“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” – Job 8:21

Posts tagged ‘help for depression’

Intruder Alert!

A young family walked past our window, the parents laughing while their son rolled along the sidewalk on his tricycle.

Zoom! A streak of black fur whizzed past my feet. My dog, Cheerio, reached the wall and jumped up onto the chair beside the window. He barked furiously at the small family that had dared to walk on his sidewalk. They turned to look for the source of the noise, smiled at the puppy face in the window, and continued walking unconcerned.

Cheerio has proclaimed himself as the guardian of our house. He takes his job very seriously. Wherever I am in the house, he parks himself next to the closest window, sticks his nose against the glass, and scrutinizes the front yard for movement.

Today as I was watching Cheerio, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 16:13 which says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Cheerio has got the “be on your guard” part down pretty well.

One of the most damaging things to a Christian, depression, can also be most stealthy in entering our lives. That is why we need to be especially watchful in looking out for it. As soon as we catch it, we can sound the alarm in prayer to God just like Cheerio does when he barks at an unwanted visitor. When we catch unhelpful and untrue thoughts in our minds, we can combat them with the armor of God that is talked about in Ephesians 6.

Cheerio does a great job of keeping watch from far away. However, if he finds an insect in our house, he leaps a few feet back in surprise and fear before venturing forward to investigate. Even though he is thousands of times larger than the tiny insect, he treats it as though it were enormous. Problems like depression can also seem insurmountable. But with God, we have all the strength and truth to defeat the lies of depression.

Be like Cheerio in keeping watch over your life. What prayers or verses do you find helpful to combat depression?

Thinking on Joy

Coffee shops have a way of drawing almost every type of person. As I waited in line, I saw a group of men in business suits, a woman who had obviously been jogging before her stop here, and a young college student getting ready to study for exams at a nearby table. I looked around the room for Mrs. Seeley, the woman I was meeting with today, and glimpsed her colorful hat on the other side of the room.

“Hi Mrs. Seeley!” I greeted her after I ordered my drink and walked to her table. She got up to give me a hug in her usual cheery way. We chatted for a little while before moving on to the subject I had wanted to ask her about: how she had handled her parents divorcing when she was a young teenager. She said something that kept me thinking long after we left the coffee shop: “During the time of my parents divorce, it seemed like everything would be sad and dismal forever. I was so focused on my problems, that it seemed like they were the most important things in the world. Now I know that things will always get better.”

I know that on really bad days, it can seem like my problems are all consuming. The solution is to bring God’s truth into my circumstances. Read these few verses from Psalms that I’ve underlined in my Bible:

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” – Psalm 4:7

“…in your presence there is fullness of joy;…” – Psalm 16:11

“May we shout for joy over your salvation,…” – Psalm 20:5

“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” – Psalm 33:21

“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,” – Psalm 30: 11

Aren’t they wonderful? I especially like the last one, Psalm 30:11. Nothing can overcome the incredible joy that comes with meditating on God’s awesome salvation. Joy will replace gloom when we concentrate on the truth of what God has done for us instead of following a path of despair.

Will you turn to these verses in your Bible the next time you are tempted to focus solely on your problems? What are some of your favorite verses about joy?

P.S — Next week we’ll return to the Promise series =)

P.P.S. — Click on over to Ali’s blog, Surrendering All of Me, to read my guest post!

His List

The large party room was filled with the sound of clinking glasses as my group of summer interns and our families celebrated the end of the summer at this special luncheon. “Excuse me, excuse me,” the intern coordinator took the stage and waited for the noise to calm down.  “Hi,” she smiled, “it’s time to present the certificates to the interns.” She began to call each highschooler up to the stage where she handed them a certificate. I got ready for my turn. But before I knew it, the room erupted in loud applause for the group standing up front. My name hadn’t been called! The rest of my table turned questioning eyes towards me. Should I walk up there anyway? How embarrassing! Suddenly I heard someone shout my name. One of my friends went up to the coordinator to explain that I had not been called. My pulse pounded in my ears. I hoped the crowd couldn’t see the redness of my face. The coordinator brought me to the center of the stage and the audience gave me another round of applause. A moment later I walked back to my table.

This situation was pretty embarrassing at the time, but I learned a valuable lesson later when I was reading in my quiet time. I was reminded that God also has a list of names. He records every person who has believed in his sacrifice for salvation. If you trust Jesus as your savior, YOU are on that list! You belong to an eternal family. But unlike humans who sometimes make mistakes, God never fails. On that last day when God calls each name on the list, you will not be forgotten.

Do you feel like your circumstances make you an outcast? Like your parents have neglected you and your feelings when they make major decisions? Turn your gaze on Jesus who sees you every moment of every day of your life. One day you will be called to share in his joy forever, because you’re on his list.