Recently at Laurentian we talked about the fight for your mind. So many struggle in this area. Whether it be lust, negative thoughts, self-worth or depression. How is the Lord's joy our strength in these daily struggles? Recently I read an article about this issue that I thought was helpful. I realize that this is written from a battle with depression, but there is something here for all of us who want God to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). If you replace the word "depression" with "negativity" or "lust" or "poor self worth", I believe there is help here. Carol McLeod from Just Joy Ministries (http://www.justjoyministries.com/) writes:
After years and years suffering from debilitating depression, I have asked God to make me an expert on joy! I already knew more than one woman should ever know about depression so I was determined to turn it all around ... and focus on joy!
This is what I know:
Depression weakens you and joy strengthens you!
Depression is cruel and joy is kind.
Depression cuts off the source of life and joy fertilizes abundant life!
The language of depression is blame and bitterness; the language of joy is blessing and benefit!
We were not made for depression ... we were made for joy!
The question remains, however, “How do we get from depression to joy?”
We turn away from depression one minute at a time. We set one emotional foot in front of the other and walk away from depression and toward the Kingdom of joy.
We choose to read the Bible. Every day.
We choose to worship enthusiastically when we would rather mope.
We give generously to people who don’t deserve it.
We forgive completely and refuse bitterness.
We walk away from depression and toward joy one step at a time ... one choice at a time ... one minute at a time.
The choice is yours. Which way are you walking today?
1- Determine today that not one negative word will come out of your mouth. Every word that travels across your pearly whites should only be words of blessing, praise and thanksgiving!
2- Be the most thankful version of yourself possible! How about listing 4 things today for which you are grateful?
From this day forward I will only walk toward joy and never toward depression. The words of my mouth will only bring blessing and encouragement.
“Jesus, I ask You to sit on the throne of my emotions. My emotions will bow to Your loving and eternal Lordship. I need Your presence and Your strength as I travel away from depression and toward joy. Thank You for Your help. Amen.”
This is a good word! When people meet us, may we exude the joy of the Lord.
You can find this devotional reading as part of the "21 Days to Beat Depression" reading plan from bible.com.
You can find this, and many other devotional and Bible readings plans available for free at https://www.bible.com/reading-plans
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