I Need Hope Now

 Linda Evans Shepherd:

If you are thinking: I need hope now, there indeed is hope:

 

If you have been on a diet of frustration, despair and pain then you may be thinking, I need hope now.

But how do you find it? Why not try feasting on my five favorite scriptures about hope to see if they’ll make a difference:

1.  “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” Psalm 31:24

2.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

3.  “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’” Lamentations 3:24

4. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

5.  “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Let’s pray these Scriptures back to the Lord as a prayer:

Dear Lord,

I choose to be strong and courageous and to put my hope in you.  For you have plans for me that are for good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.

My hope is in you because you are my inheritance, meaning you have stored up purpose, love and life for me. As the source of hope, you will fill me with joy and peace because I choose to trust in you. Therefore, you will overflow my heart with confident hope through, not my own power, but the power of the Holy Spirit.

You will do this because you love me because it is written, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”  Therefore I choose to claim, to believe to trust that your love is for me.  And that love changes everything.

Thank you!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

If you want to know more about starting a relationship with God, click HERE.  In the meantime, I encourage you to cling to these scriptures, and to feed your soul with them whenever you feel hungry for hope.

Take a moment to watch what people would say to those who need more hope in their lives.

I Got Fired – Is My Life Over?

Linda Evans Shepherd:

Help, I got fired!

A couple of days ago, I got an email from the Philippines from a young woman who’d lost her job because of a mistake she’d made at work.  “I got fired, is my life over?” ‘Amy asked me.

“Now I know you have a future and a purpose,” I explained, because it was God who called you to write me tonight.  You could not have known that 30 years ago, I had a very similar experience.  I too was fired and humiliated because of a mistake my boss made.

She made me the fall guy (girl!), embarrassed me in front of my colleagues, then escorted me out of the building with a cardboard box of my belongings.  As a young woman just out of college, I was devastated.  I felt shamed and wept hot, angry tears, fearing I would never find my way around what turned out to be a mere bump in the road.

You see, God redeemed it all.  I went on to find a better job, to start a family, and then to answer God’s call for my life and to write almost 30 books to help others.

“So you see, you too will get past this.  But what you need to do is give this circumstance, your very life to God, and ask him to lead you to a new purpose.  Despite what it feels like now, it’s all going to be okay.”

Amy wrote me back.  “I had tears of joy in my eyes when I read your letter.  I am so excited.  Now I know I have a future.”

And my friend, if you too have also been fired, know that you have a future too.  Things may not turn around overnight, but they will turn around. Everything is going to be all right as you learn to trust God with this situation.

Pray this:

Dear Lord,

Despite my circumstances, I choose to trust you.  I call on you to provide for me and my family, not just financially but with purpose.  Lord, give me a clever idea, a witty invention, an anointing of favor – to get me the job you have for me.

I trust you.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

If you need to know God better, take this quick test.

Oh, and know that a lot of people have survived being fired.  Here’s another story below:

Depressed? Let the Good In.

By Martha Bolton:

Are you feeling depressed? Let the good in. Open the door and let the light shine into your weary and sad soul.

 

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m not sure what it is about human nature that makes our negative memories or disappointments loom so much bigger than all the good moments in our lives.

But during those times when we’re feeling down, that’s exactly what happens, isn’t it?

We have difficulty remembering the good days, the happy times, words of encouragement that we’ve heard or read, the love we’ve been blessed with, and the laughter we’ve shared with others throughout our lives.

Everything seems so dark and murky; the good buried deep beneath that muddled mess of disappointments.

But it’s there.  Every memory you once cherished, every smile that was ever given in your direction, the love, the laughs, the “You can make it!” exhortations, the comments from total strangers, the compliments, the sacrifices made on your behalf (some you may not even realize or want to admit)—they’re all there.  Dig for them.  Look for them.  They’re worth finding.

Seeing the whole picture of your life can be healing, especially if you’ve only been looking at darkness lately.  It’s like living in a boarded up house with no light shining through anywhere.  The darkness is real, but so is the light.  It’s there, but it’s just been blocked out for a myriad of reasons for far too long.

