Saturday, March 10, 2012

Battling despondency

Despondency and depression are not buzz words in church world. Often we just don't know how to handle them. But the stark reality depression is one of the huge challenges here in the UK. Including in the church.

There can be many reasons for this to enter our lives and this post is not meant to over simplify this very real difficulty. However I was challenged by this article by Ps John Piper looking at how Jesus prepared and faced up to what was going to be his darkest hour in the garden at Gethsemane.

"There were several tactics in Jesus' strategic battle against despondency.

First, he chose some close friends to be with him. "He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee" (Matthew 26:37). (How often do we isolate ourselves when trouble or difficulty comes - Billy)

Second, he opened his soul to them. He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death" (verse 38). (Why do we choose to pretend for so long that we are OK? - Billy)

Third, he asked for their intercession and partnership in the battle. "Remain here and keep watch with me" (verse 39).

Fourth, he poured out his heart to his Father in prayer. "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me" (verse 39).

Fifth, he rested his soul in the sovereign wisdom of God. "Yet not as I will, but as thou wilt" (verse 39).

Sixth, he fixed his eye on the glorious future grace that awaited him on the other side of the cross. "For the joy set before him he endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: the first shock waves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief — a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.

Jesus shows us another way. Not painless, and not passive. Follow him. Find your trusted spiritual friends. Open your soul to them. Ask them to watch with you and pray. Pour out your soul to the Father. Rest in the sovereign wisdom of God. And fix your eyes on the joy set before you in the precious and magnificent promises of God."


Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thank you for the reminder.

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