’”.
Lord please help us to remember that you are Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. That as we confess our sins and seek you with all our hearts you will provide for our ministry. That as we start to praise you, despite our depression, you will grant us your peace and your joy. And we cling to the knowledge that you are the One who will provide comfort when we fail or sadness and depression overwhelms us.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope” Lamentations 3:21