Devotional 1/9/2017

Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. Hosea 2:14

Praising God during hard times, is a learned behavior.

Let’s be honest, the last thing we want to do when we are having a hard day is to sing, or to thank God for anything. Our mind is focused on getting through the barrier, past the hurdle, away from the drama, be done with the pain. Let’s look at the word DEPRESS-ION. For me, personally depression feels like I’m being pressed down in an empty state of nothingness. Literally feels like you are down and out.

De: down, remove

Pressed: held down, forced, squeezed, compressed

De·pressed: (of a person) in a state of general unhappiness or despondency (state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage)

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God calls us to do things, that are irrational to the human mind. But Science ends up agreeing with God in the long run. 

When we find ourselves in moments of sadness or grief, we do not want to be around people who cannot share in our sorrow. We definitely do not want to listen to happy songs. For example, If you happen to just break up with someone, I highly doubt you would want to listen to the latest love song on the radio. If you are in happy mode, you do not want to hang out with someone who is grieving or undergoing some sort of affliction. If you were just laid off from your job, I think that maybe you will stay to yourself and not go to your ex coworkers promotion celebration. This is only logical.

For many Christians, depression and discouragement are silent monsters. We are constantly expected to be giddy, happy and loving, meanwhile deep in our hearts we are screaming for help. For some kind of fix, some solution to the pain, some answer that will encourage and uplift us. This is why people resort to habits (sexual vices, substance abuse and physical aggression, etc). Christians think depression is a demon, and yes it can definitely be influence by spiritual forces- but depression is an emotional state of sadness, numbness and continuous discontent. The symptoms are different for everyone, because this emotional state knows how to function at times, and other times it causes a psychological break or a physical paralysis. And this keeps us in a really bad relationship with the silent monster. Never assume that because someone shows up, and smiles, and shares a few laughs here and there, that they are content.

Christians have missed the fact that we continue to be human beings, and that we should have mercy on others while not imposing our judgement. Never tell someone who is depressed to snap out of it, because they will snap out on you or worse they may snap out of life. 

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God’s word is straight forward and says that we should praise God at all times.

We know the Psalms of David and how he went through all types of trials and tribulations yet praise God. David was a perfect example of emotional roller coasters, while writing some psalms he says “God did you forget about me, do you not see me suffering?!”, and towards the end he is praising God. This is for you, to simply read if you ever feel alone in your struggles.  

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I have learned that it is vital, as Christians, that we learn to encourage ourselves.

The only thing that pleases God is when we have faith. And to God a simple thank you, will move Him to act on your favor. Saying a simple “thank you“, when you don’t understand life expresses faith to God. That you believe, He can work it out. If you find yourself stuck in a any situation, remind yourself on the things, that He has previously walked you out of. this builds up your faith, and demonstrates to God that you are doing what you can so that He would do the rest.

I have learned that it is vital, as Christians, that we learn to encourage ourselves. For example, David was out at war and the enemies came and took all their women and children, and their flock! Imagine coming back from battling with some demons, to find that the enemy still got away with murder. The people were ready to stone David, and he was very discouraged but the bible says that David encouraged Himself in the Lord.

Let’s pray:

Lord Jesus, thank you for your word and for your spirit inside of us. I thank you for all the brave soldiers in this world, who have said no to suicide and have continued to push forward in life. I pray for a restoration of their souls, their faith in you, their homes and families. I pray you would draw us nearer to you, and give us time to recuperate as well. In Jesus name, Amen.

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