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.
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:
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.