Great: The Great Depression was a dreaded time in history caused by a financial crash in the late 1920s and 1930s. It cost thousands of Americans jobs, possessions and a lifetime’s savings. Americans were left in despair and frustration, and most of them fell into depression. However, the church acted as a refuge for the distressed as it provided hope for a better future. The church preached hope in a time when all had been lost. Salvation and reconciliation with Christ were encouraged as opposed to focusing on the suffering. The verse from John 16:33 on Paul overcoming many trials and sorrows motivated Americans during the Great Depression to persevere and look forward to a better future since even Paul finally overcame the world.
Paul in his teachings taught that depression and hopelessness were inevitable at times but having hope in the future makes hard times bearable. Americans during the Great Depression could relate to the suffering of Paul and use his teachings to overcome frustration and hopelessness. By placing their hope in God who in Hebrews 13:5 promised never to abandon or fail them, they could overcome the setback. Depression makes one question life and its essence. It can lead an individual to commit suicide as the hope to live is lost. Trusting that God has bigger plans for the future can change things. As such, it is important that we constantly pray and read the Bible to get reassurance about the future. In addition, placing one’s hope in a higher power will help alleviate questions about the future. I understand that fighting depression can be difficult but changing one’s mindset and understanding that all is not lost can make the circumstances easier. Adopting a ‘big picture’ mentality can speed up recovery.
Edgar, G. H. (2018). Children of the great depression. London: Routledge.