I’m curious as to how we can stop worrying… Any tips and ideas are welcome!
I’m curious as to how we can stop worrying… Any tips and ideas are welcome!
I feel as though I should be more specific. I know we just trust God with our salvation and enjoying his presence does give me comfort. However, I have deep despression… I am currently in a low place. A valley of shadows that seem unable to be lifted. I’m taking medicine and trying to trust the lord is enough. I’m just not sure how to know that I am saved.
Hi, @tbolen9. Thanks so much for your honesty, and I wish I was there to sit with you and have this conversation. What would you say it is that you fear happening the most? Being cut off from God?
I guess soo… I am fearful that I am not even connected to god in the first place… I have been baptized twice because I feel as though the first time was a false baptism ( long story ). And after being baptized I still do not know if I have received the holy spirit… or even how to tell if I have…
I hear you, friend. As I am one who is somewhat unfamiliar with charismatic/Penecostal baptism narratives, could you walk me through what’s supposed to happen at baptism? You mentioned the first one was ‘false’, and the second was is presumably true… However, it seems to be lacking the Holy Spirit?
What I really don’t want to do is minimise where you are right now and tell you you just have to do x, y, and z. It’s never that simple; humans are rather complicated. Just trying to see how we can break the situation down for you!
@tbolen9. I can share how I swim in my own murky waters. It has become my habit to question the reality of normalcy. Because I think that is where my biggest struggle arises. If I trust GOD why am I dealing with untenable situations or feelings?
When I stop viewing my condition as less than, I began the task of giving them back to the Lord. I don’t feel it is my duty to get rid of negative feelings. I serve them back, platter-style, as my gift through prayer, tears, and thanksgiving.
I am loved by the GOD of all. If I occupy this place at this time, there is something here for me. Because truly there is nothing too hard for the Lord. So often with unceasing tears and despair, I return my agony back to the Lord. I trust myself in His care. I know He knows who I am, what I am and what I am not. Still, He loves me.
Though I want the negativity to go, I do not associate its presence as meaning GOD is not near. I may not feel it, see it, or even smell it. GOD is still GOD. The problem lies in the occupation of a fallen body and mind in a fallen world. We are limited.
That’s okay. As long as we encourage our souls with the understanding that GOD knows us intimately. Psalms 103:10-14 kjv. The effort to feel whole is not your responsibility. When you trust the Lord, you trust Him in His time to move the stumbling block. And while you wait on the Lord, praise Him despite feelings.
Trust is established when you insist on the truth of GOD’s presence. And deliberately reject the feelings that say otherwise. I tried to write clearly about what I have learned over time. But I may not have been as clear as I wanted to be. Be mindful that GOD uses all things to benefit those who love Him and keep His commandments. We assign good or bad values to those times, not GOD. Every moment of your living provides an opportunity to lean and depend on the Lord.
Don’t be fearful that you are not connected to GOD. From your Mother’s womb, GOD knew you. Psalms 139:2-17 kjv. Has always known you. And has always been present. That is the focus of trust and the faithfulness of GOD. No mental or ceremonial routines can do for you what GOD wants to do. Get plenty of rest. Plenty of exercises. Watch what you are exposing your mind to, viewing and listening. Even take meds if you have been prescribed them. Eat well, but let GOD have the job of stabilizing you. Hold on help was always on the way.
@tbolen9 As @KMac says, there is no simple or quick fix for the condition you describe. But I think seeing what God has done in the lives of others can help. David says in Psalm 119:24, “Your testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.”
David followed his own advice. There was a time when he was “greatly distressed.” He was running for his life from Saul, he was living among his enemies the Philistines who didn’t trust him, and he was responsible for the destruction of his followers’ homes and the capture of their wives and children (see 1 Samuel 29-30).
The Hebrew that is translated as “distressed” means to press or to be narrow. In other words, he was in a tight spot. We would say he was being squeezed. In the midst of this immense pressure, David “strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6).
May I encourage you to do a personal study of David to learn how he strengthened himself in the Lord? As you learn what David did, I think Psalm 119:24 will come alive for you. God can counsel you through David’s testimony and there is no greater delight than when God ministers His own word in your heart.
Jesus said, “Seek, and you shall find.” May the Lord lead you to the rest and comfort that is in Jesus as your search continues.
