You’re reading the words of a newly empowered man who is tired of losing. I also have a half-hour conversation with someone who is an incredible human being, and even if they do not end up partnering with me the conversation will be worth it.
Our Home Church is also an amazing group of people who are sold out to Jesus. When Jesus becomes the LORD of your life good shows up. You find what you look for, and if all you can see is bad then guess what you’re going to find? I’ve learned this the hard way, but thanks to Adonai, therapy, medicine, sleep, boundaries and my tribe I’m climbing out of the dark night of the soul.
You simply cannot climb out of despair on your own. It takes a tribe. It takes loving correction. It takes people who recognize that what you are going through is real. It takes people who are willing to sit with you in silence. It takes an apt word of hope that may not even be interpreted as hope, but hope exists.
Traveling with depression has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. Like I’ve written before I’ve seen its destruction since the third grade. I was about 10 years old. I’m now almost 46, so the battle has raged inside of me for 36 years. It’s been illuminating and darkening in the same year, but I praise my Father in the heavens for always staying near me even when the thought of His presence was the last thing on my mind.
Depression doesn’t make sense on so many levels because for a lot of us we’ve never been hospitalized for it. I knew an individual who was several times, but I’ve never been hospitalized for it. I’ve never tried to take my life. I know people who have. It’s affected my family. It’s robbed millions of being fully alive because the chemical imbalance we suffer exaggerates fear. It makes mountains out of mole hills, and it robs you of peace. It’s a miserable existence that produced balling sessions in a mall food court with my wife and daughter. I cried till my eyes were dry.
Don’t ever make light of someone with a mental illness. If you don’t know what to say, nod your head as you look the person in the eye. That’s one of the most loving things you can do. When appropriate put your arm around them. Pray diligently for them. Anoint them with oil and pray over them if you have their permission. Pray this prayer, “Father I ask you to protect Daniel from evil. In Jesus name amen.” He may not remove the mental illness, but He most certainly will protect them from evil. He will bless the work of their hands. He will empower them to put one foot in front of the other, and He will take the anger and hate away. Those are things He will undoubtedly do.
We focus and talk about so many negatives in this life that we fail to lean into the positive. The Bible is not a kill joy taking our freedom or free-will away. It is a treaty on God’s love for mankind. He knows our sufferings better than anyone because He has suffered as we have suffered. His ultimate suffering was for our deliverance from evil, and that was not just for an eternal home with Him on the new Earth. It was for the here and now for those whose faith is in the risen Jesus. He’s risen. He’s not a great leader buried in a tomb in Jerusalem. He is very much alive longing to give us hope even in our darkest night of the soul.
We have to be convinced of this, but due to the power of Satan, his network of evildoers and the fact that he still roams this Earth explains the suffering, destruction and decay we see on the news, internet and billboards everyday.
Hollywood makes a living at this. They create movies and television shows year after year about good winning over evil. I realize evil “wins” over good at times, but the point of our beloved Father is the most epic point of all. Good wins over evil.
My friend Lewis is in Tanzania showing the people there that Jesus is who He says He is. Lewis and his family were called to foreign lands to show others that Jesus is LORD. The final decision rests with them, but Lewis and Tammy are answering the call to bring Jesus to those who do not know Him. Good is winning over evil.
Depression exists because Satan deceived human beings. They weren’t satisfied with the things God gave them, and Satan enticed them to want more. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We talked about the power of God tonight in Home Church. If God wants something to be done there’s nothing that can stop that from happening. He is a loving and merciful God, and even though Christian artist Chris Rice may sing about when He’s coming to stop the evil our God is the only One who knows the day He will say enough.
Jesus knows sadness. He wept at the grave of Lazarus. I don’t know if Jesus fought depression, but it doesn’t matter because His power is exceedingly able to take it away and the Holy Spirit has been sustaining me through it these 36 years.
Questions this side of eternity will always abound, but my relationship with the risen LORD negates them all because I know He has an answer for every single one.
He is the ultimate One I trust. He is the ultimate One who keeps me safe. He is the One who feeds me, and He gives me shelter and clothing.
I was also baptized 36 years ago, so even though I’ve been carrying this thorn in the flesh I’ve also carried the gift of the Holy Spirit. And those gifts are marvelous to meditate on as I leave them with you.
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.