Category Archives: VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION

How to receive it, and keep it!

Victory Over Depression-Part Three

Hi Friends:

I’d like to offer some encouragement to help during times when we are feeling depressed, or perhaps what we experience more often, when we are feeling the depression of others. How often we have worked with people, or just run into people, who are so negative in their attitudes. They just always seem to be in a bad mood, and if we’re not careful … we’ll “get some on us.” It is so important who we “hang with,” who our friends are. We should make every attempt to surround ourselves with positive people. Yes, just like negative thinking and negative speaking, positive thinking and positive speaking is contagious. Make every attempt to surround yourself with people who create an atmosphere of victory with their attitude and words.

I think that what affects me negatively the most, is when I spend more time thinking-really “dwelling on” how I’ve failed … things I should have done, things I should have said …
What I should be doing is “dwelling on” Who dwells (lives, resides) in me. Instead of dwelling on my failures … I should be dwelling on what God has already done for me, how He has blessed me … How He has never, ever failed me … I believe that often, depression is the result of our anger turned toward ourselves, because of our faults and mistakes.

How different would our attitudes be if we spent more time thinking about what He’s done … instead of what I’ve done, or not done.
I need to think about Him.
Not about me.
Think about his goodness.
Not my badness.
Think about His good.
Not my bad.
Etc.

Colossians 3: 2 puts it this way: “Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Here’s the bottom line, and I hope this helps:
We don’t need to “dwell on.”
We need to “dwell in.”
The word “dwell” means to “live as a resident, to remain, to keep the attention directed, to exist, to abide, stay, to remain.”

Just this morning, I was greatly encouraged, and reminded of these great truths from 2 Chronicles: It’s ok not to know what to do at the moment, what the next step is … what is important is to know where to turn to find out: “… neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (20:12). Our battles, whatever we are struggling with, has already ended in victory, so we are to “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (20:15). Just believe! “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (20:20). If you really believe this … if you really believe this … your natural response should be-regardless of the situation around you-to praise God for what He has done, and for what you know He is going to do: “And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the enemy … and they were smitten (defeated)” (20:22). Looking for peace? So was Jehoshaphat, back in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. He trusted in God, and here’s how it worked out: “So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about” (20:23). Man! That 2 Chronicles, chapter 20 is something!

Something else I feel is important: Take one victory at a time. Enjoy each victory … just remember “from whence it came.” And … one more time … Read your Bible … If God did it for them … He will do it for you. God hasn’t changed: This means that, still, today, there is nothing He can’t do … and, still, today, there is nothing too hard for Him …
An oldie, but still a goodie:
No Jesus.
No peace.
Know Jesus.
Know peace.

I’d like to share a couple of verses from the book of 1 Samuel which will encourage us to remember that if God did it for someone else, then He can-and will-do it for me. When David was facing Goliath (and how many of us are, right now, facing “Goliaths” in our lives?), here is what David said: “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (17:37). How many of us are facing a possible promotion, or job change? First … know that “they” are not your provider … God is. This is what Samuel said: “It is the LORD that advanced (raised up) Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt” (12:6). Yes, it is the Lord who promotes!

So … be encouraged! As Samuel said, “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people” (1 Samuel 12:22).
We’ll close with the very next verse … as a reminder to us all to pray for others … remember that God “turned the captivity of Job” when Job prayed for his friends? Here’s verse 23: “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.”

Please pray for us.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
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Victory Over Depression-Part Two

Hi Friends:

Please allow me to reiterate that, in-or out-of ministry, you will never look into the eyes of someone who has not suffered great pain. And, we all get depressed sometimes. I am constantly reminded of what a Pastor once told me: “You would be surprised to learn how many Pastors suffer from depression.” Yes, we would be surprised … yet … don’t we sometimes forget that Pastors … that all church leaders … are “people,” too.

In our business, we are honored to serve many Pastors, and other church leaders, with personalized plaques. One thing that the Lord revealed to me about the poem “Why, Pastor, Why,” or any plaque we send to honor a specific Pastor or church leader: We never know where they may be, with their relationship with God, or their congregation. I was reminded of the importance of “honoring those who honor Him.” We never know what that particular person may be going through. And, that the plaque we are sending to them may be the difference … may be just the “spark” they need to make a difference in how they view their calling … and, their flock … We try to pray over every plaque we send … to pray for the person being honored … and, for the person-or group-which are honoring them.

These same thoughts carry the same weight in dealing with those who aren’t in church leadership. Let us never forget that those around us, whether they are showing it or not, are going through their own battles. And, yes, a small percentage of those people may, at some point, come to us for advice. I pray every day that people will see Jesus in me. Every day. To me, that’s the most important thing about what I may or may not do, in a given day. And, especially when someone comes to me with a personal problem, something they are having trouble with (and, let’s face it, often the problem is with “someone” they are having trouble with), I want to be sure the Spirit gives me exactly the right thing to say. And, here goes … If I can’t say the right thing, Lord … please help me to not say anything!

