Psalm 43:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God. (NIV)
I had the most amazing experience only hours after a sermon on the theme, "Following Jesus Christ".
The context for the sermon and my experience is my struggle with depression. I can find myself feeling down and not being able to rise above it, for several days on end. One thing that I have learned is that I have a reliance on God that is exponentially greater than I ever had before! So my depression is actually a blessing!
The part of the message that caught my attention was, "Jesus is the Answer Diet". The question was, "Is He my diet for my life?"
My depression — or my Goliath, as I like to view it — is competing with God. Who will win?
I had recently been reading a Christian novel, like the Frank Peretti books, about demons and spiritual warfare, which happen all around us and in heaven. I believe this spiritual warfare is real. We have angels with their shining swords that protect us from the demons. There is a battle that goes on in the heavenly realm with demons against angels to save us from Satan's clutches. One thing that I do know is that demons flee when Jesus' name is mentioned or when people are praying.
I was out for my Sunday afternoon walk with my dog. It was pouring rain. The weather suits my mood, I thought. I was feeling really depressed. I started to recall the sermon. If He is to be the diet of my life, then I should be talking to Him right now! I thought about the warfare in heaven, and realized that Satan must be jumping up and down, gleefully happy that I was so down. That made me mad. Satan is winning this battle and pushing me farther away from God! This cannot be happening.
What can I do about this? I started just by saying His name out loud. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." Then I used more emphasis, saying the words slowly, thinking about what they actually meant. "Jesus, You are the true God. Jesus, You are my Saviour. Jesus, You are amazing. You are my shining sword; You are my shield and my breastplate. Jesus, Jesus, You are my bright shining star. Jesus, You are my deliverer, You are mighty in battle. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," now said with much more emotion. The happiness welled up within me and I began to praise God for His goodness, His restoration, His grace and mercy. You are indeed a faithful God!
By the time I met up with my friend, I was in a fabulous mood. As I sit here typing this, I still feel elated that God won the battle. God won my battle. The Answer Diet works!
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Your unconditional grace, mercy, and love. Thank You that we can call upon You and that we can depend upon the angels to protect us from the evilness that is around us. Thank You that we can trust You and know that You hear every word. Protect us in our day-to-day activities, and put a hedge of protection around our families, our cars, trucks, and vans, and our pets. We love You, Lord. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.