Do You Want To Get Well?
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.
If the answer is "yes" in response to this question regarding depression, there are several
commitments that have to be made. Ten are listed here.
(Note:If You prefer to have the verses written out for you, you have the option of going here.)
1. Commit to a full recovery.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Be willing to humble myself and to seek the help I need from God and others.
Be willing to face the truth and to walk in the light. (Psalm 46:1)(Heb 13:8)
2. Commit to prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Human effort alone is not enough. Trust God and submit to Him and His ways.
Seek an answer through Godly counsel and the assistance of others. (Mat 6:33 )
How to pray: (an example of what to include):
(Psa 139:23 )
3.Commit to an intimate relationship with God.
Matt 11: 28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I need the presence of God in my life first. I need Jesus. ( Heb 10:22-25)
I need to be born again.
I need to do a fierce moral inventory to "clean house" and to make room for Jesus to reign in His temple.
(Severe cases require assistance of a Godly encourager.)
4. Commit myself as a child of God.
1 John 3:1-3
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
Knowing who God is and who I am in Christ are the two most essential beliefs that enable me to live a victorious life.
(Phil 4:13 )(Heb 4:12-13 ) (2 Pet 1:4 )(John 1:12 )
If the devil wanted to discourage me, all he would have to do is to get me to believe a lie about who God is and who I am in Christ. Negative self- talk only fuels satan's forces in the battle for the mind. All depressed
people wrestle with their thoughts. I must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
(2 Cor 10:4)
and choose to think on what is true. (Phil 4:8)
Here is an example of David doing this very thing as he is overcoming his depression. (Phil 4:8)
The immediate result of being filled with the spirit is to give thanks, to sing, and to make melody in my heart. (Eph 5:18 -20)
Flooding my home with Christian songs is an active way to do this.
5. Commit my body to Christ.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
(1 Cor 6:19-20 )
Depression affects the body, soul and spirit.
There may be a physical cause for the depression. Problems with the thyroid, hormones, blood sugar, and the pituitary gland are only a few of the causes of depression. Often we forget to have these things checked out first! Once we do, and if we find it is not a physical cause, it is important to denounce all lies and to choose the truth!
6. Commit to renewing my mind.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
"Learned helplessness" can be unlearned. I can overcome the father of lies by choosing the truth.
There is a difference between winning the spiritual battle for my mind and the long-term growth process of renewing my mind.
Revelation is needed to overcome the father of lies. This is Christ's desire for us. (John 17:13-17)(John 17:13-17)
I have to actively work to sustain a renewed life. (Psa 119:15-16 )
7. Commit myself to good behavior.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
It's true that I have to grow out of a lifestyle depression -and it does take time.
But it doesn't take time to change behavior. (Gen 4:5-7)
It is possible to behave my way into a good feeling! (John 13:17 )
8. Commit to meaningful relationships.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
A major symptom of depression is withdrawal from meaningful relationships. I need to be in contact with the right people, and to restore any relationships I am avoiding because of my "behavior" or "attitude."
(1 Cor 15:33-34 ) (Mat 5:23 -24) (Heb 12: 9-11)
9. Commit to overcome every loss.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
First, I must identify and understand every loss.
Then, separate the concrete from the abstract losses.
Abstract losses relate deeply to who I am and why I am here.
Next, I must separate real, imagined, and threatened losses.
Then, I can see where I tend to convert imagined or threatened losses into real losses.
Imagined losses are distortions of reality. They are based on suspicions or lies or presumptions.
( Prov 13:10 ) (1 Pet 5:7-8 )(1 Peter 3: 13-17)(Phil 1:21 )
Face the reality of the loss.
Develop a biblical perspective of the loss.
Suffering reveals who I am. Each subsequent loss deepens that reality, perfects my
character, and prepares me for a greater ministry.
Renew my mind to the truth of who I really am.
Will I choose to remain a victim?
I am not a product of my past. I am a new creation in Christ.(2 Cor 4:11 )(Heb 12: 9-11)
10. Commit to exchange my ashes for His beauty.
For this section, I want to share a story:
Once I held in my tightly clenched fist...ashes.
Ashes from a burn inflicted upon my childhood body.
These were ashes I did not ask for.
The scar was forced on me.
And for 17 years the fire smoldered.
I kept my fist closed in secret, hating those ashes, yet unwilling to release them. I wasn't even sure if I could. I was not convinced it was worth it.
They caused me to mar the things I touched and leave black marks everywhere---or so it seemed.
I tried to undo it all, but the marks were always there to prove to me I couldn't. I really couldn't.
But God could!
How sweetly the Holy Spirit spoke to me in my tearful despair.
He whispered, "I want to give you beauty for your ashes,
the oil of joy for your mourning
and the garment of praise for your spirit of heaviness."
I had never heard of or imagined a trade such as this!
For My ashes???
My sadly stained memory for the healing in His Word?
My soot-like dreams for His songs in the night?
My helpless and hurting emotions for His ever constant peace??
How could I be so stubborn as to refuse an offer such as this?
So willingly, yet in slow motion and yes, while sobbing,
I opened my bent fingers and let the ashes drop to the ground.
In silence, I heard the wind blow them away.
Away from me....forever.
I am now able to place my open hands gently around the fist of another hurting soul and say with confidence,
"Let them go. There really is beauty beyond your comprehension.
Go ahead - trust Him.
His beauty for your ashes."
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