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Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Strong Mind pt 3

Dear beloved:  The book of Proverbs contains some very timely wisdom regarding the issues of depression and anxiety.  Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression ( weighs it down), but a good word makes it glad.  So we see that when we let anxious thoughts take over our life, our heart becomes heavy and we get "depressed".  These thoughts can have their source in anger towards self or others, bitterness regarding people or life events, unforgiveness, or fear of the future or the unknown.  The Apostle Paul has good instruction for the Philippians when he tells them in Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice! v5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near(at hand).  v6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  v7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

And so Paul lays out God's prescription medicine for depression.  First of all, rejoice in all things.  Begin to cultivate a heart and an attitude of praise and gratitude, give thanks to the Lord for every little thing in your life, even the sunshine, the air you breathe, every day that the Lord gives you to walk this earth. If you are holed up in your sorrow and fear, start thanking Him for people who care for you and every small step as you move forward. Saturate your environment with praise and worship music, in your car and in your house, make it uncomfortable for the demons of darkness to hang around you.  Second, let your forbearing spirit be known to all, in other words, don't be afraid to give praise the Lord and credit to Him for keeping you standing.  The Lord is near, in your mouth and in your heart! Be a testimony to those you come in contact with.  Then third, take all your anxiety, all your fear to the Lord in prayer.  When anxious and fearful thoughts begin to creep into and take over your mind, that is the time to get down on your knees and let your requests be made known to God.  It is all right to spend hours on your knees, crying out to the Lord for mercy and for strength, and do it with an attitude of thanksgiving, giving the Lord thanks for every small victory.  Paul says as you do this, the peace of God in Christ Jesus will guard your heart and your mind.  Wouldn't it be much better to depend on Jesus Christ to give us peace and guard our hearts and mind, than to depend on "antianxiety" medications that are addictive and unreliable, and in the long run do very little to help alleviate the condition?

And finally, Solomon gives us wisdom regarding this situation in Proverbs 13:12.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. When we put too much of our hope in this world, in the relationships with family and friends, in our jobs and vocation, in our riches and material possessions, we are bound to be disappointed and eventually become heartsick.  But when our hope is in the Lord Jesus, everything else then takes its proper place in our life.  Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, v2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in the hope of the glory of God.  v3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; v4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; v5 and hope (in Jesus)  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Beloved, put your hope in Jesus, then you will never be disappointed!    May God bless you as you pray.  in Christ, Jim

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