We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8)
Did you know that believers get down and depressed? Some Christians mistakenly believe that after their conversion, depression should be as far from them as the east is from the west, as if Jesus had made them immune to depression, despair, and despondency. In today’s passage of Scripture, we read that the great apostle Paul despaired even of life. If Paul got down, it should not surprise us that we too may get down at times. But, just like Paul, in Jesus we have all that we need to deal with our down so that we are never out!
Here are three truths to lift you out of the ashes of defeat:
Jesus Is For You
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Jesus is With You
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Jesus is In You
Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
We are all given over to times of depression, despair, and despondency. The great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, referred to by many as “the prince of preachers,” confessed that he had “suffered many times from severe sickness and frightful mental depression seeking almost to despair.” If great men of faith like Spurgeon and Paul struggled with seasons of despair, is it not possible — even likely — that you and I will also?
We are not perfected yet, and we won’t be until we cross the Jordan. Until that day, there will be circumstances in life that will come against us in surprising and upsetting ways. When that happens, we must remember to keep our focus on Christ, not our circumstances. When we do that, we will be reminded that Jesus is for us, with us, and in us. David knew this truth: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” he wrote, “and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).
Regardless of what you are facing today, the three truths I have presented here will help you rise above the waves of challenge. And when you find yourself in a season of despondency, remember you are only down; you are never out. As Paul also said, “We are cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!