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Finding Hope in God’s Words

What do you do when you have no hope? The Bible can help us to focus on moving forward, no matter the struggles life may throw at us and hope seems lost.


 Finding Hope in God’s Words 

Host: What are some of the reasons that others become depressed? And what should be our response to problems so that these will not lead us to making the wrong choices? Well, that is what we will be learning today on The Message.

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Brother Joe Velasquez 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Joe Velasquez: Hello, I’m Brother Joe Velasquez, and with me here in our studios in the San Francisco Bay Area is Brother Richie Juatco. Hi, Brother Richie! 

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Brother Richie Juatco 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Richie Juatco: Hi, Brother Joe! You know, depression may not be a headline grabber, but the facts speak for themselves. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 280 million people worldwide have depression. It’s a leading cause of disability and contributes to the global burden of disease.

Brother Joe: And you know, Brother Richie, it should be noted that depression isn’t the same as just being sad. At its worst, depression, brought about by the troubles that one faces, can even lead to suicide. Now, why is that so? What often becomes the state of mind of those who are dealing with many troubles? 

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, to answer that question, we’re going to turn to what’s recorded in Psalm 55, and we’ll read from verse 3. It says this: 

I am panic-stricken at the hostile shouts, at the shrill clamor of the wicked, for they heap trouble on me and revile me in their fury. 

[Psalm 55:3 Revised English Bible] 

Brother Richie: You know, when a person just like what we read here has many troubles in life, even heaps of troubles, it may lead them to be panic-stricken. Now, what exactly is panic-stricken? If we go to the dictionary in Merriam-Webster, it says “too frightened to think or act normally.” So when one is—like what the Bible says—panic-stricken, they may not be thinking rationally. In such a state of mind, they may also do things [that] rational people would not normally consider doing, and that would include doing things that might be harmful even to themselves.

Brother Joe: Now, that’s true, Brother Richie. In fact, there are those who make wrong decisions that don’t solve their problems but really only make them worse. Others might turn to vices in an attempt to escape the reality of their situation, even becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs. Others may fall in with bad companions, and others, sadly, even go so far as to take their own lives. Now, what may others be feeling when they’re facing problems which may lead to them becoming panic-stricken? And what is the best way for anyone to respond when they feel overwhelmed by their problems?

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, we’ll read now II Corinthians 4:8-9. Here it says: 

We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn’t make us lose hope. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.

[2 Corinthians 4:8-9 The Living Bible]

Brother Richie: So what’s the right way to handle problems? We should handle it this way, the way that the apostles handled it. Why is it that it’s so important that we’re learning this? Because dear friends, perhaps there might be some watching this that might be feeling at this moment the same way—that you might have all these problems, you might feel that you’re also being pushed hard from all sides. 

Is there any hope for depression?

Brother Richie: There are some that might feel confused, bewildered as if you’re getting knocked down. You may be deep in depression because you might feel that there’s no solution to what is troubling you. But is there any hope for those who are experiencing depression? There is. 

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Finding Hope in God’s Words 

The Bible teaches us that the problems we face shouldn’t make us lose hope. How can we identify those who have a positive outlook on life and are hopeful even in the midst of trouble? We read, they “get up again and keep going.”

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Brother Joe Velasquez 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Joe: You know, all of us have our own individual burdens that we carry. Maybe others are dealing with financial hardship because of a loss of a job or income. Others may be coping with grief because of the loss of a loved one. And there are those who might even be in poor health or diagnosed with a terminal illness. Still, others may be getting bullied or struggling with school life. And there may even be those among you dear viewers who have been victims of great injustice. So you might be thinking that staying hopeful in your situation and always making the right decisions is unrealistic. But what does God want to teach us to do so that we won’t make the wrong choices in dealing with our problems?

Brother Richie: Since we want to know what God is teaching us, Brother Joe, we turn again to His words written in the Bible. We’ll read Deuteronomy 30:15 and 19. He says this. 

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.

[Deuteronomy 30:15 New Revised Standard Version]

Now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the Lord to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life! 

[Deuteronomy 30:19 Contemporary English Version]

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Brother Richie Juatco 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Richie: We can see that our God, here, He does give us this choice and we are all filled with different choices and decisions that we should make. Now we understand not all decisions have the same weight. There are some that are of lesser impact to us, like deciding what color, tie or shoes to wear. And by the way, very good choice on the tie you’re wearing today, Brother Joe!

