Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Countering Depression With Happiness

One day I pose this question to the Lord:  "Wouldn't life become more enjoyable if more of us focused on "being" happy and sharing our "happiness" with others?  Of course I answered my own question by saying, "Yes!"

But why do we allow the enemy to bombard our minds and hearts with depression?  Why do we look outside ourselves for the "happiness" that only Jesus can give us? I often thought I would find my happiness by being in a "special love relationship." But while married for 16 years, I can recall many days when I was unhappy, feeling neglected and unsupported in the call of God on my life. When the marriage ended in divorce, there was some momentary happiness being "single" but now after 12 years of struggling all alone in the world, (not exactly what I had in mind), it seems again I'm having to fight feelings of being incomplete without a mate. 

Over the years, I have allowed the Spirit of the Lord to search me thoroughly and bring healing in every area. I have laid down my wrong beliefs about "needing" somone else to make me happy. It has become clear to me that whether I am with someone or alone, my state of "happiness" and joy is dependent upon my own attitude and relationship towards God, myself, and the people I am in association with. The Lord Jesus is My husband, supplier, Friend, Comforter, and the joy and strength of my life. Happiness stems now from being a "whole" woman living in faith to please the Lord, and not living as a man-pleaser or needing a man to feel complete.

Therefore, it has become my highest priority to walk in close fellowship with the Lord on a daily basis, so that He can always speak to my heart about the things that are "right" in my life, and also to "correct" the things that are wrong in my thinking.  As our heavenly Father, I give Him permission to chasten me and keep me in line inwardly. As a result, my outward circumstances lean more towards "happiness, peace, and joy" than anything else. I find that as I continually focus on being a blessing to others, sowing my time, gifts, and resources as the Lord directs, many unexpected blessings and favors come my way.

There are still times like just last week when Friday and Saturday were "awfully" depressing days. I placed a spiritual SOS on Facebook, asking my friends and colleagues to "pray for me."  Being in this season of Purim, the Lord reminded me that it was a time when great oppression was coming against many in the body of Christ, just as wicked Haman came against the Jews and wanted to kill Mordecai. That same anti-Christ spirit seeks to destroy Believers today and sometimes uses depressive and oppresive tactics to weaken us. 

If we stay in "sadness" and lose our "joy," we become targets of his brutality and the Holy Spirit is not able to use us to spead joy and happiness to others. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)  I overcome the opposition and challenges of last week by reminding myself of this important truth. Soon, armed with this Word and the prayers of the Saints, change began to occur. The oppression lifted and the Lord revealed that I was also enduring the challenges of "spiritual birthing," as well as carrying the grief and sorrow of His heart for the loss of life and devastation in Japan.

He then showed me a vision. In it, I saw myself as a mountain climber. I was on the precipice of having scaled a large mountain, still climbing, and moving up a steep incline but, I was nearing the top of it. I heard the Lord speak to me saying, "The journey has been long and arduous. The way has been wrought with treacherous opponents all along the way, but all glory be unto the Lord Jesus Christ who causes you to TRIUMPH in this life over all opposition."

He also said, "Spiritual birth pains are just as real and serious as a woman in physical labor bringing forth LIFE into this tumultuous habitation we call earth." I've recently received reports from many of the last several weeks being a "trying" time.  I want to admonish and encourage you to keep climbing.  Know that you too are moving from one place of death (winter) and about to Spring into a new place of resurrection life. Seek the Lord about what it is you may be "birthing" unaware, and post a cry for prayer and support to your network (and me), as you continue towards this next new season.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and carrying me before the Lord. May we all prepare our hearts for a time of "refreshing" in the weeks to come and find ourselves restored to the happiness that is ours as we willingly and abundantly share with others, who and what we are, and all that we have been endowed with, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eating the Word Heartily Unto Wholeness,
Dr. Lalita Smith