Benefits of depression: Isolation of hope

Lots of scriptures reference faith, hope, and charity. Many talks from smart people also reference these three things. Charity is obvious, and Paul indicates in his epistle the the Corinthians, that charity is the greatest of these. 

However, I’ve rarely heard a good explanation of the difference between faith and charity. Often they come hand in hand or are referenced together. Nearly as often faith is referenced alone with no connection to hope. 

This inability to separate these two things–which was seriously bugging me around the end of 2012–caused me to make hope a subject of study for the first month of 2013. 

I’ve consistently been taught about hope since that time. For many months it was hope for certain things, for the last year or so, it’s been focused on maintaining any type of hope. 

As depression took over and darkness descended over me, I began to recognize the distinct separation between faith and hope. I had faith, I knew God could remove the horrible, smothering around me. He is omnipotent, He could do it. He is omniscient, He knew what I was going through. 

But I had no belief that He would. That lack of belief was the stark absence of hope. I knew release was possible, but I didn’t think it would come. I really knew it wouldn’t come. There was going to be no release from what I was in. 

At some point, that belief in the possibility of release grew. It was a slight point of light in the darkness of my future. Hope began to exist in my mind. I had a slight hope for some type of release, for salvation from the dark, musicless hell I was in. 

Hope didn’t grow quickly. Hope didn’t come except as I desired it. 

My faith never waivered. It wasn’t affected in the depth of what I experienced. 

Hope was nonexistent. Then I had a grain. Seeing that difference helped me realize how faith and hope are difference. 

My depression isolated hope from everything else. It helped me see how hope is expressly unique. 

Jesus Logic

At first this may sound a little blasphemous. It’s not, I promise. (As an aside, I freaking hate toaster ovens. I can’t even toast things properly.)

In Toronto I met a lot of people whose opinions about Jesus varied. “He was a good guy.” “He was a fraud.” “He taught good things.” “He was the Son of God.” “He was a charlatan.”
While opinions are well and good, we can know Truth. We can know exactly what Jesus was/is/will be. The Spirit will guide us to this knowledge as we are prepared.
However, what helps me is whether things make sense. Regardless of what my mother claims, I feel I am a logical person whose opinions are based in fact and reason. Thus we shall take a lawyer-influenced look at Jesus and His claims.
We know Jesus taught many things taken as truth and as beneficial. However, are they really? Can we really trust a man who claimed he was the Son of God? In a court case, if a witness is proven to have lied on the stand, even once in hours of testimony, the entire testimony is often discounted and the witness is assumed to have lied about everything. This must happen because picking truth from lies is impossible.
Similarly, we can put the testimony of Jesus on trial. Without doubt, the claim that he was the son of a God and a mortal woman is the most questionable he ever made. If someone can disprove that claim, the entirety of his teachings falls apart. Thus the Beatitudes become useless–for they are obviously taught by a liar, His commands to love one another become unnecessary, etc.
Following that track, any teaching that has come since derived from Jesus’ words is also false, any teaching from other perceived great men (Ghandi, Confucius, Mohammad, etc) agreeing or citing Jesus must also be taken as false. As you can see, claim Jesus is only a great man and not 100% what He said He was leads to the disruption of much of the moral code the world follows.
However, if He is the perfect Son of God–a knowledge any willing person can gain–all of His teaching (even the ones you don’t like) must be true (because He could not lie) and must be followed in order to gain the Eternal Life He promises to His disciples. This is the case because the Son of God would have full authority to speak on any subject, and His words would be eternal law. Thus evaluating Jesus’ claim to divine sonship is the crux of most arguments about Christianity.
So the decision comes to you. Will you throw away the morality of the world by believing He is less than what He claimed to be, or will you discover whether He is the Son of God?
My knowledge is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He died and was resurrected so each person who ever lived may gain Eternal Life by following His teachings. Logic supports it and the confirmation of the Spirit irrefutably confirms it.

On Love

There is something special about love. It doesn’t diminish when you share it; it expands and swells. I talk not of the silly child-like lusts that most confuse for love, but the deep affection, the pure caring for someone’s eternal being. For who they are now in the light of who they could be. Maybe that’s a little muddled.

But when you share love; it grows. And it doesn’t just have to be shown to the first person to whom you showed love for the pure love of which I speak is manifest in many different ways. To one (and only one) person it could be manifest in a romantic way, but to others it could be that smile that stays on your face (perhaps influenced by your special person) or a hundred other actions designed to bring about happiness in another.
That is the main motive of love: to make someone else happy. It is not given for selfish reasons as the artists (and psychologists) of the centuries have depicted in their works. It is given because there is motivation to be better (purpose to life?) and in bettering the lives of those around you, your life becomes better.
So share it. It is the best feeling you can give someone. Just be kind; that’s love. A look in your eyes can reveal the same. All it takes is pure motives.