What will you choose?

I’ve been writing and rewriting a post for the past few weeks.
I listened to a talk by a well-known, but sadly lately deceased, American prophet by the name of Bob Jones who said:
“You can choose to wake up tomorrow and not be depressed. You can decide to wake up tomorrow and not be sad”
I’ve been rewriting the post because although there is truth in the statement, I don’t want to discourage or upset those who struggle with clinical depression. Although I don’t fully understand it, I know that it is often a journey of healing and freedom to walk out of depression. But at the same time I was also meditating on the scripture in Timothy which says that God has given us a sound mind.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV 
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
I’ve seen in my own life and the life of others over the past few weeks that whatever you fix your heart and mind on is what has power over your life. If you fix your mind on all the problems and difficulties you are facing, you let those problems speak the defining word over your life. You can even allow the potential for problems to rule your life before they have even happened.
So many times in the Bible, God calls us to fix our eyes on Him:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:2-3
I will lift up my eye to the mountains; from where shall my help come? Psalm 121:1
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
One of the reasons I speak so much about worship is because this is how I connect with God. But what happens in that time is my eyes are lifted. As i start to sing and meditate on the words, I begin to remember the truth and I lift my eyes to see God. When my eyes are fixed on Him, everything else falls away. When you see Him, everything else either fits into its proper place. When you see Him you begin to declare the truth over your life and the problems you face.
Depression isn’t an easy thing to navigate. I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled with depression but I’ve definitely struggled through seasons of depressive thoughts. And self-pity can so often be tangled in with it, which causes a downward spiral, fixing your eyes to the floor.
There is a need to be honest. I know people who seemingly never have any struggles and when you ask them how they are, you will get a series of Bible quotes and “Life is great” fake responses. That doesn’t work. You can’t cover your struggles with what you may see as a ‘proper’ christian response. But you also can’t dwell in the place of your struggles.
Be honest and real with God and with your trusted friends, but don’t stay there. Lift your eyes and worship. Lift your eyes and remember the promises he has spoken over your life, both personal words and general words to the people of God through the Bible.
Graham Cooke [1] says: “In any circumstance, the best possible route for us to follow is that which leads us towards a deeper and upgraded relationship with God in the Spirit. Everything that God does is relational. Everything.”
There is power in the words you declare over your life. Even those which you don’t speak out.
You have a choice…
You have a choice to be happy and content in all circumstances by fixing your eyes on God – who is the giver of life, the perfecter of your faith, the one who holds you in weakness, the one who is the source of strength and the origin of every breath. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is your refuge and shelter. He rejoices over you with singing. He is your hope of glory. He is your very present help in times of trouble. He is creator, redeemer, and restorer. He is the shepherd who goes after the lost one. He is Father to the Fatherless. He is the Prince of Peace…
[1] Graham Cooke – www.brilliantperspectives.com –  Blog: ‘Two questions to ask when trials come’. Link: http://www.brilliantperspectives.com/two-questions-to-ask-when-trials-come/
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