You mentioned deep depression. My friend, it’s nothing to mess around with, please consider a serious approach. Please consider seeing someone; a profesional that can help. A family Dr. or someone trained in helping w/ depresion.
I suffer from depression. I’ve seen and been to a lot of places, many at government expense (read US military). A lot of baggage builds up over time.
I have two encouraging scripures I often turn to read and prayerfully think about. James 1 talks about how trails come to everyone, yet God is with us thru all of them John 8:12, Jesus is the Light of the world. No matter how dark it gets, His light can shine through it.
Please my friend, please consider seeing someone. You’re not in it alone. We’re here praying for you. Look forward reading your next post soon.
All the best, Jesus is the Light!
@tbolen9 God bless you, Brother. Thank you for sharing. Just by bringing your situation to this community and sharing, you have opened a door for everyone who faces the same situation that you’re facing. Many people would not talk about this subject but you have brought it to light. That takes courage. Praise, God.
First, keep in mind that we don’t walk into a valley of shadows, we walk through a valley of shadows. (Psalm 23) There’s victory in Jesus!
As @Ronin47 suggested, have you seen a doctor who is familiar with this condition and then had a physical and your blood work done? If not, that’s an important step.
Is there anything or anyone in your life that is feeding into your depression? Failed baptism? Does your pastor and church family help you or hinder you? If you’re constantly feeling bad after church, it’s time to find a new one. (Hopefully, that’s not the case.)
Remember the devil is a liar. He is a tormentor. He whispers in our ears: You’re no good. You will fail. You are worthless. Just give up, etc.
But Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 10:5
to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
So, when the Tormentor whispers in your ear - know he is a liar and then cast the thought down bringing it into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
There is an incredibly important point that @dennis.gladden brings out:
Stand on His Word and pray His Word back to Him. Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [c]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
That’s a promise from your Father. So find the Scriptures that pertain to your situation and pray those Scriptures back to the Father:
(Father God, in Jesus’ name, You promised in the book of Hebrews “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” so I know You are with me…) and then just talk to Him. Find other Scriptures that pertain to your situation and pray them. As Dennis noted, The Holy Spirit will minister His own Word in your heart.
I can tell you for sure that any loving, earthly father is so happy when his kids come to talk to him about the things he has already taught them. Our heavenly Father is the same!
Turn off any negative social media, T.V., movies, etc. Listening to praise music is great. Get prayed up every day and put on the Whole Armor of God every day (Ephesians 6.) Read the Bible everyday. Romans 12:2:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
There’s Victory in Jesus! God bless.
Thank you all for the love and support in this valley of mine…Something I need to work on is this idea of self pity. As C.S. Lewis says “Crying is all right in its way while it last. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you have to decide what to do.” Our lives do come down to decisions, some more important than others, but the little decisions are important non-the less. We must choose truth over all else; no matter how painful it may be.
Hello again, @tbolen9! I really hear you on the self-pity thing. It’s very easy for me to get on board that train! But I do want to encourage you not to write off all your sadness or grief (or whatever emotion is underlying that attitude) as self-pity. A good counsellor could help you unpick that a bit…distinguish all the different threads of emotion and everything. I just find that when I don’t actually address the underlying emotion, the self-pity never abates! It just keeps coming back…more intense each time! All that to say, don’t write off everything about it too quickly. Blessings to you, friend!
@tbolen9 I will be praying for you. Trust in God and he will get you through this storm. To share something with you that may help, I attached a video from Andy Stanley from an old series called In The Meantime. If you have the time I would suggest watching the series or atleast part 1 called The New Normal. It is a fantastic series and I have recommended it to other fellow Christian friends in a time of need and the series spoke right to them.
Here is link:
The New Normal
You’ll be in my prayers this night. Take care and God bless
In my struggles with dark feelings and despair, I have noticed that a big cause is a habit of picking up certain things I keep “looking at”, certain trains of thought that keep repeating over and over again and strengthening the dark feeling.
What thoughts do you keep paying attention to that draw you deeper into depression? And what could you decide to focus more on that gives you hope in God? Here is one passage that made me think:
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made.” - Isaiah 57:15-16
God who is high and holy is also close to those who are broken. If you worry about self-pity, remember that you are not without God’s compassion. Even when you don’t have the strength to lift up your face to look at him.