May I repeat something?

Posted by BWSmith on Friday, 30 January 1998, at 10:47 a.m.

Hi friends,
I just got off the phone with a dear friend and cousin. She is battling depression -- her son is also in the depths -- I struggle from time to time with the dumps -- and I know some of you have too.

Several weeks ago, I posted some of these thoughts and I do repeat them. Then, God always gives me an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is -- and I realize that black, disgusting vapor that is choking me is DEPRESSION.

May I therfore post again some ideas for overcoming what creeps in or slams in to our lives to rob our joy and wreck our witness?
SKIP to Next thread if you want now ... but don't tell me, not in my frame of mind anyway;-)

Dealing With Diminished Light: Some Thoughts on January Doldrums and Depressions

Ask God what applies and that He will apply it to your heart. Then Sleep, EAT and exercise the body gave -- if some wires in your mind body and spirit get crossed from time to time, don't despair. You may not be doing anything wrong at all. It may just be January.

Remember, whatever you are facing may just be a little ole pop quiz to see whom you will obey: the world, the flesh or the devil, or the gracious God who is leading you into the desert of depression to see whom you will obey. I have FLUNKED several tests recently -- so I encourage myself too when I write you.

REMEMBER: Depression is real! God's people are not immune!
1. We live in a fallen world. We get drawn into difficulty emotional, physical and mental situations that WILL drain our reserves IF we don't turn to God.

2. Our stage of life is an indicator:

a. NONE of us is as young as we used to be.

b. NONE of us has exactly what she thought she wanted out of life

c. NONE of us has been perfectly successful in everything we've done. This realization may be one of three things:

1. It may be a gift from God to convict you of something;

2. It may be a weapon in the hands of the Enemy;

3. Or, it may be a weapon you are using against yourself.
SO -- GET with God, give HIM the depression -- He already knows about it, for He allowed it! NOW, GET busy and if it is appropriate, run your thoughts by another. NEVER underestimate a genuine PHYSICAL cause! However, God will show you this, for He built you for HIS glory.

A Concrete Solution: This is a decision --MAKE IT.
Get out your Bible and see how others struggled. Be encouraged! This is another decision -- MAKE IT.
1. Read Ps 119:25-35. This man of God was DEPRESSED! So God is not shocked when you tell Him you are down.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Thy word.

(Sucking dust -- that about describes me on a bad day!)

I have told of my ways, and Thou hast answered me; teach me Thy statutes.

(If you haven't met with the Lord DO IT, and with an open BIBLE)

Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders.

(He WILL take your eyes off your pain and give you something else to think about,

sometimes one minute at a time.)

My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy word.

(God doesn't condemn a grieving heart -- or a heavy-laden heart; He invites you and me to COME to Him. Our troubles never repulse him -- He just wants us to let go of them.)

Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law.

(Agree with God: you are a sinner, you have done so by thought, word and deed,

against His divine Law. You and I HAVE followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts and there IS NO health in you.

My blackest moments have come because of my own willfulness -- This may or may not be where you are, someone may have wronged you. - - So, if you have confessed, repented of sins, real or imagined, get up for Christ does NOT accuse his own.

LOOK UP into the night sky tonight for the God who hung those twinkling little lights has not yet lost one, and He has no intention of LOSING YOU!)

I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Thine ordinances before me.

(The pastor suggested: Deal with your feelings until you can honestly PRAISE God for His goodness to you today.

One dark day, all I could say was "Thank you, Jesus for saving me," and I repeated that

until the darkness began to melt in the warmth of His love for me in Christ)

I cleave to Thy testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!

(What are you stuck to? If it isn't God, you are gonna feel bad. For your object of devotion is an idol and God is jealous of your heart. Whether your little ole idol is acceptable in the world's sight, like academics, a good job, dieting, or even teaching Sunday school, or spending too much time chatting -- Or if your idols are offensive like gluttony or adultery, God finds them all DETESTABLE!

Read the word.

Turn off TV; put away the novels and SING praises for HE will defeat your enemies.)

I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart.

(*Get some exercise -- up and down on the knees is a good start.

*Walk into a hospital or nursing home and remember today God is preserving you from, and for.

*And PRACTICE an attitude of gratitude.)

Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.

(Be willing to learn, for God is a trustworthy and winsome teacher. Unlike me, He never gets frustrated. Be willing to obey what He shows you, too. That's always the CLINCHER for me.)

Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, and keep it with all my heart.

(Ask God to make the source and solution for your pain real plain -- Do what HE says.)

Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments, for I delight in it.

(Ask God to give you an appetite for Himself.)

Love in Christ,
(And pray that I practice what I preach.)

Barbara Smith


Re: depressed

Posted by B.W. Smith on Thursday, 22 January 1998, at 1:57 p.m.

