Escaping the Trap
"And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV (Suggested reading 2 Peter 1:3-11)
Thoughts for Today
Monday we discussed the fact that the self-identity of a person deep in depression involves a sense of worthlessness. Characteristics that surround this person can include feeling angry, helpless, hopeless, isolated and suicidal. Yesterday we looked at a person set free from that sense of worthlessness, a person who by faith sees himself as a child of God, a shining star. This center of faith can result in surrender to God's purposes, human kindness, pure love, goodness, reaching for truth, courage, fortitude and determination to keep going.
So how do we move from the first scenario to the second? It can't be done by willpower. Only the revelation and power of the Holy Spirit working through our faith can set us free.
We may wonder how our faith can grow and become a channel of God's gift of everything we need. In Romans 10:17 KJV, Paul writes that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." In other words, faith is strengthened as we study and meditate on God's Word and allow truth to become the core of what we believe. Only then can we begin to see ourselves through God's eyes: forgiven, righteous, precious, created for a purpose.
Depression causes people to feel deeply that they are terribly lacking. They may feel that growing in faith is impossible for them. But every Christian has faith! Peter says that by definition, a believer has already been granted faith, and faith receives the gift of everything we need for happiness and productivity. (See also Romans 12:3.) Jesus said that even if a person's faith is as small as a mustard seed, it is sufficient to move mountains (Matthew 17:20).
Father, help me grow in faith as I focus on you and your Word. Help me to fully believe that your promises are for me and to reach the point where I begin to see myself as you see me. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
How to pray for healing and what to expect
Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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