I recently attended a Celebration of Life service for a friend who made a decision to take her own life. Unfortunately this has become way too common of an occurrence in our small rural community as darkness, depression and hopelessness has enveloped so many people regardless of age, religion, race or social background.

The prophet Jeremiah, who lived about 600 years before Christ, knew of this darkness very well. He is famously nicknamed “The Weeping Prophet” because he personally experienced significant sorrow and pain. He wrote a poem, “Lamentations,” contained within the covers of the Bible, in which he laments the destruction of his nation and of the holy city of Jerusalem.

At one point he writes, “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground.” This is certainly a man who is in the deep throes of agony and heartache.

I recognize there are no simple answers or quick fixes to combat the darkness of depression. But if I had only moment to encourage someone who was wrestling with such pain, I would share these words spoken by this same weeping prophet. In the middle of his lament he writes: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)

No matter the circumstance, there is always hope. God is faithful. His love is never ending. Every day is a new day. Every bend in the road opens up new territory. Every setback becomes a new opportunity. No matter what happened yesterday, today we have a new chance to experience a fresh start. Do not lose hope.

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