Unblock it.  Allow the good of your life to seep in wherever it can.  Make a list of your good memories as you begin to recall them and post it on your refrigerator or wall.  Look at it often and add to it as other “good memory” events and people come to mind.

The truth of everyone’s life includes both bad and good.  None of us are exempt from bad or shielded from good.  Start giving the good in your life equal billing.

Open up a window and let some sunlight through.  You may find that one opened window will lead to the next one, and the next one, and before you know it, you’ll have opened up the door, too.  When you do, you might be surprised to see just how many people have been standing out there waiting for that moment, too.

7 Steps to Help Fight Depression

 

Author Stephen Ilardi says in his book, The Depression Cure, “The rate of depression among Americans is roughly ten times higher today than it was just two generations ago.”

So what can those of us who live in the today’s world do to beat the blues?

Ilardi believes there are six steps to fight depression, and though we like his ideas, we believe he left out an important step which we’ll include at the end of our article.

 

7 Steps to Help Fight Depression:

 

1. Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids to help the brain function properly.  People low in omega-3’s are more subject to mental illness and depression.

2. Engage in Activity – Or in other words, stay busy.  Working on projects will help people from ‘ruminating’ over their troubles, which can contribute to depression.

3. Participate in Physical Exercise – Ilardi states in his book, “Researchers have compared aerobic exercise and Zoloft head to head in the treatment of depression. Even at a low “dose” of exercise–thirty minutes of brisk walking three times a week–patients who worked out did just as well as those who took the medication. Strikingly, though, the patients on Zoloft were about three times more likely than exercisers to become depressed again over a ten-month follow-up period.”

4. Get Sunlight Exposure – Without sunlight exposure, your body can get out of sync, which can cause your circadian rhythms, energy, sleep, appetite and hormone levels to be disrupted, which can trigger clinical depression.

5. Develop Social Support – When it comes to depression, Ilardi says, “relationships matter.”

He goes on to say, “People who lack a supportive social network face an increased risk of becoming depressed, and of remaining depressed once an episode strikes. Fortunately, we can do a great deal to improve the quality and depth of our connections with other and this can have a huge payoff in terms of fighting depression and reducing the risk of recurrence.”

6. Sleep – Disrupted sleep is one of the most potent triggers of depression so be sure to try to catch your daily z’s.

Now for the suggestion to fight depression that Ilardi missed:

 

7.  Reach out to God – Studies have shown that developing a relationship with God can help relieve depression.

Perhaps you’re angry, even disgusted with what you believe God has allowed into your life.  If this is the case, you will feel better if you make amends with God, consider asking him to help you through your difficulty instead of trying to handle it alone.

Also, if you’ve never known God, click HERE to take our God test.

If you’ve never given your troubles to God, try praying…

Dear God,

These troubles are too much for me, so I give them to you. Now they are your problems.  Give me your supernatural power to let go and to trust that you will not only get me through this, but that you will give me and my loved ones a future and a hope.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Watch Dr. David Thomas’s suggestions about how to control depression below:

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope to Depressed and Suicidal

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope with Readers of Thinking About Suicide

Max Lucado shares words of hope to depressed and suicidal

When I told pastor and bestselling author, Max Lucado about our website, Thinking About Suicide, I asked him if had any words of hope to the depressed and suicidal.  He replied, “The message of grace is so important for those who are in tough times because it takes the burden off of the person and places the burden on God. Grace says that salvation and strength is God based, God given, God driven. Every other religion and philosophy in the world says that it’s up to us to get God’s attention or to win God’s favor—but grace says, ‘No! You already have God’s attention. You already have God’s favor.’

“Those who are passing thought times of despair feel as though they can relate to the orphan because they feel like nobody really cares. But the theme of grace is that God does not just pat us on the back, he gives us a place at his table. He gives us his name, he brings us into his family because he has adopted us. His act of adopting us once and for all declares–I must be worth something. I must have hope and a future.”

I asked, “How can we learn to trust that God’s grace is for us?”

Max Lucado's Grace, More than we Deserve Greater than we Imagine, Due out September 2012, Thomas Nelson

Max replied, “First of all, we have to understand, Linda, what grace means and how it’s articulated in the Bible. We have to wrestle with this whole economy that we are sinners, we need a savior, and that we have one in Jesus Christ who is sufficient to cover our eternal needs.”

“Then, what’s the best way a person can experience God’s grace in their everyday life?”

“I think that one of the underutilized disciplines of faith is confession. After 30 years as a pastor, I believe most people carry around unresolved guilt; a regret, a stumble, a failure—and they’ve never talked to God about it. Satan uses this guilt, Linda, because the commodity of Satan is condemnation. Satan wakes up every day wanting to figure out a way to make us feel guilty. The Bible calls him the accuser and his goal is to condemn us and to create within us a feeling of condemnation.”

“So what’s the solution, Max?”

“If we could learn to quickly confess, ‘Lord, I’m sorry for what I did. I accept your grace,’ then we would live in a state of confession, not in a state of guilt.  To live in a state of receiving this forgiveness of God, all you have to say is, ‘Lord, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’ “Then, confess specifically what you did; ‘I looked at a woman in the wrong way, I spoke out of turn.’”

Max explained, “On the days I really apply this, I find myself practicing dozens of confessions of hour. But it’s not a sense in which I’m just beating myself up, it’s a nonstop conversation that takes place in the back of my mind, between God and me and it’s so liberating!

“Then there’s the issue of these deep seated bad choices,” Max continued, “choices that we made years ago that have never been dealt with.  Many people need to go back and have a good talk to God about that. About the night or the time in the back seat of a car, or with the drugs or the abortion. Some of these major issues that we’ve never really let God forgive.”

It’s time to receive God’s forgiveness.  Watch Max tell an illustrated story about how to let God forgive as he shares words of hope to the depressed and suicidal:

You may also be interested in Max’s books, including the one that led to my interview with him;  Grace, More than we Deserve    Greater than we Imagine, coming September, 2012.

Help Me Cope: My Best Friend Killed Himself

I am so sorry to hear that your best friend killed himself. Losing a friend to suicide is probably one of the most difficult things a person can go through.
This kind of grief is intense and can leave you feeling guilty and wondering what you could have done to stop your friend’s death.  Plus, it’s hard to stop thinking about your loss or to stop blaming yourself that this even happened.

 

 My Best Friend Killed Himself: Now What?

Here are some ideas to help you cope:

  1. Ask God to carry your pain, grief and even your feelings of guilt.
  2. Write down your feelings and memories about your friend in a special notebook, but don’t spend more than 15 minutes a day on this task.  It’s good to vent and express yourself, but if you spend too much time thinking about your loss, it may cause your feelings of grief to worsen. So try to find a good balance.
  3. Talk to a counselor and other adults about your feelings.
  4. Try to understand, then believe, that this really wasn’t your fault.  It wasn’t.
For help with guilt in survivors after suicide of a loved one, click here to read this free online book (PDF format):  SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide, by Jeffrey Jackson at suicidology.org. Here is an excerpt:
“Talking through your feelings and fears is essential for recovery from your trauma.Unfortunately, while your closest supporters may be willing to listen and share with you for a few weeks or months, there’s likely to come a time when their thoughts move on from the suicide while yours are still racing. This is why support groups are so valuable. Fellow survivors understand what you’re feeling in a way that even your closest friends cannot. Your fellow group members will never grow weary of offering supportive words and sympathetic ears.”

The author also offers this link through which you may find a local support group: Find a Suicide Bereavement Support Group at afsp.org (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

One day your pain will lessen, but even when that day comes, your friend will always live in your heart.

To read a letter that one mom wrote to her son who committed suicide, click this link: Suicide is NOT the Final Solution.
If you are hurting and you need to talk to someone, call a suicide hotline.
Here’s the story of how one teen coped with her loss when her best friend killed himself.
You may also find help from another one of our articles by clicking on this link:  The Effect Suicide Has On Loved Ones.

