To pull yourself out of depression can be daunting. It really feels as if you do need to pull yourself out. Nothing seems to alter depression with the constant strength that it has to drag you further and further in without your permission.
“Hear my cry O Lord, attend unto my prayer
From the depths of the earth, do sing out to thee
And when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock
That is higher than I, that is higher than I.”
from one of the Psalms (sorry I do not remember which one)
You don’t have to fight back, you just have to hand it over God to carry you in His arms to a safe place where you needn’t feel afraid of slipping further and further down.
I am in that place now and God gave me the inspiration to write so that I can remember what I already know… that He is my shepherd and will not let me leave from the place without coming to find me and carry me to safety.
Reflect on life and all the blessings I’ve been given
I thank You and the people You use to make my life better to live in
We are to be thankful in all, we are taught as You can make all things work for our good, no matter how situations may appear in the onset.
Yet, I’ve found that there is even more blessing given in thankfulness than just the good that You can use it for in my life.
When someone has gifted me with time, prayer, a material gift or their care, thankfulness is a must. Not because it is society’s ethics and standards, but rather because their is a place in my heart that remains empty feeling if I do not relay the thankfulness that presses from within to be freed to both You and the person who has blessed me.
I’ve found that when we are thankful, a ripple of joy and love is spread. We are automatically connected to God when we are thankful as it is His commandment for us to be so, but we are also filled with the joy of knowing that we have blessed another with the kindness that those two simple words bring that person (or people) and ourselves. We are given the joy of seeing the divine power that those words bring to another when they are said with sincerity and love. We are given the joy of knowing that this person is blessed simply because they gave in some way and we have acknowledged it (although many people feel very humbled when being thanked).
It is not only important to be thankful, but also important to accept the thanks of others as unnecessary humility takes away the joy in thankfulness. I often say “you’re welcome, but the thanks belong to God, not me”. I’ve come to realize, however, that I am taking away the pleasure of the person’s genuine joy in thanking me. My lesson, that has come through years of this overly-humble attitude, is what I want to impart to you today, to enjoy all facets of thankfulness, in giving, receiving and in praying with God about it.
Ps 50:23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honour Me, and to the blameless, I will show my salvation.
Often we focus on how much we have disappointed God; how we have let Him down and in doing so, have let ourselves down. It is so easy to focus on our iniquities rather than the ways that we may have made God smile. We feel unworthy and when we feel as if we’ve failed and it is easy to get caught up to the point where we feel so bad about our weaknesses that we can feel defeated and so discouraged that we do nothing to step forward into God’s plan for us.
We read that God is love; that His son has been sent as an atonement for our sins. We are promised that once we have confessed our sins, God reconciles us to Him through the body and blood that His son gave up for us. This is not only a divine thought, but one that is foreign to our human nature which is finite and emotional. Our human nature finds God’s unconditional love almost too good to believe as we witness our own frailties and those of the people around us.
If you were the parent of a child that refused to try to take another step because they fell once, you would do all within your power to encourage that child to learn to walk again. If the child failed a math test, you would encourage them to study, review, try again until the lesson was learned.
God is our Heavenly Father and loves us infinitely and completely. His patience for us to grasp the magnitude of how unfailing His love is, is as great as His love for us.
God has a purpose all of our lives. Meaning that He has pre-ordained a plan for us to share His love in some way with others. It may be that God has given you a heart to pray for others; it may be that He has called you to leave what you know to serve others in a foreign land. You may be called to write, or to be a loving example to others so that others can, through your presence want more of His love, which all of our spirits long for.
If you feel that you have failed God, failed in life, failed yourself and the others that God has put in your life; seek God’s forgiveness and then move on as if the past was not there. Once we ask forgiveness, God forgives AND forgets. It is gone. He allowed His son to carry our sins unto death to assure our forgiveness.
Any fear that we have is not of God’s world. Fear is not of God. Ask God to rid you of fear and to fill you with His Holy Spirit and to give you the courage to step out of whatever is trapping you away from carrying out His loving plan for you. You will feel the beauty of God’s love wash over you as you move forward.
May you be blessed in your walk and encouraged in your moments of frailty, to step out in the arms of God’s love.
PS 119; 9 – 12
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
And know that Your love will guide my way along the wide road and the lath
The future can often feel so daunting, whether in the immediate, or in the far future. Which choices to make along the way. From early decisions such as education, friends we make and relationships that we establish to career choices, family decisions and the ways to cope through life’s many struggles, which way to go is always at our best, an educated decision; a hopeful choice; a path chosen from advice and thought.
When we allow God and our faith to lead our choices, the path, although perhaps just as daunting in how it may appear to us, is clear in our Heavenly Father’s eyes. It is one that was laid for us before the beginning of time and one that we can trust as it is the all-knowing, all-seeing God of the universe that has set it for us.
We find that He leads us in our path through prayer, through the courage to step out in faith with Him and in His Holy Word.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet; a lamp on my path.
