Peace That Surpasses Understanding

Devotional:

How can the Bible even use the words “rejoice” or “joy” in the same sentence with “trials”, “fiery ordeal” or “sufferings” ?! That’s outrageous!

It might be outrageous … but it is also possible. It is possible to keep our hearts intent on following God during days of harsh trials and unending fires.

We have idolized our feelings to the extent that they have more control over us than does the Word of God when going through a trial. Our human conviction that we must complain, whine and carry on during days of pain are a sad and weak deception.

God never promised that life would be easy but He promised that He would never leave us. I can worship a God like that!

Jesus never declared that trouble-free living was a part of abundant life on earth. He did assure us, however, that He would send the Holy Spirit to comfort us when our lives were uncomfortable. I can rejoice knowing that the Holy Spirit is the best Comforter in the history of the universe!

Today, my prayer for those of you who are dealing with depression too dark to verbalize, is that you would open your mouth and sing.

My prayer is that you would lift your hands toward heaven, at your moment of most excruciating pain, and declare your trust in God.

I pray that you will worship regardless of how you feel. Do not allow your feelings to have the last word.

Practical Application:

1- Write out the words to your favorite hymn or worship song and meditate on them today.

2- Share three things for which you are grateful in your journal, and through Twitter and Facebook. #beatdepression

Declaration:

“I will worship the Lord today! A song of praise will drown out my emotions and I will keep Jesus on the throne of my heart!”

Prayer:

“Jesus, thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to be my comforter in days of darkness and pain. Amen.”

Romans 15:1-13

1 Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. 2 Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me. 4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. 5 Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice. 7 Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. 8 For I say that the Messiah became a servant of the circumcised on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises to the fathers, 9 and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written: Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles, and I will sing psalms to Your name. 10 Again it says: Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people! 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; all the peoples should praise Him! 12 And again, Isaiah says: The root of Jesse will appear, the One who rises to rule the Gentiles; the Gentiles will hope in Him. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:1-13 (HCSB)

Joy is a Choice

Devotional:

After years and years suffering from debilitating depression, I have asked God to make me an expert on joy! I already knew more than one woman should ever know about depression so I was determined to turn it all around … and focus on joy!

This is what I know:

Depression weakens you and joy strengthens you!

Depression is cruel and joy is kind.

Depression cuts off the source of life and joy fertilizes abundant life!

The language of depression is blame and bitterness; the language of joy is blessing and benefit!

We were not made for depression … we were made for joy!

The question remains, however, “How do we get from depression to joy?”

We turn away from depression one minute at a time. We set one emotional foot in front of the other and walk away from depression and toward the Kingdom of joy.

We choose to read the Bible. Every day.

We choose to worship enthusiastically when we would rather mope.

We give generously to people who don’t deserve it.

We forgive completely and refuse bitterness.

We walk away from depression and toward joy one step at a time … one choice at a time … one minute at a time. The choice is yours. Which way are you walking today?

Practical Application:

1- Determine today that not one negative word will come out of your mouth. Every word that travels across your pearly whites should only be words of blessing, praise and thanksgiving!

2- Be the most thankful version of yourself possible! How about listing 4 things today for which you are grateful? #beatdepression!

Declaration:

From this day forward I will only walk toward joy and never toward depression. The words of my mouth will only bring blessing and encouragement.

Prayer:

“Jesus, I ask You to sit on the throne of my emotions. My emotions will bow to Your loving and eternal Lordship. I need Your presence and Your strength as I travel away from depression and toward joy. Thank You for Your help. Amen.”

From 21 Days to Beat Depression