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Thoughts – Week 2 Print Bible Studies

Depression: “Am I the Only One?”

by Deb Weakly

The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” Charles H. Spurgeon

It’s time to meet with your Jesus! Oh, how He loves you and me! Pray today for God to speak to your heart, and help you to feel His love- the wide and long and high and deep love of Jesus! Ask Jesus to heal your heart and to do miracles in the broken places in your life.

1. Be sure to call your prayer partner this week! Having a godly prayer partner for the good times and the bad will change your life! Done:______

2. Ponder these two beautiful verses from God’s Word this morning:

“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” Proverbs 24:16.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11.

Write both of these powerful Scriptures in your journal.

Cling to Jesus!

Depression is a mysterious condition which deals ruthlessly with it’s unsuspecting sufferer. There are many different types of depression, but most of the people I know either have physiological, circumstantial, or clinical depression, none of which are easy to live with. Many endure this disease secretly and simply try to do their best to “feel better soon.”

The sad thing is that many Christians feel that if we just tell ourselves to be happy, then happiness is ours for the taking and we would be cured.

We also hear the message that we really must be sub-par Christ-Followers because we struggle with depression.  This can make us feel like we are the only ones who can’t seem to “feel better” and there must be something wrong with us because we go through seasons of sadness.

I believe this is flawed Christianity.

In fact, down through the ages, there have been many wonderful, and powerful Christians who have struggled with depression. My personal favorite is Charles H. Spurgeon who lived in the mid-1800’s. He struggled physically with a very painful disease called “Gout,” and mentally and emotionally he suffered from depression.

Even throughout his suffering, he still preached powerful sermons which transformed lives for the kingdom of God in his day. I believe that one of the reasons he was so impacting was because he was not only transparent about his struggles, but he placed his trust completely in his Lord, his Jesus Christ, as you can see from this excerpt from one of his sermons:

“I am the subject of depression so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to. But I always get back again by this—I know that I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in him, and if he falls, I shall fall with him. But if he does not, I shall not. Because he lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and get the victory through it. And so may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it.”

There is much encouragement to be found in this quote. He struggled with depression, but still managed to speak to an estimated 10,000,000 people in his lifetime. His secret: he leaned into Jesus, not away from Him.

His secret: he leaned into Jesus, not away from Him.

This is what we must do as well. Jesus came to heal all of our brokenness!

When we are depressed, we must lean into Jesus and His word, and the body of Christ. Memorize Bible verses that encourage you. Put them on your bathroom mirror, record them on your phone’s recording device, and write them on sticky notes. Say them out loud when you feel depressed. This will increase your faith! (Romans 10:17)

We need the truths of the word of God when Satan comes to us and tempts us to feel all is lost. Sometimes, things can get really dark and we can even have thoughts of suicide. When you hear your thoughts saying things like, “It’s over,” “It’s no use,” “They would be better off without me,” “It can’t be fixed,” or “My life is hopeless,” know that is the devil talking to you.

Suicide is the ultimate temptation. If Satan can tempt someone to take their own life, he has won, and all of the possibilities of a life serving Jesus and making a difference for Him on this earth are over.

I tried to take my life at the tender age of 14 due to some painful childhood experiences. Thankfully, I told my teacher and they took me to the hospital and treated me for the pill overdose. I look back on that time and now think, “Oh the wonderful things I would have missed had I succeeded in taking my life!”

I would have missed coming to know my Savior, Jesus, and my beautiful life with Him. There would be no love of my life, my husband Randy. There would be no precious children, Christie, and Jack, and now my wonderful son-in-love, Alex. I would have missed my precious friends, years of ministry and now the Help Club for Moms. Oh, I would have missed so much! If we took our life, we would miss SO many great things God has for us!

Satan says, “End your life,” Jesus says, “Lose your life in Me.” (Matthew 10:39)

The Bible says Satan is a liar, (John 8:44) but Jesus speaks the truth, He IS truth. (John 8:32 and John 14:6)

Listen to the Truth. Listen to Jesus.

If you are in a season of depression or discouragement, please know things will get better! There is ALWAYS hope with God.  Remember, you are placing your trust in the One who made the earth, the sun, and the stars. He is able and all- powerful. You may be in the furnace right now but Jesus is in there with you!

Jesus will heal you! Sometimes we receive miraculous miraculously healing from God, sometimes we struggle, sometimes we get medicine to help, and sometimes it’s situational and heals over time. Time does help to heal wounds, but get help when necessary. Pray for healing. (James 5:14-15).

While you are waiting for your healing, lean into God. Rely on the Word of God to sustain you. It will! Pray like crazy.  Lean into your husband and  the body of Christ. Pray with a trusted friend. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Get your feelings out in the open. Don’t hold it in. If you don’t have a friend you can lean into, pray and ask God to bring you to someone to be His hands and feet to you. Don’t walk this road alone!