Lord, when I look back, I see what I could have done and where I’ve gone wrong…
Today I’m going to:
Look to You, instead of looking back
I know that You’re my Lord of all and will put my life on track
Life is full of “if only”s. “If only I hadn’t….”; “if only I could have….”; “if only I’d known then….”.
Living life with these types of regrets is dangerous to our spirit and to growing as a person in our life. It is easy to get stuck in the past and what could have been, should have been, would have been, etc. What does pondering these things accomplish other than leaving a wistful sadness in your being? It gets you nowhere and worse, it can cripple you from moving forward because you are too busy looking at the past.
God promises that He has a plan for us. He promises that He will not let any of our life be a waste when He promises that He uses “all things for our good”. God’s love for you is boundless and too much for us to fathom.
When we focus our eyes and our lives on following God’s direction, our regretful hearts become renewed into hearts of hope. Hope in knowing that the Creator of all is lovingly waiting to guide us and lead us in our days. What wonderful peace awaits us in this knowledge! What joy in knowing that our tomorrows are in our loving Heavenly Father’s hands!
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I’m empty, but with You Lord, I can be again whole
There are times that we feel empty of spirit and being. As if a part or all of who we are is missing and we search for something to make us feel whole again.
We are taught that only God can make fill the void of our hearts. Only God can make us feel complete. Friends, family, spouses can fill important parts of our lives, but still we often will feel as if a part of us is empty, missing something.
God is always with us. Always waiting for us to turn our spirit to Him. He longs, with love, to fill our hearts, strengthen our spirits and calm our minds.
Is 41:10So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Lord, I cannot stand that every time I think I’m getting somewhere, something goes wrong
Today I’m going to:
Look to you, to give my heart some peace
I ask You take over my day, and guide me, as You see
When we are frustrated, it is easy to loose sight of all of the things that God does for us. We get caught up on thinking about what goes wrong and it starts to consume us, taking over our days with frustration.
God has planned your day according to His will, according to His love for you and His unending care as any good father wants to guide His child’s life.
When our day is frustrating, when we feel stumped in our ever move, we must turn to God and remember what He has done for us. Remember the times that He has been there (even when you have not acknowledged it) and helped us through trying situations. His love is boundless, His mercies unending. Thank Him for the times that He is there for you. Thank Him in the moment of frustration, as He will work things out for you. It is His promise to you; that He will be with us in all things and that those things will work for us because we love Him and so that we and others can see His glory.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Lord.. Why can’t I seem to focus? I always feel like I am forgetting things and never seem to get anything done.
Today I’m going to…
Pray for the wisdom to get me through today
That my mind is focused and that my directions will not stray
Feeling as if our tasks for the day, which we think are all planned out nicely in the morning, are just all over the place by the afternoon… scattered, as if you are fumbling through your day is very frustrating.
Often we spend time worrying about what is going on in the many circumstances that we struggle through. These thoughts distract us. God is the perfect planner. When we give God our trust and faith, we can believe that our day will accomplish what it is supposed to.
Jesus taught us that we are to only carry today’s burden for yesterday is gone and worrying about tomorrow is too much for us. When we trust in God, the worry falls, even if we have to keep reminding ourselves several times throughout each day. I know that I do. It is easy for my thoughts to stray, but I try to bring myself back to God. This is when I start to see things getting done and I have peace of mind and spirit.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has trouble enough of its own.
Lord.. I feel like I’ve been robbed, cheated and taken advantage of. Why is it, when I try so hard, I end up feeling cheated?
Today I’m going to…
Pray Oh Lord that you show me Your truth
You will open up my eyes to bring love I can only find in You
So many times, life has left me and many of us feeling as if we’ve been cheated of what we deserve. Or worse, gotten all the bad that we didn’t deserve. Our dreams for our lives don’t work out and we question God.
Many times, it comes down to free will. A string of choices of others’ and your own that add up to something that leaves you feeling as if you should have been better off by now. That you should be in a better place in life.
Humanity, sadly, is inherently evil from the time of the first sin. We are however, at the same time, inherently good through the voice of God within us. When we, or others make bad choices, even evil choices, the effects of those choices ring sadly through time. The effect ripples out touching you, then touching everyone you touch and so on. Free will can be used for good or bad, and sometimes someone else’s free will in bad choices can leave us completely defeated.
When we look at feeling cheated, we are measuring what we feel has been taken to us according to what the world sees. We want success in our career, a comfortable life, a happy partnership, love, family, health, etc. When God looks at us, he looks at our hearts; where have we given love, where have we touched a life, where have we made even a small difference in someone else’s life?
These are the things that cannot be taken from us. These are the things that are eternal and ours. We cannot be robbed of our faith, we cannot be robbed of God’s love, we cannot be robbed of God’s tenderness towards us, we cannot be robbed of the power of prayer, we cannot be robbed of giving love where we can.
So I suggest, when you are feeling cheated, that you give. A smile, a donation, a kind word, a thoughtful deed, a prayer lifted for someone. You will start to feel the change in your outlook.
Peace I leave you, peace I give, not as the world knows peace. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid.