When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
I’m feeling joyful today.
I don’t think I write enough about that.
It’s not the happiest I’ve been, but I’m feeling terribly optimistic. Optimistic about joy.
Joy has been such a struggle for me. And I do feel it is my responsibility to seek it. I’m not saying it’s sinful for me to be sad, or experience depression. That would be unfair, since I have no control over my initial waves of either, whether they’re induced by circumstances or chemical imbalances. What I am saying is that any emotion, when dealt with incorrectly, can become an idol. And in the past I have been so infatuated with depression that, while hating how it made me feel, I focused so much energy on it that it became a priority. Sometimes the priority was getting rid of it on my own. Sometimes the priority was getting attention from it. Either way, it took my focus off of God. I’d literally tell myself things like, ‘I’m just too depressed to seek God right now. I need to work through some things first.’
When I let depression get so big in my mind that it takes precedence over my relationship with God, that is sin. Besides that, ignoring God is the last thing I need when I’m at my worst.
Running to His loving arms is exactly what I need. Opening His word and just taking it in. Even if I don’t feel like it. Even if what I’m reading doesn’t apply to me at all. It’s not about me, it’s about Him.
It’s about me knowing Him better. My relationship with Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with me getting things from Him. But if I seek Him for the sake of knowing intimately the King of kings, I bring myself closer to the source of all good things, and I will inevitably receive blessings beyond my greatest desire.
I need to be healed from depression. But I can’t do it. No one can fix himself so that he will be prepared and presentable before he enters the throne-room of the Almighty. Jesus wants the messy versions of us because when we give ourselves to Him just like that, He is glorified as Savior and we are serving our purpose.
That is healing. That is the truest joy I’ve ever found. If I humble myself, I will be lifted high. If I surrender my life, I will be made whole.
I know the teaching. Now I must apply it to my life so that I can live abundantly, as Christ intended when He sacrificed himself for me.
And that’s why I’m optimistic. Because Jesus already did the awful part for me. It’s already taken care of. I’m already free, I already have the capacity to live an abundant life full of joy. The chains of depression aren’t even there! All I have to do is believe and let go. Lord, help me learn how to do that.
…. Ah, life.
Kung ang iba ay pinagpapala ng magandang buhok, ako naman ay pinagpapala ng maraming split ends.
Come Thou Fount (via chosen-holy-loved)
One of my favorite hymns
I know people, mostly people in positions of authority within the body of Christ, who are so convinced of their own spiritual superiority that without realizing it, they begin to rely on themselves as God. They take on the roles of Saviour, Healer, Teacher, and most often, Judge. They pick people apart, exposing their weaknesses, revealing the sins behind the consequences they suffer, all the while ‘hearing from God’, & calling it discernment when it’s really just condemnation.
Let me tell you something. This is not beautiful. It is not respectable or helpful in any way. It’s not even spiritual. It is degrading to everyone under their authority. It is degrading to the very person doing it!
The spiritual gift of discernment is rarely, in my experience, given to leaders by nature. If you are a person with strong leadership abilities, it is very likely you will not easily see with your spirit what goes on behind the scenes of someone’s heart, unless by refinement of yours.
To discern something about someone is to walk into a room full of strangers, shake someone’s hand, & immediately sense what is in their heart. Discernment is not knowing the intimate details of someone’s past and concluding through analysis what traumas induced which flaws. And it is certainly not taking that information and using it to gratify your own flesh by showing others how ‘in tune’ you are or how amazing your deduction skills are. It is not amazing at all.
I’ve been guilty of gossip. I’ve been guilty of tearing people limb-from-limb behind their backs. Because I do discern, and because I also deduce, I have let my thoughts and words get away from me on many occasions.
I repent. I don’t’ want to be that person. I want to be accountable, loving, gracious, optimistic, loyal. My prayer for my relationship with God is that He would continually show me where to place my next step, whether that means revealing to me an area of my heart that needs to be changed, or taking a leap of faith in my personal ministry, and that I would always, by Grace and through His Power, find the strength to take that step.
Lord, draw me close to You, and never let my heart be hardened. Speak tenderly to me the things in my life that are unpleasing, and I will serve You joyfully.
Thank You for Your relentless Love.