Think true thoughts about your life as much as possible! Don’t listen to Satan’s lies! Read Bible scriptures which bring you hope out loud!

Such as: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 or “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Surrender to God! Don’t hold onto things which aren’t God’s will for life! Let it go! Every day, wake up and tell God that you give whatever troubling situation that you are struggling with to Him! Then go on with your day. “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7GWT

Life can be tough sometimes, but stay focused on God as much as possible during a depressing season. He is faithful! (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.

  1. When you are down or depressed what helps you “lean in” to God?
  2. How do your friends help you best when you are feeling down or struggling with depression?
  3. It’s natural to be reluctant to tell anyone about your depression, but who is the one person you would tell? Prayerfully, consider telling them.

4. Faith-Filled Idea:

Let God use you when you are depressed. Find someone to minister to today. Bring a meal to a friend who is sick. Send a note to a friend who is hurting. Meet to pray with a friend who is having issues with her children. Brokenness is a vital part to being able to minister to others.

Charles Spurgeon missed 1 out of every 3 Sundays dues to sickness and depression. God still used him greatly!

No one is perfect. None of us has it together. We all are broken and in need of a Savior. When you’re broken, you’re like a stained glass window which lets the light in through the broken pieces. You are beautiful!


Overcoming Negative Thoughts About Our Children

by Mari Jo Mast

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau

1. Good morning sweet Mom! Prepare your heart and let Jesus minister to you as you find your Bible, journal, a pen and your favorite hot beverage (if you like). Jesus dearly loves you. His thoughts toward you are consistently pleasant and good.

2. Read Isaiah 55:6-13. Write verses 7-9 into your journal. (If want, memorize these verses).

Overcoming Negative Thoughts about our Children

Isn’t it mind-blowing God’s thoughts toward us are always good? In verses 10 and 11, a beautiful picture is painted for us to understand what God’s imagination is like. Isaiah explains that God’s thoughts become words that go forth out of His mouth like waters that water the earth. Because his imagination is always good, his words are continually life-giving and they satisfy (give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. vs. 10). Beyond that, His Word even makes things bring forth (grow) and bud. It won’t return void but WILL accomplish God’s purpose wherever He desires for it to prosper! How amazing and life-giving!

One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced as a mom, is negativity in my thought life toward my children. It seems like there is usually one child (or more) going through a hard time or an identity crisis of some kind at any given time. It’s easy to harbor an evil imagination and only focus on the ugly behavior on the surface.

Yet I know God wants me as a mom to have a healthy and positive imagination about my children the same way He does: To generate good thoughts, to speak LIFE into them by blessing them with God’s words. To carry the same vision He has so they can be who God created them to be.

How can this be done?

In vs. 7 there is a clue. It says an unrighteous person should forsake his thoughts and RETURN to the Lord. This implies our thoughts can take us away from the Lord or bring us back to Him. They are extremely powerful because they guide us, sort of like a steering wheel on a car. God wants us to return to Him by thinking like He does.

God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and he desires for us to surrender our imagination to Him. In other words, the way we get back on the right road, is to recognize the bad thoughts (lies), replace them with good ones ( God’s truth) and choose to meditate on those instead.

Here is a humbling story I would like to share with you as an example. At sometime in my life at a young age (unbeknownst to me), I picked up a negative mindset about large families. It gradually became a strong-hold in my mind and I didn’t even know  it was there until I became pregnant with our sixth child. Rejection toward my children began to surface and negative thoughts constantly bombarded my mind about the size of our family. Thoughts followed with feelings and resentment came out in my actions toward them. I knew something wasn’t right, so I prayed frequently and kept asking  God to change my heart, to help me love them deeply the way He loved me.

It wasn’t until I became pregnant with our seventh child, that my heart became changed. During that time I was continually asking God for his heart regarding my family. One morning, I woke up very discouraged because I had extreme morning sickness. I cried out for God to help me and I had no idea he was going to expose the lie I had been believing for years. He led me to Psalm 127:3-5 which says:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

I was completely undone as I read. Tears streamed down my face as I began to recognize and repent of the lie I had believed. I mulled over and meditated on these verses and I began to think new thoughts like: “Children are a blessing and God’s personal inheritance to me! I should be happy! My children are going to defend me. Wow! God is so good to me to give arrows!” My imagination about my family began to change as these brand new ideas and thoughts filled my mind. I asked God to forgive me for the wrong mindset I had embraced and told him I believe what He said instead. An exchange of thoughts took place and a miracle happened. I am so very proud of my family now instead of being ashamed!

