Keep fighting back (Christmas depression part 4) you are worthy

There are a couple of things that you need to know. First of all I firmly do not believe that Depression is a feeling, it is a state of mind.  It is not a choice. There is however, a choice involved. The choice to fight back.  In my opinion, depression comes from the Evil one. It is clearly not from God. Job 34: 12: 12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. Fight back with the thoughts that God does not want us to be timid.  2 Timothy 1: 7: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,love and self-discipline.

In my experience, depression is the lies of the evil one telling us we are unworthy, we can’t it makes me afraid. Afraid to go out of the house, afraid to do anything at all. It makes me afraid to be with my husband. It makes me afraid to make a choice. He focuses on whatever has just happened and brings back things from our past to support it. For me that is a lot.  From neglect as a child and teenager, to physical abuse as an adult; from having a period of homelessness as a teenager, to desperately wanting my family miles away to help me get out of a severely abusive almost to where I took my life to get away-relationship. The evil one will pull things out, throw them at me and use them to prove to me that I am unworthy.  THESE ARE LIES.  ME, YOU, WE are worthy to feel Joy, WE are worthy to feel COURAGEOUS. WE are worthy to feel happiness. WE ARE WORTHY OF THE PEACE BROUGHT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.  WE are WORTHY because we are children of God. Oh and the important part:

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO EARN THIS WORTHINESS. IT IS A GIFT FREE FROM GOD. 

Let me repeat that, it is a free gift from God.  Ephesians 2: 8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  All you have to do is trust in the Lord.  It is not always easy but God will give you the strength.  Isaiah 40: 28-29: 28 Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary  and increases the power of the weak. When we listen to the Lies of Satan, the ones that tell us we are unworthy, we become weak, it is in our weakness that depression sets.  However, when we trust in the Lord, when we put on the Armor Of God, we become strong in our Spirit and we soar like EAGLES.  You can find information about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18.  Sometimes the battle is daily.  But you can not stop fighting, your fight is easy.  All you have to do is put your trust daily in the creator of all things, GOD.  He will give you strength. He is your shield  Matthew 11:28-30: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Jesus took our burdens upon him when he died on the cross.  This is why we are celebrating Christmas, because Jesus came to earth Born as a baby. This is why we can overcome depression, sometimes a daily fight. Remember it is the Evil one who is telling you that you are unworthy.  It is God telling you YOU ARE SO VERY WORTHY. Celebrate His Birth with your whole heart, because that it what it means to Love the Lord your God with all your heart. It means that you do not have to listen to those lies. It means you have the power to trust God, it means that through the grace of Jesus you have overcome even death (Spiritual) There is still a physical death. and everything Satan is telling you is a LIE!.  

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Accepting Joy (Christmas Depression part 3)

The thing about Depression is you do not want to be happy.  Let’s face it, when you are depressed, you have an excuse to not participate in life. Accepting Joy is Living Life. Making every moment count. When you feel down, it is hard to want to do anything. I am not trying to say that it is that easy to pull yourself out of depression.  Here is the thing, you do not have to get out of your depression by yourself.  God has inexplicable joy waiting for you. I am not talking about people who have a medical diagnosis for depression, there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, or some medical reason for your depression cycles .  I am talking about that feeling of sadness that is really listening to the lies of the evil one. The sadness that tries to make you think you are alone and that things won’t get better. It does not have a medical cause, there are not any short wires in your brain, it is just circumstances are not the best and you do not see the end. You feel hopeless.  It does not matter why you are feeling down, What you don’t want to do is to give into the lies of the devil.  You have to allow yourself to feel joy.  You deserve to feel joy. God wants to feel his joy.  It does not mean the situation is any better, it just means you are accepting the peace and Joy that only God can give.  The evil one will tell you that you don’t deserve to be happy.  Let us explore some Bible verses that proves this statement to be false.  These verses can be helpful tools when Satan attacks and tries to keep you in the dark place.

Nehemiah 8:10: 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Job 33:26: 26 then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.

Psalm 51:12: 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation  and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

John 16:20: 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

Romans 15:13: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

If that fails me, if reading the scriptures does not help.  I turn to the Psalms.  As one reads Psalms, one realizes that David, the author of many of the Psalms; also suffered with periodic Blues” .  If the King David, the one who was Jesus’ ancestor can have periodic feelings of sadness, then I am not abnormal!