So, we all face depression of one degree or another. It’s just part of being a human being. But, it’s how we deal with these negative feelings that makes the difference. Yes, I get depressed, sometimes. We all do. It’s just “part of it.” The difference is how we allow these negative feelings to affect us. So, I’d like to help you with a couple of thoughts about what to do when these “feelings” try to take over. The phrase “take over” is critical here. If we allow any thought or feeling to take over our mind … that’s just what it will do. It will “take over” every part of our thoughts … leading to taking over every part of our actions.

First … Please … Please … Please …
Talk to Jesus.
Period.

If you don’t do this … and, I hate to tell you this, but I must:
If you don’t “tell it to Jesus,” don’t go to Him first … you are already on losing ground. I know that’s hard, but it’s true. The key over everything-and certainly including depression-is … your relationship with Jesus. And, I’ll say it again … How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t talk to? And … how can you trust someone you don’t know? And, again, how important is it for you to start each day with Prayer and Bible study? So, first talk to Jesus.

One of my favorite verses is always “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Just knowing that we can go directly to God’s throne should be a major comfort to us:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
How about this one: “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear …” (Hebrews 13:6). So, go to Jesus first.

Should I talk to others about my issues? Now … that’s a loaded question. There is the old saying that “misery loves company.” The reason that’s an old saying is because it is still true. Be careful who you go to for advice. Period. You should, and it is Scriptural, seek counsel: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5). Notice how early this verse comes in “the book of Wisdom.” In fact, how about this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Please ask God to lead you to the right person to speak to, and God will make that happen. Please, though, and we’ve all done this … Please don’t pick someone out to talk to, just because they will agree with you … Go to someone who will tell you the truth … even if it hurts to hear what you may have to do … If God sends you to someone, there is a reason … so, hear this verse from Proverbs 12:15: “he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
Just be sure of the source! Again, please be careful who you speak with! God is not the only one who is capable of sending someone to speak with/influence you! That had to be said!

Solomon is considered the wisest man who ever lived. We’ve all read his words. Yet … here we are, some 3,000 years later, and we are still struggling with the exact same things, the same questions, which he had. Remember that Solomon changed over time … Why? How? One of the main reasons Solomon changed was because of who he allowed to influence him: His friends, his associates, yes, his wives-and his wives’ families … So, I just can’t say enough how important it is … who you “hang with” … who your friends are … who you allow to influence you …

It’s all about relationships, isn’t it? If it’s one thing that has “gotten me down” over the years, it has been relationships, and especially who I allowed to influence me. On the other hand … and I write this to encourage you … it there’s one thing that has changed my way of thinking … helped me “come out of it” over the years, it has been those positive influences in my life …

I’m going to say this, and it’s a tough, tough, thing, but it is true and tested:
You just can’t have enough positive influences in your life. And, not just people. Read … expose yourself to positive stories … stories which will encourage and inspire you …
On the other hand (here’s the tough, but must be said part):
It can take only one “bad” influence to bring all of the dominoes down.
So, put your relationship with Jesus at the top of the list.
He will supply the rest of the list for you.

One more verse which helps me so much:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

There is another verse which I feel led to share with you … a verse I shout over … which encourages me so much … It is from Isaiah … Wait! Let’s read this one first:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am they God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). Now, here’s the verse which takes so much fear away: “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee” (Isaiah 54:14). Yes! That says that even “terror shall not come near me!”

God’s Word is so good! So true! And … so necessary!
Hope this helps!

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

PS: Here’s the link to our first entry on “Victory Over Depression”
Victory Over Depression
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Victory Over Depression: Part One

During a session of Ministry training, I’ll never forget these words from the instructor:
“You’ll never look into the eyes of someone who has not experienced great pain and sorrow.”

Recently, God has placed on my heart to write about this, to offer hope and encouragement, and hopefully instruction on how to deal with what has become such a problem in our society. Maybe it’s because I have encountered, first-hand, people we know and love who have been having a real battle with depression. Whether it’s been friends who have come to us just to talk, or Carol and I recently praying with someone in their driveway, this matter of depression has really come into focus for us.

First, I don’t discount the fact that I know that this is, in reality, a real “battle.” The very definition of the word “battle” sums it up pretty well: “A hostile encounter or engagement between opposing forces; participation in such hostile encounters or engagements; a fight; any conflict or struggle; to work very hard or struggle; to strive.” How about this for a definition: “A battle is a prolonged and general conflict pursued to a definite decision.” That one really speaks to me, as it envisions something that isn’t “gotten over” or won quickly … that it is, even in itself, a continuing process … plus, it has the word “pursue” and the phrase “definite decision.” This tells me that a battle, which this is, can be won, but it may take time … and a continual decision to “beat it.”

