Are you struggling with sadness, depression or hardship today? If so, my heart goes out to you and I’m here to share some hope and encouragement from 1 Peter 1.
“You are not forgotten, for you have been chosen and destined by Father God… May God’s delightful grace and peace cascade over you many times over!” 1 Peter 1:2 TPT
I love this chapter! I have been through a lot of hard things the last 5+ years, including panic attacks, anxiety, the loss of a daughter, two miscarriages, betrayal, extreme financial difficulty, health issues, and the loss of multiple family members in a short time span. This chapter speaks to my heart as I have been in this season of growing, discovering and being refined through overcoming these trials.
I know in times of hardship, it is easy to feel alone and forgotten by God or others, so this reminder in 1 Peter 1 is so comforting! God wants you to know, RIGHT NOW, He is thinking of YOU and He is working in your life. Psalm 115:12 tells us He is mindful of us—think about that—that literally means: HIS MIND IS FULL OF YOU! He hasn’t forgotten you and never will! He chose you from long before you were ever born, and He’s sending His all sufficient grace and peace to you even now.
There is a key you can use to access that peace and grace. It’s found in the very next verse:
“Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has shown us His extravagant mercy. For His fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (vs. 3)
If you are depressed, or just discouraged about anything, nothing will lift your spirit more than choosing to praise God in this moment. It takes a lot of effort, but the reward is “LIVING, ENERGETIC HOPE!”—Hope that gives you a reason and desire to keep going through the difficult moments and seasons! Hope that strengthens your faith by which,
“… the mighty power of God constantly guards us until our full salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy, even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials. But these only reveal the sterling core of your faith, which is far more valuable than gold that perishes, for even gold is refined by fire. Your authentic faith will result in even more praise, glory, and honor when Jesus the Anointed One is revealed.” (vs. 5-7)
Psalm 22:3 says that He inhabits the praises of His people.
I can’t tell you how many moments amid grieving, anxiety or having to endure the pressure of the refining season that God’s presence brought the joy that gave me the strength to keep going. He’s been developing me and helping me discover that who He made me to be is an overcomer, a woman of strength, able to do and face anything by His grace that empowers me! He wants to do the same for you!
Praise for Him in the hard times comes from our love for Him. The more we love Him, the more we trust Him and desire to seek Him in worship.
“You love Him passionately although you did not see Him, but through believing in Him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory!” (vs. 8)
Our love for Him gives us reason to worship Him; our worship brings us into His presence; His presence brings us joy that strengthens us and hope that keeps us going. It also helps us discover our true identity as His children, empowered to overcome!
From personal experience, I can tell you, the best treatment for depression, discouragement and sadness is found in God’s love for us, our love for Him and our worship.
(Please note: there are things we can do in the natural and wisdom we can receive from ministers, doctors and professional counselors to help with depression or hardship—the best course of action is always to seek God and follow His lead to the answers that will work for you. Sometimes we need help hearing from Him so please don’t hesitate to contact your pastor, mentor, counselor, etc. as needed. We are not meant to do life alone!)
Featured Photo by: Paige Robinson