Monday, October 19, 2009

Daily Digest #341

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. —Psalm 98:4

We all have our moments of doubt and fear and helplessness. And these times usually prevent us from praising God for everything in our life, and for being who He is -- all-powerful and ever-living God. I was having one of those moments last night before I dozed off. I was thinking of where my life was heading. I usually weep and worry when I think about such things. But for some reason, fear wasn't there. For the first time, I learned to accept that I'm not ready for the things I long for. I learned to accept how God is still teaching me about patience and selflessness. It was so surreal, I couldn't help but say 'thank You', and slept with a smile on my face.

Allow me to share Rick Warren's latest article in the Purpose Driven Life online. May we all gain a different perspective and see how praise-worthy God truly is.

by Rick Warren

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG).

Here’s a Bible trivia quiz: Can you name any of three men who became so depressed that each of them asked God to take his life?

Answer: Moses, Elijah, and Jonah.

Each of them got depressed, but for different reasons; depression is always a symptom of a deeper problem.

Like a warning light on your car, depression is meant to get your attention; it shouts something is wrong! The real problem is not how you feel, but the cause of those feelings. Here are three of the most common causes of depression.

1. Fatigue (Moses’ problem): When you try to maintain a hectic pace week after week in spite of physical and emotional exhaustion, you set yourself up for depression. Or, if you try to play God, attempting to control everything and everyone around you, depression will eventually catch up with you. In Moses’ case, the solution was to learn to delegate (Numbers 11:10–17).

2. Fear (Elijah’s problem): Whenever you swallow your anxieties, your body keeps score. Instead of focusing on your depression, ask, “What is it that I’m afraid of? What’s got me worried?” Resolve the worry and your blues will vanish, if that’s the cause. In Elijah’s situation, the antidote was to trust God to handle things out of his control (1 Kings 19:1–18).

3. Frustration ( Jonah’s problem): When you don’t see a purpose behind the events of your life, when it all seems so arbitrary or hopeless or unfair, then depression strikes.

Life without meaning and significance is depressing. That’s why God’s solution to Jonah’s depression was to help him see the bigger picture. Perspective is a powerful cure. When Jonah finally understood God’s purpose for his life, his depression faded.

Does life sometimes seem like an endless rat race to you? Ask God to open your eyes and help you see his purpose for your life. God, who made you, has this to say about you: “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11 TEV).

Let us pray. Lord, thank You for the life. Thank You for opening our hearts and minds to see things clearly. Thank You for teaching us to love. Thank You for giving meaning to our lives. We ask for forgiveness, for those times when we chose to see mistakes and failures as punishments rather than opportunities to grow, to be wiser and to be closer to You. Lord, we pray for each other, especially those among us who struggle in finding their purpose in life. We pray for discernment, for enlightenment, and most importantly, for strength and courage to take up our cross and follow You. May Your will be done on us always. Amen.

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