 

God Help Me with My Marriage Problems

By Linda W. Rooks:

All day my heart had been racing uncontrollably and my breathing was shallow.  Fear had entangled me in its web as I fought to understand what was happening with my marriage problems.

All I could say to God was, “Please, God, let me die. I can’t bear this pain.” Then I realized I was sinking deeper and deeper into the mire, and I cried out, “God help me. You can take me home if you want, but save me out of this pit.”

With my body limp from depression, but my sense of duty calling me to fulfill the job I had for the evening, I got in the car and headed for the superstore to buy some supplies for the meeting that night.

As I drove into the parking lot and wound between the lanes of cars, I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of despair that had been pulling me under for the past two days.  I could scarcely breathe.

“Linda, Linda, Linda . . . don’t do this to yourself.  Linda.” A voice was calling to me, an inner voice that repeated my name over and over. I heard the words clearly in my head.  “Linda, I love you. You are precious to me. Don’t do this to yourself.”

Although it was not an inaudible voice, I recognized it nonetheless. The focus of my thoughts lifted from the pit and disengaged from the pain inside. I raised my eyes to something higher, something bigger. A flood of peace poured through me. God was calling out to me. No, I couldn’t depend on the love of my husband right then, not with our marriage problems, but I could depend on a love that was stronger, a love that would not let me go.

The Creator of Heaven and Earth cared about me. He was walking beside me and calling my name, even in the midst of my marriage troubles. My eyes had been so focused on my pain, so lost in the mire, that I couldn’t see Him. But now, as I heard him calling out to me, I knew He had not left me. I was not alone, and I would be alright. The words of the 23rd Psalm streamed into my head:

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.”

Whether I could see Him or not, I knew God had been there all along and would continue to walk beside me while I dealt with my marriage problems. If you are also having marriage problems, know that God’s message for me that difficult night is also for you. Take a deep breath, and know that he will get you through your difficulties, just as he did for me.

If you are wondering if prayer could help your marriage problems, watch prayer author Stormie Omartian address this very subject:

 

 

I Am Getting Bullied

Perhaps you’ve one of thousands of people who  typed, “I am getting bullied’ into your search engine these last 30 days because you’re tired of the name calling, the abuse, and you don’t think you can take it another day.  I understand how you feel,  and I want you to know there is hope for those who are being bullied.
First of all, not everyone hates you.  I don’t hate you (which is why I wrote you this note) and neither does God hate you, plus there are many people in your life who really do care about you.  Secondly, those names you’ve been called do not belong to you.  For instance, if I took a sticky note and stuck the word  ‘CAT’ onto a dog’s forehead –would that word turn the dog into a cat?  Of course not. 
So what should you do if someone called you a name and now you start to believe you are that name?  Don’t own it.  Those names do not describe who you are at all.  In fact, I  have a BIG ERASER named love and I’m erasing that name(s) off of you right now.  And do you know what I see beneath those false labels?  I see you–a real and wonderful person. That’s why those labels cannot stick.  Would you be interested to know that God has other labels or words to describe you?
God’s labels for you are
precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.
Seriously! That’s how God sees you, and that’s how I see you too.   ; )
I’m so sorry you are being bullied, and it hurts my heart to think that people have been cruel to you and know that I believe they were WRONG to do that to you.   But maybe it would cheer you up to read a few more things God has said about you:
  • You are my child.
  • I love you.
  • My son Jesus died on the cross  for you so you could have a relationship with me.
  • You are forgiven.
  • I am with you.
  • I will help carry your pain if you let me.  Just ask for my help!
  • Cast your burdens on me.
  • I will get you through this.  Just follow me, one step, one day at a time!
To learn more about how to have a closer relationship with God, click HERE.