While I am not a doctor, I know that for many this sad feeling that comes especially around this time of year, is normal. It is also caused by listening to the lies of the evil one. He wants us to feel bad.  He does not want us to feel the Joy of the Lord. He does not want us to live in the peace that God gives.  He wants us to think our situation is unique when it is not.  YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST PERSON TO GO THROUGH THE PAINS AND TROUBLES THAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AND YOU WILL NOT BE THE LAST. 

Once you except that truth, then you can feel Joy, Hope and Peace.  The problem still exists, but you know that God is there, He has a solution and He will see you through.

GOD WILL SEE YOU THROUGH. HE HAS A SOLUTION. TRUST IN THE ONE TRUE KING. CELEBRATE, ALLOW YOURSELF TO LIVE.   And believe me, I know exactly how hard it can be to allow yourself to LiVE. I know how hard it is to believe you deserve JOY, PEACE, and Happiness. Not only do you deserve it, it is okay to show it.  The world does not expect you to look sad.  The Christian world rejoices with you.  Problem still there, but I am trusting God.

Fighting Back (Part 2, Christmas Depression)

If you have ever meet me and gotten to know me even for a few days; you know I don’t quit.  That is attribute my children and husband will assign me, if asked to name one thing about me. They will tell you, my mom, my wife does not quit. She does not give up.  My kids know first hand that if they are doing something that is wrong, I do not stop hounding them about it.  It is one of the gifts that was given me a long time ago when I became saved. The Holy Spirit in me gives me the ability to push on no matter what. There have been times where it has taken some time. Only because I was stubbornly listening to the evil one and believing that it is hopeless. But most of the time it just takes a few nights sleep. God will speak to me my dreams if necessary.  See God needs us to be quiet in order to hear him.  Again, let’s us go with “Do you know me? Have you meet me?” Quiet is not my strong suit.  In a classroom I can talk myself hoarse. That is why when God really needs my attention, it is through my dreams. It is not a dream where I see God speaking, it is not a “Moses on the Mountain” kind of thing. No, it is more action. But there is talking and if I listen to what is being said I realize, God is speaking. I know this makes me sound crazy right? Well maybe, unless you are not hearing your dreams. I believe that God speaks to us using whatever means available, just like we have to do with our children. We have to use whatever means available. How many moms have joined whatever form of social media even with a fake name to see what their preteen through teenage child is doing? Who has started texting just to be able to communicate with their child?  Why should God, who made us be any different? He uses whatever means necessary to speak to us.

Feeling HOPELESS? trust me somewhere in the background God is knocking and trying desperately to remind you that he is there waiting with HOPE AND JOY right there for you all you have to do is acknowledge him. (Luke 15:1-7) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Just like that Shepherd, that is how God pursues us,   especially if we have already accepted him as our Lord and Saviour.  He pursues the non-believer as well, it is just like us; we will pursue our own child who is failing more that someone else’s child. We might have been praying for this child or that one; but let our child start to slip and although we still pray for those that we have been praying, we pursue our own.

Since God is much better than us, he does more than we do, he will seek us even in our dreams if that is what it takes to reach our stubborn head. He will pursue us even if our foolishness place us in jail. He will send His angels to fight the Devil over us. Believe me if you think you are a sore loser, you have absolutely nothing on God, he fights for us to the bitter end. He fights for us.  When we realize that God is fighting for us, then how can we stay still? How can we remain is a sea called hopelessness? Merry Christmas.

