Rising Through the Trouble
Worry weighs a person down; and an encouraging word cheers a person up." (Prov. 12:25)
People in the north country must constantly be aware of the danger of falling into depression because of lack of sunshine and days upon end of seemingly constant cloud cover. Depression means to be flattened vertically or dispirited. The Bible word for depression means “heaviness.”
As Christians, cares and anxieties can bring us down because some of the toughest battles you will ever fight will be those in your own mind. One translation says, “Heaviness in the heart makes it stoop.” A person who is stooping down must make an effort to lift themselves or they will remain in that position.
During the ministry of Jesus, He quoted Isaiah 61:1-3, saying, “Today this is fulfilled in your ears.” The highlights of the passage read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed me.... to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness....”. Simply, Jesus came to exchange our sadness and mourning for joy. And He came to give us an attitude of praise in exchange for a spirit of depression. Naturally speaking, you have to put a clothing garment on your body for it to cover or warm you. Spiritually speaking, you must put on the garment of praise by opening your mouth in thanksgiving and worship to God.
In yesterday’s devotion, we discussed the need to trust the instrument reading of God’s Word versus what you feel. An additional aspect is this: An instrument rated Christian will also rejoice in the midst of trouble. They will allow praise to lift them and cause them to rise above their apparent struggles. An aviation instructor will naturally encourage his students to “keep the nose of the plane up,” knowing that failure to do so could result in tragedy. A plane has a natural tendency to fall if you let it. Your spiritual life has a natural tendency to flatten out if you are not careful. To compensate for this tendency, you must learn to “keep your nose up” and change your outlook on life.
Simon Peter walked on the water to Jesus. Yet, as miraculous as that was, it ended when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the wind and waves instead. Jesus immediately caught Peter and said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31). When you begin to look at circumstances instead of the trustworthiness of God’s Word, you too will begin to sink and the nose of your plane will begin to dip. It is at that moment that you must begin to look up in praise, remembering Jesus. It is then that you will rise above the troubles in your life.
Lord, I will guard my life against heaviness and depression.
You came to give me joy instead of sadness.
You came to trade my depression for an outlook of praise.
I will rejoice when trouble comes knowing that you are ever with me.
I will keep my head up.
I will keep my eyes on Jesus and rejoice in the midst of the storm.
Help me to keep my nose up today, in Jesus’ Name.
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