Help Me I’m Being Bullied Song

Also watch this GREAT YouTube.  It’s a song called Who I Am by Katie Belle Atkin that tells what happened to her.
If the video won’t play, click HERE.
I love you!  And so do many others, even if you can’t ‘feel’ that love right at this moment or even if you believe that those terrible words spoken about you are true.  (THEY ARE NOT!)  However, if you are in danger of harming yourself, DON’T!  Don’t let the bullies win.
You are stronger than you know and you will get through this period of your life and you will find happiness and have friendships with people who are not bullies. You have hope and a future and I know God has a special plan for your life.  In fact, Jeremiah 29:11 says (from God to you,)  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
If you need to talk to someone, call  please the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
I am glad you searched I Am Getting Bullied because it led you here.  I want you to know that we are praying for you and know that things WILL get better.  If I were sitting there with you, I would wrap you in my mom-arms, and tell you how much I care.
Here’s a prayer to break lying words off of you:
Dear Lord,
I break the lying words that people are saying about me off of me in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  I ask that you replace those words with the loving words you use to describe me; precious, loved, beautiful, smart, full of promise, a miracle, and wonderful.  Give me your power, strength and truth to believe your words instead of the lies.  Please block and cancel the lying words and thought of suicide off of me – in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus. Thank you for giving me a hope and a future.  In Jesus name, Amen.

In the mean time, please read the story of Liz – and how she found hope when she was being bullied.  Click HERE.

Hope for Teens Thinking About Suicide

Maggie was one of many teens thinking about suicide.  She was tired of living with her depression and believed she could never get better.  But she was wrong.  She says, “Know that help is available and help works.”

Watch as she tells her story and how a white ribbon assignment from her therapist helped her find peace and hope.  Maggie points out, “Some people might battle depression forever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a mostly happy life.”

If you are a teen thinking about suicide, take Maggie’s advice and reach out by calling the suicide hotline below:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 273-8255

Or download a free suicide prevention iPhone App today, ASK !

Search under suicide prevention in App Store to get the ASK! about suicide App to save a life with warning signs, how to ask and hotlines.

A Successful Suicide Prevention Story

By Jeenie Gordon:

As a therapist, on occasion, God has granted me the opportunity to successfully practice suicide prevention through office visits or phone calls. Here is one such story.

He was in his late 20s, good-looking enough to be a movie star. Intelligent, with a vibrant personality, he could capture a heart in a minute—but his world fell apart.

Aaron stumbled into my counseling office, and tears cascaded down his sculptured face like a giant waterfall. Slumping on the sofa, between sobs, he told me his story of pain. I listened carefully.

Married a few short years to his beautiful dream girl, he thought life was blissful—until today.

“Angela wants out of our marriage. Her bags are packed, and she is ready to walk out of the door and out of my life forever.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that, Aaron. Tell me what happened.”

“Angela was swept off her feet by an older, married man at work. The more she spoke of his amazing attributes, the more my heart disintegrated. That’s why I decided to seek counseling.”

During the next few weeks, I was supportive and caring toward this broken man. Returning home late one evening, I had numerous messages from him.

“Jeenie, I need you. Please pick up. Jeenie, I can’t stand the pain, and I’m going to end it.”

With a loaded gun and a broken heart, he called for help. My heart was nearly beating out of my chest as I dialed his number.

“Please, God,” I prayed. “Let him still be alive.”

Thankfully, he answered, and I was able to talk him through the night, preventing his suicide.

Years later, Aaron remarried a wonderful Christian woman, had children, and today is involved in ministry to others in despair.

Not all stories turn out as well as Aaron’s. The dark well of emotion surrounds many people in marital trauma as they sink into a pit of deep muck, unable to climb out. Often they do not possess enough strength to grab onto a lifesaving hope of suicide prevention.

You can search a directory of Christian counselors through the National Christian Counselors Association at http://www.ncca.org/Directory/. Even though suicidal people need professional help, do not underestimate the listening ears, encouraging words, and love of family and friends for they may also help in suicide prevention.

This excerpt was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Here’s a video from Linda Rooks on Huntly Street about restoring a broken marriage: