Posted on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2022 by K-LOVE Pastors
Medical doctor and pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones insightfully asked, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is because you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?"
Ever heard yourself saying this? "You're not ready for today. You don't have what it takes. Just stay in bed!" Morning pep talks like this can ruin your day. Twenty years ago, those voices got the best of me, leaving me depressed.
Even though I was serving God, I felt like I was in a courtroom, wondering if I pleased God enough, waiting for His judgment. Over time, I learned how I handled life, and trials varied widely on my temperament.
So, I learned to pay special attention to my attitudes and tendencies. A proper perspective and a positive attitude helped me overcome my anxiety. But abiding in Jesus was my most significant weapon in battling depression. Here are 3 steps to help you find your way out of depression.
Step 1: Identify Your Temperament.
"Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." Psalm 139:14 (NLT)
If your temperament is one of the keys to working out of depression, you must figure out how you are uniquely wired. Here are three ways to identify your makeup when battling depression:
Because of God's grace, there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more than He does right now. So how does this truth help you grow in your life?
Step 2: Discover the Causes of Depression.
"Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you…" Psalm 42:6 (NLT)
Once we know our temperaments, we must recognize the four fundamental causes of depression:
Which cause of depression are you most susceptible to? How can you guard against these tendencies?
Step 3: Ways To Defeat Depression.
"Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God…." Psalm 42:5-6 (NLT)
While it's always a process, there are some tangible steps you can take to defeat depression:
1. Talk to yourself instead of allowing your thoughts to talk to you. Friends, don't let negative voices drown out the voice of God. Don't let anything be a louder megaphone than the Word of God. Notice how the psalmist talks to himself at the beginning of today's verse. Then, notice how he switches gears, reminding himself to praise God.
2. Build your view of God. We often get anxious and depressed because we don't know Jesus and His character well enough. Writer A.W. Tozer says, "Raise your view of God, and take care of a 1,000 lesser evils." So, friends, let's grow our view of God and live with the joy and confidence of that knowledge.
3. Enlarge your view of grace. God's grace is always bigger than you think it is. (Sin tells us God's grace is smaller than you think it is.) During my season of depression, I felt like a "second-class Christian." It has taken me years to even talk about it publicly for fear of public shame. But God uses everything, even our depression, for His purposes (Romans 8:28-30). If that isn't BIG grace, I don't know what is! Our misery and mess can be a conduit of comfort and grace. In fact, all of the thoughts in this devotional come out of the very guts of my experience.
If you find yourself in a season of depression, be encouraged. There is a way out. These feelings won't last forever. I promise God will use your depression to help others down the road. There will be a purpose for your pain.
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