"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Our childhood experiences contribute to our present makeup, as does our biogenetic and spiritual history. In our struggle to overcome depression, we need to remember that while our psychological and biogenetic past cannot be changed, our spiritual condition can. If we draw our identity from the negative symptom cluster around us (feeling angry, helpless, hopeless, isolated and perhaps even suicidal) rather than from our true identity as a "new creation in Christ Jesus," then indeed we are continually being sucked into a black hole of despair, and we are easily trapped in a self-reinforcing belief system about ourselves: I'm worthless, there is no hope.
Healing can begin to come when we recognize that our problem is not anger or childhood abuse or even "depression," but our self-identity as a worthless person. Only then can we learn a new identity, one based on the truth of God's Word.
Consider this …
When our lives begin to revolve around a self-identity that is based on faith and formed by the Bible, we can begin to overcome depression. Then, instead of seeing ourselves as worthless, we can begin to view ourselves as a child of God, a shining star. Now the characteristics revolving around our new self-identity based on our faith in Christ can include surrender to God's purposes ... human kindness ... pure love ... goodness ... reaching for truth ... courage and fortitude ... and a determination to keep going.
Father, help me to stop focusing on the swirling symptoms of depression that surround me like debris around a black hole. Help me instead to focus on Jesus and what he has done for me. Help me to remember that I am a new creation in him. 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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