Why is it that as the richest nation in the world, with all of our wealth, possesions, and gadgets, we as Americans are among the highest to battle depression and anxiety?
I was immediately
convicted intrigued by this question posed by our Pastor this week. Why is it that even with Jesus permeating my heart, my love for Him greater than it has ever been, my family perfectly healthy and whole, my house overflowing with food and "stuff"...I still find myself at times, unhappy...unsettled...anxious...worried...irritable...joy"less"??? You know, like obsessing over the size 8 body that I seriously Talysa get over it because that was like 1998! used to have, or the Pottery Barn'esque rooms that I shamelessly slobber drool over but don't have, or the lady in my church...you know the one...that seems to just have it all together while you walk around like an unraveling hem line...yep, we all know her don't we? And probably waste beautiful time trying to be more like her... Or maybe it's fretting over how to make my marriage "fall apart proof", or what in the world to have for dinner tonight , or baking goodies for all my kids Sunday school teachers, or how I'm gonna make up the 2 weeks worth of school we are behind in right now, did I talk wayyyy too much in small group last night?...I am ashamed to admit that this list could go on and on....my name is Talysa and I am a habitual worrier....ahhh that feels better already! But this is also sinful....it is not what was intended for me...it is killing my joy.
What is Joy??? Joy:When we have a heart for God more than the world or it's circumstances
The same way that we are commanded to LOVE our neighbor as we love ourselves, we are also commanded to be Joyful! Pslam 40:16 & Phil 4:4 Which led to this wonderful
beating over the head to get my attention discovery yesterday....Joy, just like love, is too often mistaken as an emotion....something you should feel or you must not have it right?? WRONG! JOY is a choice in the same way that LOVING my husband is a choice....not always a feeling!
And no, it is not always easy....but it is not impossible with the power of His Holy Spirit in us...Galatians 5:22
So when I've gained 10 pounds, I can choose to panic...or pray!....when my marriage hits a rough patch I can choose to worry....or worship! Regardless of my circumstance, He is still who He says He is! He is still worthy of my praise! My hope in who I am because of Him has not changed...so why should my JOY in Him change? We may not live problem FREE lives but through the Holy Spirits power within us, we have the choice to live JoyFILLED lives!!! It's a promise...and He always delivers on His promises!
Here are just a few ways we can have JOYFUL hearts this season...
1.Worship (Pslam 100:1-5 & Pslam 95:1-7)
2.Read the word...this is the number one reason we sometimes become Spiritually Depressed
3.Prayer...it is the ultimate expression of dependence...
I know this post is quite possibly hitting novel status but please do read on a bit further...Martyn Lloyd Jones may have just hit the nail on the head better than anyone in History! LOVE THIS!
Sidenote: The "man" he is referring to in this passage would be the author of Psalm 42:5-6
“Preach to yourself” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.
Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s (Psalmist in 42:5-6) treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.’…
The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’– what business have you to be disquieted?
You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’– instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.
Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.’”
–D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965/2002), 20-1.
"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"