I was 15 and I had no friends.
I was 20 and I had no girlfriend.
I was 25 and I had no joy.
I was 80 and I had no more time.

Perhaps you are a teenager reading this and feel alone and unwanted… perhaps you are a pastor feeling the weight of your calling and crushed by spiritual darkness… perhaps you are a single mom with no more energy left to begin a new day tomorrow… perhaps you are a college student stressed by due dates and concerned for your future… perhaps you are retired and regret the past you have lived.
I pray that my experiences may give you hope, to let you know you are not alone, and the God has a plan for you.

At 15 I began to feel isolated. As a home-schooled kid I was used to times by myself, but being part of a large family and active in my community and home church there weren’t many times when I was truly alone.
When I really started feeling isolated was when my friends would watch things I wasn’t allowed to and talk about things I didn’t know about. So I began to seek out the most raunchy music I could listen to, watch the most explicit movies I could find, and experience what I had “missed out” on for so many years.

At 20 I couldn’t see that God had plans  for my future. I had not ever even had a girlfriend and I always thought it was that I simply hadn’t found “the one.” I was terribly discouraged and feared living life alone… I continued to do the right thing in living for God (publicly), but my heart was drifting far from Him.

At 25 I had so many things I asked God for; a wife, a ministry position, a degree, and yet it still wasn’t enough. I came home from work many days exhausted; I felt like I shouldn’t even be here. My fears and failures of the past haunt me, I don’t do what I should do, and feel like I’m wasting precious moments… Present tense.
I stand on the edge of 26 and ask God if He really wants me to stand with brothers and sisters in ministry against the tide of a world that hates the One who made it?
But like Moses and Job asking God about His ability, I’m floored by my inadequacy and lifted up by His sufficiency. I was reminded by the words of another David that my difficulties are temporary,  “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11

If your hope is found in Christ, you have no reason to fear the future, to mourn the past, or grieve the present. There will certainly be seasons of heartache, but don’t allow moments of sadness to cause you to forsake joy.

Charles Spurgeon once wrote these powerful words, “Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy… I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions.”

At 80 I don’t want to have run out of time and wish for moments back that I am living out now. Those of us in Christ are never alone and our moments of depression cannot compare to the joy that awaits us, so live in light of the joy and hope that Christ brings…

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

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