21 Days To Beat Depression - Day 16
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” - I Peter 4:12 & 13
There are certain themes in Scripture. God’s unconditional love for His children is a major theme ... forgiveness is a dominant theme ... giving and heaven and righteousness and wisdom and peace are all mentioned again and again and again.
One of the themes in Scripture that I love the most is the central idea that calls us... perhaps “demands of us...” would be a more appropriate way to phrase it... to rejoice during the difficult days of life.
How can the Bible even use the words “rejoice” or “joy” in the same sentence with “trials”, “fiery ordeal”, “sufferings” or “tribulation”?! That’s outrageous!
It might be outrageous... but it is also possible. It is possible to keep our hearts intent on following the loving, forgiving, compassionate, wise God of the Bible during days of harsh trials and unending fires.
Do you want to know what I really believe?
I believe that we have idolized our feelings to the extent that they have more control over us than does the Word of God when we are going through a trial. I believe that our human conviction that we must rant, rave, complain, whine and carry on during days of pain are a sad and weak deception.
God never promised that life would be easy but He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. I can worship a God like that!
Jesus never declared that trouble-free living was a part of His assurance of abundant life on planet earth. He did assure us, however, that He would send the Holy Spirit to comfort us when our lives were uncomfortable. I can rejoice knowing that the Holy Spirit is the best Comforter in the history of the universe!
Today, my heartfelt prayer for those of you who are dealing with depression too dark and deep to verbalize, is that you would open your mouth and sing.
My longing for your life is that you would lift your hands toward heaven, at your moment of most excruciating pain, and declare your trust in God.
The only advice that I can give you today is to worship regardless of how you feel. Do not allow your feelings to have the last word.
Joy and rejoicing should have the first... the central... and the last words of our lives every day that we spend this side of heaven.
“Count it all joy whenever you encounter various trials... knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1:2-4
MAKING IT PRACTICAL -
What is your favorite worship song or great hymn of the faith? Write out the words to that song and mediate on them today.
I am thankful for so much that my heart is overflowing... how about you? Let’s share three things for which we are grateful today in our journals and through Twitter and Facebook. #21daystobeatdepression
DECLARE IT! -
I declare that I will worship the Lord today! I will set my emotions aside and allow a song of praise to well up in my soul! I will not idolize my emotions any longer but will keep Jesus on the throne of my heart!
PRAYER FOR TODAY -
“Dear Jesus, thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to be my comforter in days of darkness and pain. I worship You today in spirit and in truth. I declare that nothing is too difficult for you and I worship You for Who You are! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”