Hi Shane:
Depression IS real. You have not lost your joy for the Lord Jesus has not abandoned you, nor will He.
You have taken your eyes off it for any one of a number of reasons: health, stress, frustration, or fear are a few common reasons.
I have stumbled into numerous black seemingly bottomless black pits. Pressure and disappointment combine with phsycial symptons and plop, crash, bam. I am in the pits.
Once it was so bad, I cried out "How can I be a Christian and still have all this GARBAGE in my life?"
My son, God's gift to me to conform to the image of His son, said, "Mom, non-Christians don't worry about that."
First step that helps me is to look at the Cross --even if I am tempted to say "I know, I know Lord. Jesus died for my sins -- some of which have brought me to my current low estate."
As I focus OFF the blackness which sometimes is potable, and onto the broken bleeding body of MY savior, Light breaks through -- Not all at once all the time -- Like tuning in an old-time TV required more than one try -- I gotta try and try again to receive the clear picture of what CHRIST did, not what I am failing to do. For that I give thanks.
When I begin to praise God for what He accomplished with Christ, my tune changes -- and as He did for the psalmist in #40 -- He puts a new song in my mouth. HE brings me out of the pit.
What ever sense of sin, or conscious acknowledgement of sin is afflicting your spirit,
Christ took care ot it. Sometimes I MUST confess and examine the gnawing sense of wrongdoing. He will not cast off the soul who comes to HIM for cleansing. Other times, I must flee to the protection of the wings of the most high and trust His right arm.
Other times I must DO: get sleep, change diet, TALK to a trusted counselor, either my husband, a sister in the Lord who is mature in the word -- or I gotta tell the doctor.
Go to your Bible -- read the word -- or get someone to read it to you. Remember the father who said, "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief"?
Tell Him that.
Love in Christ and prayer,
BWSmith


Re: depression

Posted by BWSmith on Monday, 5 January 1998, at 5:24 p.m.

ANOTHER BIG HUG from me to thee -- wish you could settle in for a cup of coffee.

You have gotten GOOD advice. Ask God what applies and that He will apply it to your heart. Then Sleep, EAT and exercise the body gave -- if some of the wires get crossed from time to time, don't despair. You may not be doing anything wrong at all. This just may be a little ol' pop quiz to see who you'll obey. I have FLUNKED several recently -- so I encourage myself too when I write you.

REMEMBER:
Depression is real! It often happens to God's people -- We live in a fallen world. We get drawn into difficuly emotional, physical and mental situations. NONE of us is as young as we used to be; NONE of us has exactly what she thought she wanted out of life; NONE of us has been perfectly successful in everything we've done. It may be a gift from God to convict you of something; it may a weapon in the hands of the Enemy -- or it may be a weapon you are using against yourself. GET with God, give HIM the depression -- He already knows about it:-) for He allowed it ... and then get busy and if it is appropriate, run your thoughts by another. NEVER underestimate a real PHYSICAL cause! BUT God will show you this for God build you for HIS glory.

Read Ps 119:25-35 This man of God was DEPRESSED!
My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Thy word. (Sucking dust, that about describes me on a bad day!)
I have told of my ways, and Thou hast answered me; teach me Thy statutes. (If you haven't met with the Lord DO IT, and with an open BIBLE)
Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders. (He WILL take your eyes off your pain and give you something else to think about, sometimes one minute at a time.)
My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy word. (God doesn't condemn a grieving heart -- or a heavy-laden heart;He invites you and me to COME to Him. He is never repulsed by our troubles -- He just wants us to let go of them.)
Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law. (Jode, my blackest moments have come because of my own willfulness -- this may or may not be where you are. If you have confessed, repented, get up for Christ does NOT accuse his sisters.LOOK UP into the night sky tonight for the God who hung those twinkling little lights has not yet lost one, and He has no intention of LOSING YOU!))
I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Thine ordinances {before me.} (Deal with your feelings until you can honestly PRAISE God for His goodness to you today. One dark day, all I could say was thank you Jesus for saving me -- and I repeated that until the darkness began to melt in the warmth of His love for me in Christ)
I cleave to Thy testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! (Read the word; turn off TV; put away the novels and SING praises for HE will defeat your enemies.)
I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart. (GEt some exercise -- up and down on the knees is a good start -- walk into a hospital or nursing home and remember today God is preserving you from --- and for.)
Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. (Be willing to learn, for God is a trustworthy and winsome teacher. Unlike me, He never gets frustrated. Be willing to obey what He shows you, too. That's always the clinker for me.)
Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, and keep it with all {my} heart. (Ask God to make it real plain -- )
Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments, for I delight in it. (Ask God to give you an appetite for Himself.)

Love in Christ,
Barbara Smith