April 19, 2016

1 Example of Overcoming Hopelessness


I was finally forced to admit to myself that I’m angry. Why? Recently, I was at an event where a certain person was scheduled to speak for 3 to 5 minutes. Instead, he spoke for closer to 20 minutes.  I stopped listening after a few minutes.

By the time the young man had finished speaking, all I could think of was his inconsideration. My frustration level was unbelievably high. I considered assertively “dealing with” the issue for a time. Luckily, I didn’t follow through. Any of the actions I contemplated would have had disastrous consequences. If I had talked to the authorities at the meeting, the speaker himself, or the young man’s parents, I probably would have caused permanent rifts and made myself look foolish.

Really? Who gets that upset over long speeches? It makes no sense.

It’s certainly not in my nature to publicly confront people over minor issues. What did I do, then? I internalized my anger. I turned inside myself and clamped down on my feelings.

What is Depression?

One possible, yet simplistic, definition of depression is anger and hopelessness turned inward, rather than outward. On the other hand, rage and violence are anger turned outward. Both manifestations of negativity are damaging to our mental and physical health.

What is the Cure for any Loss of Hope?

Professionals in many fields, as well as survivors of trauma, agree that the key to overcoming is visualization. This means that we see things as we want them to be rather than as they currently are. For instance, I cannot expect to only contemplate my continuing lack of victory in so many areas and move forward.

There are plenty of stories of people who conquer crippling addictions, the inability to have children, and serious injuries. How do these amazing individuals succeed? They refuse to get mired down in the present. They reject the idea that “this is as good as it gets.”  Such people visualize a brighter future despite evidence to the contrary.

Ben Amos

He is an ordained minister and Bible teacher. He also wrote a book and put together a YouTube series on depression. I just finished his wonderful book, called How to Break Free From Depression, Fear, and Anxiety in 30 Days: Using Ancient Biblical Secrets . In it, Mr. Amos discusses how he overcame childhood trauma. At the age of two, he was hit by a car. Unsurprisingly, the result was years of pain, surgery, and bullying.

What is his secret? He declined to accept the negative vision thrust upon him everywhere—from almost everybody. Instead, he followed proven biblical strategies, such as the Law of Decision and the Law of Immersion. In essence, he decided to be victorious and filled his life with only uplifting thoughts.

My Conclusion

The cure for any lack of hope is to believe in a better tomorrow. The best way to do this is to look to God, since we ourselves are limited in power. Look upward, not inward. The psalmist illustrated this idea in Psalm 102. In the first 11 verses, he whines. He feels helpless. However, in the succeeding verses, he turns the focus to God:

“But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.” --Psalm 102: 12-13 (NIV)

“He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”—Psalm 102:17.

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Do you have an inner, or outer, focus?