Ask the Pastor
by Pastor Daniel Rudd
I am a local pastor at The Gathering House, and I was speaking with the editor about the idea of writing an “Ask the Pastor” column in Nation Valley News. I would like this to be an opportunity for anyone who is struggling with any questions to have them answered in this column. You can submit questions to Pastor Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been closely watching social media and the news as the time approaches for America’s election. It seems to me pretty ridiculous that out of all the people in the US, the best two options are a corrupt Hillary Clinton and a sexist Donald Trump. Looking at that situation as an outsider the next four years for the United States seems pretty depressing.
Another thing though that seems depressing to me is when I look around and see the situations of individuals in both the church and outside of the church. The problems range from marital issues, infertility, cancer, sickness, surgeries, boyfriend or girlfriend problems, job situations, Canadian winter weather (Seasonal Affective Disorder), people situations; whether from people betraying you or letting you down, car troubles, mistakes we can’t seem to get away from. All of these things can lead to depression which can unfortunately lead to both self harm or worse, death. My question that I want to deal with this week in “Ask the Pastor” is how can we live with hope, when there seems to be so many reasons to not hope?
First thing I would like to say is that no matter how bleak your situation is it is never a reason to end your life. There is always hope that things can and will get better. If you are dealing with depression I just want to tell you that there is always hope. You are not alone so find someone to help you whether it is a friend or a church family or professional counselor.
There seems to be so many reasons for depression but what is the reason to hope? Believers in Jesus can have hope because they have a God who has promised to never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5). They also have hope because God has identified himself as a God who can provide for his children’s needs and he knows them before we can even ask (Matthew 6:8).
Believers also have hope because they have Jesus who has died for their sins and has bled on their behalf. I heard a story once of a woman coming to a pastor after having cut herself several times as she was trying to deal with her depression. The pastor told her Jesus bled on the cross paying for our guilt, our shame our depression so that we don’t have to and so that you and I can have a relationship with the God of hope (Romans 15:13).