Christmas Depression

Hello,  If you are reading this, you suffer from Christmas depression.  Maybe you are missing a loved one.  That is certainly one reason for depression over the holidays. I have a friend that says depression is focused on the person. There is truth to that, however, knowing that is true does not necessarily help with the depression. One of the things that can get me down is what I call Christmas expectations. I know that sounds crazy, but you want the house to be perfect, energy to bake cookies, or pies. you want people to show up for your Christmas party. Maybe you are like me and just want an excuse to cook that 20 pound turkey or that ham. You can not help but to think “How on earth am I going to use all those leftovers?”  Then you realize there is not a Christmas party, because the disappointment of no one showing up is just too much. I mean you invited any family that is remotely related to you, you invited friends, you made lots of food and there was even alcohol.  Since you drink only occasionally, three years later, you still have not found a dessert or some other dish to use it; therefore it is still there up in the cupboard. You can’t help but to think about if I try to throw another Christmas party am I going to have zounds of cookies that I am taking everywhere just to get rid of them.  Have a job at a different school? take a plate of cookies. I took cookies everywhere that year.  I mailed them, and I still threw out about 5 dozen cookies; see I invited many people to an open house come anytime between the hours of … stay for a while or just long enough to get some refreshment before you go about your way. No one not one person showed up. The depression of wanting to be included in one Christmas party and not even having an invitation can be overwhelming.  I made the house perfect, yet no one came, I played Christmas music, secular and Christian. You could hear it outside. Our Christmas decorations were spectacular. No one came.

This is where those of us who are suffering depression during the Christmas season need to focus on Jesus. This year I have learned of a couple of places that the Homeless stay, those that have absolutely nothing. Some of our leftovers are going there. That is something Jesus tell us to do, care for the homeless. Give the poor a coat. I have too many coats.  There is a laundromat, where homeless stay, it is open 24/7, even Christmas day. I know the person that is the manager, i should tell her in advance, but I know her heart is just like mine; that is where we are putting stuff on Christmas day.

YET STILL I HAVE NOT MENTIONED THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!

 Jesus’ birth the reason we are celebrating. I know I am sad because I just want someone to share my Christmas.  My family is so far away.  There are a few here where I live, but they don’t like me so they won’t come (that is a different story). But I have to focus on Jesus to get me through this time that is supposed to be of cheer. That is what you have to do as well. FOCUS ON JESUS, REMEMBER IT IS HIS BIRTH.

JOHN 3:16-17: 

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

 

 

 

Miracles still exist, we just have to look.

Numbers 23:19, Acts 12:3-11, Psalm 19:1-4 :  The Story in Acts is when Peter was rescued from the hands of  king Herod.  It is a story of great miracles.   Recently I heard someone say that God no longer performs miracles.  This is a bunch of hogwash, (meaning it is false). How can you look around especially in the Spring and see all the new growth, how can you see a baby being born, or see the snow or rain and not see the handiwork of God, aka His miracles? The truth is we are expecting big miracles such as someone surviving a collapsed building, especially when they should not have survived. People escaping from the fires in Gatlinburg, TN. People walking through a building and something collapsed just seconds after they passed. A pregnant lady has a baby after a tornado lifts her whole house in the air and moves it 200 ft.  The house is intact and the lady and the baby are fine. A lady in Sweden steps behind a light post  seconds before a car  moving at a high rate of speed would have run her down.  The car smashed into the light post. Yet we say God no longer performs miracles. See God does not change, we just lose our faith.  It is easy to do, the mortgage is due, and you were just laid-off. The kids are sick, you have to miss work (again) and you worry about being fired.  Right after being promoted, you receive a cancer diagnose. You have to step down in order to focus on recovery.  Next thing you know they are arresting the person that took your place because the person before you was embezzling the company. Sure the person that took your place is cleared; but imagine having to go through all the embarrassment not to mention damage to your reputation. Even if the company did keep you, you are probably seeking new employment.  How can all these bad things happen if God still performs miracles?  If God is in control why do all these bad things happen?  Peter was arrested, God rescued Peter, but he was arrested and chained to guards.  I do not know why God just doesn’t bind up the Devil and allow people to live peaceful lives. I think the Devil can thrive because at our core humans have yucky thoughts. It goes clear back to Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:8).  Someday, the Devil will be permanently bound and God’s faithful will live with him in heaven. But for right now bad things happen because the Devil and his demons are out there running amuck whispering into people’s ears, tempting people with his lies. That does not mean that we should give up hope and stop believing that God does not perform miracles.  He performs them every second of every day. He is the same today as he was back in David’s day as he was in Peter’s day. That is why it is called FAITH!

Numbers:

19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Acts:

3When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.

