Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Reality

Our world is broken, tragically unjust, given over to oppression, pain, and hopelessness--without Christ. The reality of God's Word, however, is one of wholeness, justice, freedom, grace, and hope. Through redemption in Jesus Christ we have a renewed purpose, to live out our original design: representing God's image. Because of sin, we will never fully represent Him here on earth, but through the indwelling Spirit, with dependence on the Word of God and support of His people, He promises to change us.



One of the most powerful antidotes to depression* and anxiety is the reminder of what is true: God is loving, He is kind, gentle, slow to wrath, good, powerful, faithful... Instead of allowing my mind to wander and follow it's own depraved (or lazy) path of sorrow, God has given me what I need to retrain it: the promises in His Word (2 Peter 1:3) and His presence (Hebrews 13:5-6). Jim Berg, in his book, Changed Into His Image, refers to this as "arguing myself back to reality."

We can change our mind! God created it as an elastic, adaptable organ. Connections (known as synapses), create paths that can be reinforced or recreated much like a two-track dirt road. Repeated thoughts form a highway, or river-like structure, with fingers reaching as far as time and control allow. New thoughts take time and intentionality--which is why we must be disciplined and on guard, sober-minded. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). 

Here is a link to Bible verses that remind us of the goodness and constant love of God through Jesus Christ: https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/depression-bible-verses/

When in doubt, argue yourself back to reality! God is who He says He is. He will do what He says He will do (Hebrews 11:6). He knows our weakness and frailty, our struggles and suffering. We can be honest with ourselves and honest with God, humbling ourselves and asking for His help. As Scripture identifies sin, we can repent without shame. As we need comfort and strength, He will provide. Over and over, as I bask in His presence and Word, He has promised to meet my need. He will not disappoint.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Psalm 46)

*This is not to the exclusion of medical help. Seeking professional help is recommended and encouraged.

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