Maybe you have a sadness beneath the surface that will not go away. Perhaps the motivation to thrive seems to have died. Maybe you feel blank inside. Too many people battle with depression. Others find themselves suffering with some of the symptoms.
Doctors define depression as periods where sad thoughts dominate. If you are battling with depression, you will almost certainly need healing. Most inner struggles are rooted in unhealed hurts and trauma.
One successful young man told me he did not believe in depression until it knocked on his door after he was fired. At Healed for Life, the Holy Spirit highlighted the root of his issues and took him on an incredible healing journey to lasting peace and joy.
While we are waiting for our healing, there are two important Biblical principles that can help us find freedom. These help us all, irrespective of our emotional state. We will deal with the first – thoughts – this week and the second next week.
What are you thinking?
Our thoughts influence our mood. The Bible says that, “…as a man thinks in his heart, so is the man…” (Proverbs 23:7). This means that my musings affect my emotional state. You can test this out.
At any given moment, stop and analyse your thoughts. Ask yourself if they are upbeat or down-hearted or somewhere in between. Then evaluate your mood. You will realise how much your deliberations affect your disposition.
Recently, as I was on my way to minister in Florida, sadness tried to settle in my soul. My elderly father was fading away in a hospital thousands of miles away. I had prayed about whether to take the trip and heard the Holy Spirit tell me to go.
Knowing I was in the centre of God’s will did not diminish the sense of separation. The rest of the family was surrounding my dad with love while I was far away. My emotions were slowly spiralling.
Suddenly, I became aware that I could choose my mood. Even in dark and desperate circumstances, we have a choice. I am not neglecting the importance of releasing pain. I am emphasising that we can decide what we dwell on and when.
Instead of focusing on my absence, I started to thank God that my father’s life (and the day of his death) were in God’s hands. I entrusted my dad into my Heavenly Father’s everlasting arms once again.
I took hold of my thoughts and brought them back to the task at hand. I resisted the spirit of heaviness and praised God for His goodness. Instead of sadness, I chose to thank the Lord for the privilege of ministry. Joy started to stir again on the inside. Grief and healing would of course be necessary – but in God’s perfect timing.
Danger of sadness
Sad thoughts may seem innocent but they can be dangerous. The good news is that we can choose what we think. Of course our minds will drift in all sorts of directions but we can decide to bring them back again.
The Bible likens rogue thoughts with prisoners on the run: “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5. You don’t have to dwell on all the ideas that drop into your head. Arrest wrong thoughts, kick them out and turn your focus.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I mentioned at the start that most inner issues are rooted in trauma or unhealed hurts. If you are battling in any way, I encourage you to come to Healed for Life (keep coming) and allow the Lord to do a wonderful work within.