6On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he *said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

 

Psalm:

 

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

 

More thoughts on Human Nature focus on the success

As I read the Books of the Law, I discover more and more about Human Nature.  I also realize it has not changed much.  Take for example do not spread false witness.  How many of us have been victims of someone spreading a lie about us?  or favoritism? Yep that as well.  Remember in high school if you were the geek, you were last picked for sports and as a result you did not learn sports very well?  Looking back, some of the people who were picked first really were not that good at sports either.  But as an adult, I shined.  I became very athletic.  I could run two miles in a little over 13 minutes. While that is not true anymore, I sustained too many injuries. For those 12 years, I could run.  We tend to judge people from the minute we meet them. Which for me really stinks.  There are days when I have to run errands and I look a mess.  I am in a lot of pain and fixing my hair and making sure my clothes look just right is just too difficult. The one thing I have noticed is people treat you differently.  If my baldness is showing because it is a windy day and I just can’t keep my hair looking nice; well people shun me. Maybe I should buy a wig. The truth is humans as a whole are bad.  Many of us mean well, but we screw up. Here is the thing, the law was written for us not the Hebrews Of Moses’ time. Yes they were expected to follow all these laws and offer many sacrifices. (Thank God he sent his son to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins)  Chances are the average ancient Hebrew could not read and did not have an opportunity to learn. It was written so we could learn to forgive ourselves, just as Jesus has.   I mean I would want to help an injured person  or a homeless person.  Sometimes I am on my way somewhere else and I am running late.  While I know there are many homeless, in my small town there have been many scammers that have soured people on helping those holding a sign stating they are homeless.  They are bearing false witness, making it harder for the truly homeless to receive help.  But when I fail, I know that others have failed, that tomorrow I will fail.  Yet I should not dwell on my failures I need to focus on my success.  You should too.

Exodus 23: 1-9:

 1“Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

“If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

“Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

“Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Exodus 21, It is just Human Nature

I know what you are thinking, the Law UUUGHHH! How BORING.  Besides we are no longer under the Law, why even bother?  I used to think the same thing, then I opened my heart and said God had these chapters written; it was not written for the Hebrews to read, (there was not the ability for each to have the scrolls) but us.  Why? Well it really helps us understand human nature.  I mean some of the punishments for breaking the rules sound pretty harsh.  But then I got to thinking about how cities are torn apart by gang wars.  They probably started as petty as the Hatfields and McCoys, over a pig and a dress or a chicken and a dress.  Or like other wars over the centuries someone wanted more territory. Humans as a whole are frequently dissatisfied with their lot in life.  A bit of dissatisfaction is good, it helps you strive to be better.  I would much rather be dissatisfied with my Walk with Christ than my position in the world.  But let’s face it, I am human and frequently, I find myself being dissatisfied with my possessions. It generally starts because of the big flaw.  A flaw which the ten Commandments warns is bad. Proverbs warns us it is bad, Jesus warns us it is bad.  That flaw: covetousness.  We want things and we want nice things.  Sometimes we want and are unwilling to do the work to get what we want. Sometimes we want to do more for the Kingdom and that means personal sacrifice.  We have to be willing to have less things to help others.  Sometimes that is really hard. For example, I do not have an underground watering system.  I have to physically go water my lawn.  This year, I did okay until it was time to bring in the hoses for that first freeze.  The problem is we did not have enough rain this year and after that first freeze, the temperature rose into the 80s for a few weeks. My hoses were not rolled up when they were moved into the garage, as I had requested. They are too heavy for me to pick them up when they are lying tangled in a heap. Therefore my lawn is dead. I look at my neighbors with their green beautiful lawns and two things happen.  One I am mad because I am physically unable to get those hoses, the ones that are supposed to be rolled up; and water my lawn.  Two I am jealous because my neighbors have underground sprinkler systems with beautiful green lawns.  I should have hounded those in my family that are physically able to untangle those hoses instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself. When I read the Books of the Law, I understand that this is human nature and it is much easier to forgive myself.  I mean it really is me that has a hard time forgiving myself.  Jesus on the other hand, forgives the second we repent and ask for forgiveness.  We read The Old Testament to understand why we should forgive ourselves as Jesus forgives us.

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