Here is one example of this “process:”
A person who turns away from their faith: That person just doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to backslide, and then turn their back on God. That person has been “gotten to” by the enemy, and chances are … it’s something they have been thinking about for a long time … the enemy is there, taking every opportunity to work on the mind of that person … until that person is no longer under their own control … but, has succumbed to the wiles of the enemy ….

Please keep in mind that I have been in the situation where I have physically taken the gun out of someone’s hand … and I have been in the situation where I got there too late.

If we are a Christian, other people will know it. And, they will seek us out when they are going through a struggle or battle with something. Sometimes, the best thing we can do, especially when someone first approaches us, is, simply, just keep our mouth shut … and listen. The compassion we show by just listening, quietly, will carry much weight, and will often lead to other witnessing and opportunities, which may be the whole reason that they were led to you in the first place. The best example I can think of is when someone is grieving over the loss of a loved one. Just the fact that you are there … the fact that you cared enough to just listen to them … this makes an impression they will never forget.

So, every day, I pray that God will help me to think the right thing, do the right thing, and speak the right thing. Depression can be as much a thought process as positive thinking. They both work, pretty much, the same way. What we think about comes about. If there is one area where our enemy seeks his greatest control, it is in our mind … our thoughts. If Satan can control our thoughts, he can control our actions. Period. If we allow Satan in, he will take every opportunity to gain control. Slowly at first, and then … if left unchecked … he’s got you!
That said, victory can be ours … and in exactly the same way: If we allow Jesus, through the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts … the Holy Spirit can control our actions … and, if we will allow Him, Jesus will take every opportunity … He will give us every opportunity … to allow Him to have control in our lives …

There seems to be many, many verses I can use … all making the same point … that we are, every day, in a battle, a real war, between our flesh and the Spirit … I can paraphrase this battle by saying that, every moment of every day, Satan is trying to gain control of our mind … meaning to gain control of our actions … while, at the exact same moment, the Holy Spirit is trying to lead us in the other direction … make no mistake … this is a real, all-out war, and “to the victor goes the spoils.” That may sound over-simple, but, that’s really all it amounts to. Who will win? Who will we let win? The spoils of this war are our very souls.

Satan is a jerk, and he is a liar. His only mission is to “kill, steal, and destroy.” He doesn’t want your car! He doesn’t want your job! He wants your joy! Why??? Because … that’s where your strength is!!! The joy of the Lord is our strength … if he can take that away … to a certain degree, he has already won! If he can take your mind … he has already taken you. If he can steal your joy … he can destroy. I hate that that
rhymes …

Why do you think one of Satan’s greatest weapons is depression? He knows that if he can begin to sap your strength … it’s only a matter of time (and-he is willing to wait it out!) before you will start doubting … doubting what you know to be true … because, if he can begin to control your mind … he can begin to replace what you know to be the truth … with a lie … then, he’s got you! You will start believing a lie, then another lie … and then, you’ll have him believing that you will believe anything he tells you … especially about yourself … and, as a kicker … about what others say about you … in particular, what you are worth …

Satan is the master of what I call “the domino effect.” One thing leads to another … he knocks down one barrier … then another … then another … until you can’t control it … because you have allowed yourself to be controlled … then, it all comes tumbling down, and you can’t stop it, because your “line of dominoes” have piled so heavily upon each other …
And, it’s not just you he wants … here’s the real “killer” to the domino effect: If he can make you fall … think of all those whom your life affects and effects … if he can get you to fall … perhaps that can start a whole row …

I didn’t plan on writing this way, and, in fact, I haven’t looked at my notes yet …
However, I am reminded that to win a war … we must first know the enemy …
What Paul called “the wiles of the devil.”

The real problem is that with real depression, we will dwell on certain thoughts …
Dwell on certain thoughts … which will lead to certain actions …
Often, when I am speaking or preaching, I will, somewhere near the beginning, advise the audience that, while I’m there, I thought I would just go ahead and solve the whole world’s problems. I ask if they’d mind if I told them the solution to every problem in the world. I then ask them if they would be willing to repeat just four words … just four words that would solve the whole world’s problems. Here goes:

“The world needs Jesus.”
Repeat:
“The world needs Jesus.”
Now, repeat just these three words:
“I need Jesus.”
Repeat:
“I need Jesus.”

The real problem with the world today is that the world needs Jesus.
This victory over depression is a victory over your mind.
Who controls it?
I don’t have to ask about your actions.
Whoever controls the mind controls the actions.
When someone does not have the Indwelling Holy Spirit to fight this battle over the mind … over their mind … who is there who can fight the enemy? Without Jesus, the battle has already been won … it’s only a matter of time …

I pray that you will pray for those who don’t have this Help … that God will use you to get there in time … He can save them … He can help them … Please allow Him to lead you … to them … And, to lead them … to you …

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
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