Understanding Yourself — Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
God knows how strong and driving your need is—He designed it that way. You can be confident that by turning and drawing near to God He can and will meet that need!
and Hopelessness are
Evidence of Your Strong
Need for God's Presence
This site shows you how to turn to God and receive His presence so intensely that you can hide yourself in Him!
Depression is Evidence
Depression is the result of a chemical reaction inside our body.
Some people have biological problems that make them prone to the chemical reactions that cause feelings of depression. By that I mean their bodies are quicker to produce the chemical reactions that cause feelings of depression.
I believe that depression is seldom the result of biological causes and nothing else. Even in people who have biological tendencies toward depression, it is usually a combination of trying to quench their thirst apart from God together with the biological problem that results in the depression.
A Need to Trust the Cross as Punishment Enough
Much more common is that depression is brought on by a strong intension to punish ourselves somehow. It is like we want to fight ourselves and hide at the same time.
The reason we punish ourselves may or may not be because of sin. It may be just that we feel that something is wrong with us and don't know what it is. But in either case, rather than trust the power of the cross of Christ—we trust ourselves. Many unnecessary problems result.
You could trust the power of blood of Christ, draw near to God, and let Him wash all your reason to feel shame (Heb. 10:19,22). But instead of that many of us put our faith in our ability to punish ourselves. The more we make ourselves hurt the more we feel justified. Many of us have become so addicted to earning our own sense of punishment that depression has become very familiar to us.
That we sense punishment is needed is evidence of our desperate need to train our heart to place our faith in the power of the cross of Christ and not in ourselves! This site is for showing you how to do this.
Trusting the power of the cross to make forgiveness possible is vital to growing in a life of faith as a Christian. Doing so will mean that you won’t have to hurt yourself because Jesus suffered that pain for you already. You will be able to trust the forgiveness of God to be powerful enough for your sin.
Depression can also result from a sense that we have lost the possibility of quenching our thirst in a way we would like. If when we lose hope that we might not be enough somehow and then we punish ourselves for it, the eventual result is depression. Here again the problem is that we are trusting ourselves.
But correcting the problem of depression isn’t as simple as I made it sound above.
A Need to Enjoy Hiding Ourselves in God
We were designed to find refuge inside the presence of God around us. It hurts when we are not depending on God as our refuge and security. It hurts so much that many people are driven into a strong addiction to depression in order to try and kill the pain.
You know you have an addiction to depression when the anger toward yourself becomes a way to stop the possibility of future pain by trying to kill your thirsty desires for something more. That way you won’t want to reach out. You will only want to curl up and hide. When the hard shell of depression becomes a person’s best hope to feel protected, emotional addiction is likely.
It is the habit of trying to find refuge in the cave of depression that must be broken. God is a better place to hide. We need God’s presence to be with us so intensely that it releases us from the tendency to depend on depression.
Without realizing it, some Christians let themselves fall easily to sin because that particular sin makes them angry with themselves and brings on a depression in which they can hide. I did that for years in the area of sexual sin—and didn’t even understand what I was doing. It doesn’t have to be this way! Heart-training can completely change your habit of using depression as a way to feel secure. It did that for me. Train your heart to hide yourself in God.
Again let me emphasize that we should "put on the armor of light...put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 13:12 and 14). In a practical way, we put on the armor of light the moment we draw near to the fountain, trusting God to draw near to us. In so doing, you become one whom the Bible describes in this way: "How blessed are the people who...walk in the light of Your countenance" (Ps. 89:15).
You can humble yourself into trusting God to give you His presence, without having to punish yourself in the process!
You don’t have to pride yourself with the power you feel from how much you hurt yourself. You don’t have to close up tightly to God because of being so angry at yourself. Thank the Lord that He washes you clean as you draw near (Heb. 10:19-22). It is good, safe, and right for you to let God draw close so you can enjoy a sense of being protected inside a thick presence of the Holy Spirit. Trust His presence as your fortress.
Most Christians don’t let themselves be realistically confident that they can make an intense presence of the Holy Spirit of God their refuge. You can change that by thanking God often that the power of His washing you is much stronger than your own ability to pay the price for sin. Get your heart to hear this message: "The protection I need is not by forcing myself into a cocoon of depression as my best hope for a place to hide. Instead of depression I can hide in the presence of God given freely by His grace." Thank the Lord that "On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God" (Ps. 62:7). Rather than hiding in the hard shell of depression, be like David who said, "The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?" (Ps. 27:1). You can do that. Change your heart’s delight. Thrill yourself with the truth that you can receive God’s presence and enjoy the closeness of His power—and not your own.
If not for purely physical causes, depression is evidence of an unmet need for God. It is also evidence of one who has lost hope for anything better. Thank God that you can hope in Him. Reassure yourself, "Soul...my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God" (Psa. 62:5-7).
But you dare glory in being above people who suffer from depression! Don’t be condemning toward them—they are already doing enough of that themselves. Be patient. Love them. They need hope that something better is available.
Depression is not our best hope for a place of refuge because you can have God. Be patient with yourself as you train your heart in this area. Be patient, but be relentless also. You can turn your heart! Expect some squirming and some insecurity along the way. But don't let up. Repent with joy!
I want to challenge you to learn to use heart-training in order to reassure yourself with the presence of God. You can do it. This site is for showing you how.
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
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Understanding Yourself — Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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