To be honest, a lot of the stress in my life comes of worrying about what people think of me; I want to be thought of as competent, capable at my job and in life. Maybe that’s the thing I have to unlearn: “The fear of man is a snare”.

There is a sorrow comes from a sense of despair; of a sense of worthlessness and futility. Sometimes an unkind or thoughtless word by another (especially if the nerve is already raw) can set off a chain reaction of negative thoughts and feelings, and depression ensues.

Yet what is, at the bottom, behind everything the Bible teaches? That value is real, that what God makes is good (and that He made us), and that because He values us, despair is not an option. It is supremely a declaration of hope.

Read Psalm 77. The writer talks about feeling abandoned and forgotten, then reminds himself to remember the deeds of The Lord; His past deliverances and blessings, and a determination to meditate on His past blessings.

Likewise, I believe that hope is an attitude we can learn; a spiritual discipline we can cultivate and encourage ourselves in. We need to fill ourselves with what the Bible teaches us; to read it, think about what it says to our hearts.

So must I do.