The brief note I received from a friend thanking me for calling revealed the depth of his depression. Knowing he was going through a difficult experience, I had called to ask how he was holding up and to encourage him. “Sometimes you feel so alone and wonder if anyone cares,” his note read.
Perhaps you feel alone and depressed. If so, remember many feel as you do today. And for a variety of reasons.
Negative influences impact us daily. We experience physical and emotional pain, face conflicts with disagreeable people, receive unwanted bills in the mail and, even on drives to relax, pass hospitals and cemeteries, those silent reminders that all is not well with the world.
As I approached the check-out counter, the clerk’s name tag caught my eye. "Faith,” it read, introducing its bearer to each customer who came through the line.
“What a nice name!” I exclaimed. "Faith makes heaven sure.”
“My parents gave me a hard name to live by,” she replied.
"Are you going through a tough time?” I asked.
“Oh, yes!” she said.
Handing her some faith building reading, I left this troubled woman with the most encouraging words I know: “Remember God loves you.” I wanted her to know that our loving Lord has assured those who trust Him they will never be alone.
Faith needed faith.
But the faith that lifts from depression and drives away loneliness does not rest in itself. Instead it is anchored securely in God. Even strong faith would be worthless if the object of our faith were not strong.
Standing on the bank of the storied Mississippi, I looked up at the break in the bridge that spanned the river not far away. A heavy truck had been too much for the structure and a section of it had given way just after the fortunate truck driver had crossed safely to the other side.
There had been nothing wrong with the driver’s faith, for he had risked all in making that crossing. But the bridge was not worthy of his faith. Though he had escaped with his life, the bridge was broken by the load placed on it.
Our Lord is unlike that bridge. He will not fail.
Great faith is built on the conviction that God loves us, hears our prayers and is able to do anything. Too many of us say we believe this but do not act on it. A.W. Tozer, the late prolific author of Christian classics called this “pseudo faith,” writing: “Pseudo faith always arranges a way out to serve in case God fails it. Real faith knows only one way and gladly allows itself to be stripped of makeshift substitutes. For true faith, it is either God or total collapse. And not since Adam first stood up on earth has God failed a single man or woman who trusted Him.”
True faith must be more than a name or a profession. It must exist in the heart!