(By Lois Robinson)
This time of year causes folks to experience higher levels of hopelessness, depression and suicide than any other time of year. After the holidays are over, days are shorter, nights are longer, and the snow, rain and sleet keep falling. With those dynamics comes a heaviness that is not easily lifted. Some try new patterns of healthy living to deal with the “blues,” which is always a recommendation. While others, on the other hand, take the unhealthy route of engaging in sinful patterns to relieve the emptiness. The latter route would be called finding a “simple solution” to a complex problem, thus leading to a more complex problem. The enemy loves when God’s people do that. The byproduct from this behavior is hopelessness, which can lead us down a very destructive road.
I wanted to offer some helpful recommendations that will hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls of hopelessness.
1. BIBLE VERSES WRITTEN ON 3X5 INDEX CARDS -
This practice is so powerful. The bible says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
Get in touch with the feeling(s) you have. You may get thoughts and feelings confused. A feeling is one word. An example: “I feel ...happy, sad, rejected, abandoned, scared, excited, angry, lonely.
A thought, on the other hand, is a string of words. An example: “I feel sad because I wanted to go to my TFL class but another storm came! (Feeling) (Thought)
When you SERIOUSLY begin to learn scripture AND BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE :), it WILL change your life. It doesn’t work like magic and fix everything in that moment just because you read a scripture, memorized it or even spoke it out. I have learned that I have to repeat it over and over again, because I am literally battling my flesh to come under the Authority of the Word of God. In an anxiety ridden moment for me, I have had to sit and repeat a scripture regarding fear for 30 minutes or so until my mind believed what God’s word says over what my mind is believed at the time, thus producing all the anxiety! It is not a quick fix, friends. I have learned that deep down my flesh has trouble bowing to the Truth of God. My natural tendency is to see reality through MY eyes and believe it, which caused fear and anxiety. Oh God save me!
2. VERSES HANGING IN STRATEGIC PLACES : HOME, WORK, CAR, COMPUTER, TV, FRIDGE:
This is another weapon of warfare that can change the atmosphere of your environment. I find that I need a daily reminder of who God says He is and who God says I am, as I work, play, read, watch TV, rest and the list goes on. The same principle applies though: you must believe what the scripture is saying. You cannot just read it like it is the right thing to do and God will then somehow change it all. He desires you to trust and believe He is telling you the truth. When you practice believing and resting in His truths, things really do begin to change, whether in your circumstances or in your heart!
3. PRAISE AND WORSHIP MUSIC: THE SHOUT!
As one of my favorite worship leaders, Darlene Zschech says in her book Extravagant Worship, “A shout commands attention. A shout is prophetic and faith building; a shout calls things that are not as though they were. A shout demonstrates enthusiasm, confidence, and determination. A shout releases energy, boldness, and passion. A shout changes the atmosphere. God’s word tells us to shout. “Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!” (Psalm 47:1) She goes on to say, “When I am leading worship, I don’t shout to get people excited or “hyped up”. When I shout, I am encouraging people to put action to their faith.”
Amen and Hallelujah! Friends, someone told me that sometimes your healing is locked up in your praise. I believe it and have experienced deep healing in my life, mind and soul because of praise and worship. Scripture is loaded with events of people giving their praise, worship and surrender to Jesus and then experiencing healing. When Paul was thrown into prison, the bible tells us he prayed, praised and witnessed, the earthquake came and the chains fell off. Let’s learn to practice these weapons of warfare! Amen