Brother Joe: Thank you, Brother Richie! 

Brother Richie: But also there are heavier decisions in our life that might be life decisions, literally life and death. When such situations arise, what is it that God is instructing us to do? We read from the Bible, God said, “Choose life!” 

Brother Joe: You know, that’s very important, Brother Richie, because choosing life goes hand in hand with choosing prosperity and blessings from God. That’s in contrast to making choices that would lead to death, adversity, and even God’s curse. So it’s only normal for all people to want prosperity in God’s blessings, especially if they’re experiencing problems that might bring them depression. So how do we choose life?

Brother Richie: Well, since we read 15, we ended at 19, let’s just continue to verse 20–Deuteronomy 30:20–to find out how to choose life. It says here: 

Love the Lord your God, obey him and be loyal to him. This will be your way of life, and it will mean a long life for you in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

[Deuteronomy 30:20 God’s Word] 

Brother Richie: How is it that we choose life according to what we’ve read, it says, obey God. How should we obey Him? It says, “be loyal to him.” What would we prove if we do that? It proves that we love Him. A good result from handling our problems the right way. It will give us hope because as we read, it will give us long life. The longest life is eternal life, which is there in the Holy City.

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Finding Hope in God’s Words 

Brother Joe: And dear friends, the burdens you carry in your heart may have you feeling down, but these should never be a reason for anyone to do anything that would be harmful to themselves. We know that obedience to God’s commandments offers us a ray of hope, especially if we feel like our life is overshadowed by troubles. Obeying God is how we show that we choose life and God’s blessings. But what is a commandment of God that must be obeyed by everyone to prove that they are indeed choosing life?

Brother Richie: So, we said choosing life is obeying God’s command. So, what is one of the commands you asked that we should do? Let’s read here in I Corinthians 6:20, it says here: 

You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God! 

[I Corinthians 6:20 The Passion Translation] 

Brother Richie: What is a commandment that we should follow so it shows we are choosing life? We use our body to bring glory to God! That’s choosing life because, of course, we cannot use our bodies to bring glory to God if we’re dead.

Brother Joe: You know, that’s right, Brother Richie. And since those who can still fulfill this commandment of God are those who are still alive, still capable of using their bodies, what do the apostles teach us to do with our body?

Brother Richie: We can read what God teaches us, through the apostles, here, in I Thessalonians 5:23: 

I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 

[1 Thessalonians 5:23 Contemporary English Version] 

Brother Richie: The Bible teaches us that we should keep our body–together with our soul and spirit, as we read earlier–healthy. One who keeps their body healthy doesn’t do anything which would bring harm to their body and health. Like, for example, abusing drugs or alcohol or inflicting harm on their body. Or even worse, taking their own life or even attempting suicide. Now, why is it that we say that? Because others are asking, is suicide a sin? Well, the Bible teaches us in I John 3:4 that sin is a transgression of God’s law.

Now, since keeping ourselves healthy, what we just read, is in accordance with God’s law, then taking one’s life is a violation of God’s law. And thus, yes, it is a sin against God. Those who choose to end their life will only make problems worse, for they would fall under God’s curse. They would not be able to reverse that, and they would fail to enter the Holy City promised by God.

What do you do when you have no hope?

Brother Joe: And dear friends, it might be that there are many who are feeling hopeless and think that life has nothing more to offer them. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, there are more than 700,000 people who die every year due to suicide. But surrendering to depression and losing the will to live is not the solution to our problems.

Now, we know that others might be saying that they are not engaging in any self-destructive behaviors or entertaining any thoughts of doing harm to themselves, but they are, however, filled with depression. Dear friends, is depression a sin? And what should give us inspiration to carry on, even though we are facing many problems in this life? 

