Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:28-29)
American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” Everyone battles discouragement and depression. We all have secret sorrows that spring up and wrap around us like a cold, wet blanket. We feel alone and isolated. It is easy for our discouragement to turn into despair leaving us with little to no hope.
Hopelessness is a common struggle for God’s people. We are not alone in our feeling of hopelessness. In Isaiah 40:27, God asks his people, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God’”? Israel felt discouraged and abandoned by God. They believed their sorrows were not seen by God. And in the midst of the growing hopelessness, the Lord reminds his people that, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” The Lord reminds his people that He is the Creator. His is a cure for their despair. Why?
God wants his people to focus on His power over their problems. He wants them to see that He is strong enough to overcome their struggles, for “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” God is able to strengthen you when you are weak. He is able to give you hope when you are hopeless.
Remember the despair of the disciples when Jesus cried, “It is finished,” and gave up his spirit. It appeared that their hope of salvation had died with him on that Friday afternoon, but appearances can be deceiving. Now according to his great mercy, He has given us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). The living hope of the resurrection will always outweigh the deceiving despair of our pain. Our pain may be great, but our hope in Christ is greater. Counselor Edward Welch says in, Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness,
“All hopelessness is ultimately a denial of the resurrection. It falsely prophesies that the last words are death, despair, meaninglessness, ruin and nothing. Yet the resurrection trumps death, sin, misery and everything touched by the curse. Resurrection is the last word.”
A repeated refrain throughout Isaiah 40 is, “Behold.” God wants us to see Him in our trials and to remind us of his power and his grace. We overcome despair by beholding God. So when you are feeling wrap in the cold, wet blanket of despair, remember to behold the everlasting God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth who has spoken the final word to your pain: resurrection. This is not a quick fix one-time solution to overcome despair, but rather is how we engage in the daily battle to trust God in the midst of our pain. Let us fight to trust and believe God’s final word over and above our hopelessness.
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