But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20-21
Recently I read an article that listed reasons why people become depressed. The list included things like summer, too much time on Facebook, where you live, and believe it or not, too many choices of breakfast cereal in the grocery store. A surprising number of people felt depressed and suicidal after watching the movie Avatar; They were sad that the fictional planet Pandora wasn't a real place.
I believe the article failed to mention one significant factor: How we view the future has a huge impact on our present state of mind. I believe the reason many people struggle with depression is because they've lost hope in the future. They believe that their current state will never change, or it'll get worse. Practically speaking, if there's no hope for the future, its depressing! On the other hand, if we believe things are going to improve, if we believe the future will bring peace, joy, prosperity, our outlook brightens!
In other words, how we view the future can set the course for how we live our life.
I remember the months leading up to when Tammy and I were to be married. I had taken a new job in Northern California. I was making a great income with the promise of upward promotions, and we were planning a wedding in Lake Tahoe. As the wedding day approached, I remember becoming more and more excited; "She's coming! We're going to get married, start a new life together, have children… it's going to be awesome!" For me, things were looking up; my outlook was bright!
Well in Jude 1:20-21, Jude gives us principle #3 in how to remain in God's love, which is also a practical remedy for depression:
"...looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
In other words, as Christians, we have the blessed hope of confidently expecting the return of Jesus Christ! Saints, He IS coming, He promised us that He would;
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:27
See, we need to have an awareness that Jesus is going to return, that He will establish His kingdom, and that we will rule and reign with Him. When we fully accept and comprehend the reality of that event, the future looks bright! It changes how we live our lives; it changes our relationships; it changes how we invest our time and money; it changes how we raise our children; it changes everything!
When we live with an awareness that Jesus is returning, it will change the pattern and the tempo of our life.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2