If you begin to cultivate the spirit of faith, depression will lose its grip on you.
Several years ago, one of the news networks reported that six out of 10 Americans suffer from depression. Some people would say that's understandable. They would say it's normal. It's to be expected in times like these when danger and uncertainty surround us.
But I want you to know that if you have made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life, depression is not normal for you! It is not to be expected. You've been redeemed from it.
Just as surely as you've been set free from sin, you've been freed from depression. Jesus paid the price on the cross so you could be at peace (that means "whole, complete, with nothing missing, nothing broken").
Galatians 3:13 tells us that "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us" (NKJV), and we know that depression is part of the curse (see Deut. 28:65-67). So what Jesus did on the cross redeems us from depression!
However, if you don't take a stand against it, the devil will push depression on you anyway. He'll put pressure on your mind. He'll bring negative thoughts to you and tempt you to say them out loud. If you listen to and speak those things, before long a spirit of depression will begin to rob you of your joy, your health and your productivity.
If that's already happened, I want you to know there's a way out. It is the way of faith. If you begin to cultivate the spirit of faith, depression will lose its grip on you.
What is the spirit of faith?
Second Corinthians 4:13 describes it this way: "Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak."
Notice the spirit of faith believes and speaks what is written in the Word of God. It believes what God says more than it believes contrary evidence. If you want to develop the spirit of faith, you must believe and speak the Word.
For example, when you see in Psalm 103:4 that God "crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies," you must agree with that verse. Believe it. Say it out loud.
Don't argue with it. Don't think: Well, I'm certainly not crowned with the goodness and mercy of God. I have a terrible past. I'm a failure and my future's hopeless.
If negative thoughts such as these go around in your head like a broken record, make a new record. Spend time reading, meditating on and speaking the Word of God. Get so full of what God says about you that you don't hear that old talk in your mind anymore. Instead, you'll hear "God talk" in your thoughts.
Create a picture of yourself in your mind that's a Bible picture. Make biblical declarations such as: "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I have abundant life. God has a good plan for me. As I seek Him, He is showing me the next step." Then purposely start expecting what God says to come to pass in your life.
Often when you're under pressure, the devil will hit you first thing in the morning with thoughts of discouragement. Get the jump on him. Go to bed meditating on the promises of God. Then in the morning, if the devil hits you with depression you can just open your mouth and blast him with the Word!
After all, you are crowned with glory and honor. You're not pitiful or weak. You're strong in the Lord. You may have been acting weak, but God's strength is inside you.
So tap into it. Develop the spirit of faith. The stronger that spirit of faith becomes in you, the weaker the spirit of depression will be. Soon depression will be gone! In its place will be the greatest joy you've ever known. The Bible calls it "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. 1:8, KJV).
In days like these, that's supernatural. But for the believer it's a normal state of mind.
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