I wouldn't say that I've been depressed, but I have been allowing my thoughts to be completely and utterly consumed with all the things I think are currently wrong with my life, and as a result have been feeling really discouraged.
At first I tried to pretend that I wasn't sad about my various 'issues', but when that flopped, I gave up and just indulged in the feelings. Neither approach was in anyway profitable, and so I knew that one way or another when I went to church this morning God was going to give me a kick up the backside of sorts.
And of course He did.
We sang two songs that I was really touched by. The first; which was written by a worship leader at church, talks about waiting on the Lord in stillness, knowing He is God, and always faithful, and the second; an old hymn, contains the words,
"All I have needed, thy hand hath provided,
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."
The first song spoke to me specifically about patience. Sometimes God witholds certain things from us till a certain time because a)We aren't ready for them yet or b)They aren't good for us right now. When asking God for these things we have to remember that He is sovereign, and He knows what the best things for us are for right now.
The second song spoke to me along the same line, reminding me that God has given me all that I need for right now. He has given us our daily bread. If He thought we needed anymore right now He'd have given it to us now.
I'm reminded of the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. God gave them enough food for each day, and then supplied them with what they needed for the next day when they needed it; the next day.
Now the fact that I think I need something, and God is telling me to be patient doesn't mean that I have to pretend everything is okay, and it doesn't mean I have to moan about it. What it means is that I need to change my perspective and put it in line with God's perspective.
Earlier on in the year I listened to a talk called 'Defeating Discouragement' from the Hillsong UK website (second page, and scroll down). The passage focused on was in Exodus 17.8-15, and was the story of the Israelites defeat of the Amalekites. There were five points which I think apply here exactly;
- Get up on the hilltop and see OVER your situation - Moses was on top of the hill getting God's perspective on things.
- Be seated on a rock - Moses sat on a rock on the hill, and we should sit on the rock too [Psalm 78.35]. Rest in the knowledge that God is God; always good, all powerful, just, gracious, loving and your Heavenly father.
- Be surrendered to God - Moses had his hands raised in a position of surrender to God, and we too should be in a position of surrender to Him. Hand everything over to God. There usually isn't much we can do about our situations anyway, and God is able to do far more than we can even think He can [Ephesians 3.20], so we might as well hand all our issues, grievances and sadness over to Him. He's got it covered.
- Make sure you are supported by the church - Moses wasn't up on the hill alone, he had Aaron and Hur with him, supporting his arms and keeping them lifted up. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and help you keep your chin up when the going gets tough.
- Be steady until the end - Moses stayed faithful to his task till the very end. Run the good race and stay true to God. In Him we have overcome [John 16.33]