"And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness." - Ephesians 4:23-24 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Some estimate that in the United States alone as many as 15 million adults are affected by major depression in any given year.
People experiencing severe depression may find it hard to believe, deep down, that there are good things about themselves. They are trapped between a rock and a hard place, between a deep desire to be affirmed as "good" and a deep feeling of not being very good at all.
The Apostle Paul declared that "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV But depression causes many of us to reject the free gift of God: a new identity as a good and righteous person.
Consider this …
Astronomers tell us there are swirling whirlpools in the universe with a powerful magnetic pull that does not allow light to escape from within them. Black holes, therefore, cannot be seen, but their existence can be identified by the debris that revolves around them. In the same way, we cannot see into the heart of another person, but we can tell the condition of the heart by observing the things that revolve around that person's life. If we are suffering from depression, those revolving things might include feeling angry, helpless, hopeless, isolated and even suicidal. All of these revolve around a black hole, a self-identity of being worthless.
The "trap" occurs when we allow our attention to be distracted primarily by the things revolving around our heart rather than focusing on the condition of the heart itself. The path out of this trap is a process of learning a new identity, one based on the truth of God's Word rather than on a lie. A process of putting "on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness."
Father, I see myself as worthless, but your Word tells me that as your child, I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Help me to accept my new identity as a good and righteous person … to see myself as you see me. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
- Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
- Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
- Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
- Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
- How to pray for healing and what to expect
- Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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