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A Future and a Hope

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A Future and a Hope

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I.                   One of the greatest attacks against humanity is “depression”

A.               Webster’s:  Psychology; an emotional condition, either neurotic or psychotic, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, etc.

B.                Everyone experiences feelings of depression now and then. Normally these feelings can last a few hours up to two days.

C.               Staying in depression for long periods of time is not of God. It is of the devil. Those who are depressed are spiritually sick.

D.               The devil would like to make every believer depressed.

E.                The devil takes advantage of people who remain in a state of depression. He moves in with conflict and confusions that will destroy all sense of happiness and ruin the health of their family and career.

F.                Depression doesn’t help anything. It doesn’t pay the bills. It doesn’t solve problems. It doesn’t make life better.

G.               Psalm 42:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

H.               Psalm 103:1 says, Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”

II.                Causes of depression

A.               Chemical imbalance:  In this case people need to be healed.

B.                Religion: They feel that being a Christian means great holiness with a long face.

C.               Tradition:  Some people expect us to be depressed for long periods of time after times of deep trouble, financial loss, death, etc.

D.               Broken spirit: When a person is so pressed down until their spirit is crushed, depression is the result.

III.             Signs of depression (warning signs)

A.               Withdrawal: desire to avoid contact with other people

B.                Inactivity

C.               Lack of initiative

D.               Abnormal grieving over yesterday’s mistakes, missed opportunities, and what might have been.

E.                Lack of vision and dreams for the future

F.                Hopelessness—the desire to give up

G.               Sadness too deep to express and too painful for tears

H.               Depressed self-image

I.                   Thoughts of suicide

IV.            Natural ways to overcome depression

A.               A good night’s rest

B.                Eating a good meal

C.               Change in scenery

D.               Time in God’s word

E.                Time in God’s presence in prayer

V.               A look at the Book of Jeremiah

A.               Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet because of the great calamities that God has spoken were about Israel’s coming defeat and captivity in Babylon.

B.                The book of Jeremiah is a bad book on the happiness register

C.               It was a bad book in a bad chapter in Israel’s history

D.               Do you know what it is like to have the worst minute of the worst hour, of the worst day, of the worst month, of the worst year of the worst season of your life?

E.                Not only had Jerusalem been destroyed, their possession either taken or destroyed, their family members killed, but the living had been taken captive to Babylon. Their only hope was that they might return soon. Jeremiah 29 tells the people who are taken captive that they will not return for a long time.

F.                Jeremiah 29 was a bad chapter in a bad book in a bad time.

G.               However, God put a verse of hope in that chapter.

1.          Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

H.               Jeremiah 29:11 was a good verse in bad chapter in a bad book in a bad time

I.                   God was saying, “Although things may be really bad right now, they won’t stay bad. Why? Because I am for you! I am not mad at you. My thoughts toward you are for your wholeness and not for your destruction. Be assured that I have planned a bright future for you. So don’t give up! Hang on the hope that you have in Me!”

VI.            What do you do in the most hopeless time of your life?

A.               Build with hope

1.          God tells them to build houses and dwell in them and to plant gardens and eat from them

B.                Build your family

1.          God tells them to take wives, have children, and plan for a lot of grandchildren

C.               Seek the peace of the city where you are:  Babylon represented captivity. Turn your captivity into God’s opportunity.

D.               Pray for the city—pray for the place and the people that bring you pain.

VII.         How does this apply to us?

A.               The way out of depression is to get our eyes off of ourselves and back on being a blessing

B.                Don’t sit around and wait for hope. Bring hope to others.

C.               Don’t sit around waiting to be healed. Bring healing to others.

D.               Don’t sit around waiting to be delivered. Bring deliverance to others.

E.                Don’t sit around waiting for God’s promise to you. Help fulfill God’s promise in someone else’s life.

F.                Don’t sit around waiting for the salvation of your own household. Go win someone else’s household to the Lord.

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