Defying depression with God

Defying depression with God

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where is God?

We don't always feel God's presence. As a matter of fact, I have never felt the presence of evil more than in the darkest hours of depression.

We cry out:
"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; My soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
-Psalm 63:1

The Lord says:
"I will never leave you nor forsake you."

-Josua 1:5

God's word promises:
"if we are faithless, He will remain faithful."
-2 Tim 2:13

"the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."
-2 Thess 3:3

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

We search and can't find. We sense a longing unfulfilled. We question the promise of God.

God is good and faithful. God is ever-present. Our feelings are deceiving. In our illness, our reality is skewed. Hang on to what you know is true. Hang on to the Father for He is hanging on to you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Asking for Help

When we are depressed many will ask what they can do for us. They want to help. They feel helpless and frustrated when we can't tell them how to help. Honestly, we can't imagine how they could possibly help. When we can't find the words to ask for help we can pray God's Word and trust in His promise.

Our prayer:
Psalm 90:13-15
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. make us glad for as many days as You have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

God's promise:
Psalm 91:14-16
"Because [she] loves me, says the LORD," I will rescue [her]; I will protect [her], for [she] acknowledges my name. [She] will call upon me, and I will answer [her]; I will be with [her] in trouble, I will deliver [her] and honor [her]. With long life I will satisfy [her] and show [her] my salvation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

God is Near

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
-Psalm 34:18

I have never been more brokenhearted than in the depths of depression. And the words "crushed in spirit" paint such an accurate picture of how I feel at the bottom of the pit. But the LORD is close. He is not unconcerned or indifferent. He is not aloof. Though, He wants us to trust Him more than we want to be well. He wants to make us mature and complete, not keep us from all pain. Scripture supports this in the book of James.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (italics are my addition)
-James 1:2-4

God views struggles as opportunities for growth. He is close by. He will remain close by and help you grow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Letter from your Father

God says:

I love you.
I hear you.
I will supply your every need.
I will guide you.
I have plans to prosper you.
I will remain faithful.
It will come to pass in my perfect time.
I will give you peace that passes understanding.
I will refute every tongue that accuses you.
I will be with you always.
I will send my angels to protect you.
I will strengthen and empower you.
I will quiet you with my love.
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
I delight over you with singing.
I am enthralled by your beauty.
I know the number of hairs on your head.
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
I know when you sit and when you rise.
I see your heart.
I sent my son to die for you.
I forgive you.
I will comfort you.
I count your tears.
I hurt when you hurt.
I have your best interest at heart.
I am your father and I know best.
Trust me, for I am trustworthy.

I love you,
Your Daddy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Unchanging God

Mal 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

Consider the North star or a lighthouse. Both are used in navigation as an unchanging point of reference. They are also both used in the dark.
Like a lighthouse or a star, the LORD should be our unchanging point of reference when navigating in the dark.

In Isaiah 50:10 we read:
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on His God."

If, in the dark, we take our eyes off of our LORD, then we have turned away from the light. With no point of reference, we will get lost in the darkness, we will stumble and become disoriented and frightened.
If, however, our eyes are fixed on the Light as we trust in our LORD, we will keep heading in the right direction. Keep your eyes on the unchanging Light for He is trustworthy. Keep your eyes fixed on the Light and He will steer you through the darkness.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Intimacy with Christ

When we enter into an intimate relationship with someone we share life. We experience shared joy as well as shared suffering.

In 1 Peter 4:12 Peter tells us;
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."

If we desire true intimacy with Christ we should not be surprised when we suffer. Depression is horrible and we struggle to describe the intensity of our suffering to others. I believe that Christ suffered far more on the cross in bearing the weight of our sin and experiencing separation from the Father. The depth of His suffering is beyond our comprehension.
If the purpose of our trial is that Christ is drawing us into a more intimate relationship with Himself then it may even be possible to find joy in our suffering.

Paul also relates his desire for intimacy with Christ through suffering.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul says;
"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings..."

Paul wants intimacy with Christ and he says that in order to experience the power of the resurrection in our lives, we must first experience the suffering.
There is no suffering we can experience with which Christ is unfamiliar. I consider it an honor that Christ would call me to share in His suffering in order to draw me into a more intimate relationship with Him. This understanding can be quite difficult to maintain during dark times, but it is that truth that gives me hope in my suffering.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Come to Me

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
-Matthew 11:28

In the unrest of depression, lean into Jesus. Sit in His lap and press your face into His chest.
He will give you rest.
When you are weary of carrying the heavy burden of despair, lean into Jesus. Fall limp in His arms and melt in His loving embrace.
He will give you rest.
When it seems you cannot bear any more, abide...stay...remain. Cling to His promise.
He will give you rest.