Satan wants us to stay stuck in our thoughts and attitudes about our kids, but God’s Word can set us free and help us think new ones. I am still learning, but I have listed below some steps that have helped me turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

A. Be mindful of God’s love.

B. Guard your thoughts toward your children and don’t let them go unchecked.
C. Recognize depressing, negative ones. Address them and give them to God.
D. Repent and forsake them. Ask God for and look for a Scripture to counteract a lie you are believing.
E. Ask God for revelation as you memorize, meditate and mull it over in your mind until you actually believe it.
F. Stay thankful.

As you begin to do this, I promise you will see change happen. God’s Word is so powerful. When you believe the Truth about your children, you will begin to act differently toward and speak life over them. Eventually, your children will begin to see a difference in your attitude and often their attitude will change too. They will be more drawn to Jesus and begin to recognize who they are created to be.

3. Questions to ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal. (Be very honest, even though it may be painful)

– Are there any lies you are believing about a specific child or your children in general?
– Are you willing to let God reveal bad thought patterns you may be having and forsake them?
– What kind of actions are coming from your thoughts (positive or negative) toward your children.
– If you are in a rut, can you choose to replace lies with Truth according to God’s word.
4. Faith filled ideas:

– Pray and ask God to help you fill your mind with the Word of God by reading, meditating or memorizing it every day. Ask the Holy Spirit, the best teacher, to lead you with your child/children. (Hebrews 4:12)
– Recognize and cast down every evil thought or negative imagination, anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God about them. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Then you can also ask the Holy Spirit to change your thinking and to overshadow your mind by bringing key scriptures into your thoughts, specifically for them.
– Begin to glorify and praise God out of faith, because he has good things in store for your child. (Romans 1:21) (1Corinthians 2:9)
– Thank God. Children are your inheritance from Him! (Romans 1:21) (Psalm 127:3)
– Ask God for a specific word for your child. Then speak and pray that Word over them. (Isaiah 44:3) (Jeremiah 29:11
– Tell each child every day you love them, and God does too!
– Hug them often throughout the day.
– Bless them (not flatter) with your words, affirm them often.
– ENJOY and spend time with them!
– Say “I’m sorry” more often.


Setting Your Thoughts On High

by Tara Fox

“When thoughts bombard your mind saying, ‘Who do you think you are?’ just smile and say, ‘A child of the Most High God.’” – Joel Osteen

 

1.  Take some time this morning to meet with your precious SaviorSpend a moment praising Jesus for who He is and for His unfailing love and care. Ask Him to speak to your heart as you read His Word.

2. Read Ephesians 3:16-19Ask the Holy Spirit to give you spiritual understanding of your Father’s love. Write down what you discover.

 

Setting Your Thoughts on High

One summer afternoon my husband and I set off to go on a hike in the mountains of Colorado, but a few miles into the hike I realized it is really hard! The worst part was making it to the top completely exhausted, as this amazing little boy with an amputated leg bounded up the mountain with way more energy than I did. Nothing like a good hike to show me I am not in the shape I thought I was!

How DOES God see us? What kind of shape are our thoughts in? Do they reflect the truth of how God sees us?

I began my quiet time with the Lord the other day, and he spoke a love note to my heart.
“As big as the mountains, so is my love for you my daughter, my queen.”
It took me back a little to think of myself as a queen. I had to go to the Bible to see what it says.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

His immeasurable love is long, high, wide, and deep AND he sees us as royalty, as queens! A queen is a ruler, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth.

We have inherited this position through our savior Jesus’ finished work on the cross and through birth into His kingdom.

Our thoughts must reflect our royal position in Gods Kingdom.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”
Proverbs 4:25

As we look to our Father and his great big love, we must carefully evaluate each thought like a hard earned step upwards, placing our footing on solid ground. We ought to ask, is this thought reflecting the truth of how my Father sees me? Is this thought from the enemy? Is it weighing me down or causing me to slip?

Satan comes to us as our own voice whispering lies for us to believe:

“I am all alone.”
“No one really loves me.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“I can’t forgive myself.”
“Things will always be so hard.”
“I need to look to myself for the answer.”

God’s speaks to us as His Beloved children:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

“I am always with you.”
“You are loved with an everlasting love.”
“I will strengthen you. My grace is sufficient for you. I am making all things new.”
“You are forgiven.”
“My mercies are new every morning; I am doing a new thing.”

God says, Look to me! Time to think like a queen! Today let’s believe the truth!

So pin on your crown and lace up your boots, we’re going hiking!
Together we will press on up the mountain knowing what God has for us at the top will most definitely be worth it!

3. Questions to Ponder

– Are there any harmful thoughts the enemy has placed in your heart? Write them on a piece of paper.
– Next, do a search in the Bible for God’s word to counteract these thoughts. Write down the verses you find and hang them up somewhere in your house.
– Begin to pray this Scripture over these areas in your life.

 Faith filled Idea

Ask the Lord to send you a love note today. Quiet your spirit. Read the Bible and listen for His voice. He also speaks to us at unexpected times.