Brother Richie: Brother Joe, we do know that we’re all facing problems. Inspiration that we need is what we can read here, in II Corinthians 4:18. What is the instruction of the Bible even if we have a lot of problems? It says this: 

So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 

[II Corinthians 4:18 The Living Bible] 

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Finding Hope in God’s Words 

Brother Richie: The instruction of the Bible that gives us inspiration, actually says, don’t look at what you can see right now. What is it that we can see right now? It says, “the troubles all around us.” So what are we supposed to look at? It says, “look forward to the joys.” Why should we look there? It says, because that “will last forever.” The troubles we face, we understand, they’re not just going to disappear. They might continue tomorrow and beyond. But what we should not do is dwell on our problems. We don’t expect the bills to just disappear, right, we know that. But the Bible teaches us we shouldn’t just focus on that, the troubles all around us. What we should do, instead, according to the Bible, is we should focus our minds on what is ahead. What is ahead? The joys in heaven. Why is it that we should focus on that? As we mentioned, that is what’s going to last forever. How about the problems we’re experiencing now? It says, “The troubles will soon be over.” 

Brother Joe: And you know, Brother Richie, this is what should give us inspiration to go on, even though at times it may seem that the problems keep coming one after another. You know, these temporary troubles in this life, they do have an end, dear viewers. And the sadness that we feel in this life because of them we know will be replaced with eternal joy in the kingdom of heaven.

Perhaps what’s causing others to feel depressed is, well, they’re thinking there’s no one who they can turn to, who will understand their problems and really be able to help them. Now, why is that the best time for us to approach God in prayer? Can prayer help with depression? And what should we ask from God so that we can overcome all our troubles and problems in this life? You know, we can read here in the teaching of the Holy Bible and Psalm 57:1-3. The answer that all of us should listen to, and this is what stated: 

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, because I come to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings I find protection until the raging storms are over. I call to God, the Most High, to God, who supplies my every need. He will answer from heaven and save me; he will defeat my oppressors. God will show me His constant love and faithfulness. 

[Psalm 57:1-3 Good News Translation] 

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Brother Joe Velasquez 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Joe: Dear viewers, when nothing seems to be going right, [and] you find yourself sinking into depression, well, we know that prayer is of great benefit in not only finding comfort and peace of mind, but in receiving that genuine and lasting help that only God can provide.

And what will God do for His obedient servants who call upon Him and put their trust in Him by means of their prayers? Well, we know that He will protect them and save them. “What if we’re experiencing severe hardship?” Others may say. Well, dear viewers, the Bible teaches that God can supply our every need. So what then should we ask from God for us to be able to overcome our troubles? We should ask Him to be merciful to us, to show us His constant love. And what can we be certain of if we will do so? Well, according to the Bible, He will answer our prayers. 

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Brother Richie Juatco 

Minister of the Gospel 

Brother Richie: For our fellow brethren inside the Church Of Christ who might be experiencing depression, or who might know someone who is, let us draw inspiration from the teachings of the Bible, that our troubles in this life, it won’t last forever; there is an eternal joy in heaven awaiting God’s servants who remain loyal and obedient to Him. 

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And for our dear friends who are still learning about the Church, and want to learn more about God’s teachings which do give us hope and inspiration amidst the problems of this life, we invite you to continue your studies with us in this program and through our diverse content on and on streaming platforms.

Brother Joe: On behalf of all of us here at The Message, we would like to thank you for joining us today in our study of God’s words. We hope that you will continue to watch this and the other programs of the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church Of Christ. Before we go, please do join us for a short prayer. 

Dear God, most merciful and loving Father in heaven, we thank You from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to receive Your message today. May Your teachings continue to serve as a source of our strength, inspiration, and hope, so that even though we face many problems and difficulties in life, we will find joy always in obedience to Your teachings and Your commands. 

It may be that some of our viewers are encountering great suffering in this life—frustration, sadness and loneliness. We know that You are our only hope, Dear God. May You help us, so that we may overcome all of these things, we will be guided by Your will in making the right choices in our life, for us to receive your blessings as we journey in this world, and most importantly for us to be confident and certain of receiving the spiritual blessings You have reserved for all of us.

Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon You, may You bring our humble supplications unto our Father. Kindly ask Him to extend His compassion to all of us, especially to those who are in dire need of His help, those who may be experiencing depression, who may even have entertained thoughts of harming themselves, so that they will be able to receive the renewed strength that comes from Him to go on in their journey in this life.

O, Father in Heaven, may You continue to maintain our firm connection with Administration You have placed in Your holy Church. Guide and inspire them with Your Holy Spirit, so we may all be brought to the right way of serving your holy Name. It’s our confidence, O God, that You have heard our prayers, and that You will always be with us as we continue on in our journey in this life, for we ask and receive all of these things all through the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. 


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Finding Hope in God’s Words