Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | January 14, 2009

Encouragement

Praying, thinking, and counseling with people struggling through depression this last week has got me thinking about how we view ourselves and the role it plays in mental health.

Depression, to one degree or another, is a struggle that virtually all people face from time to time. We know it has many causes, including medical roots that relate to genetics and brain chemistry, as well as cognitive and emotional components. Each person is unique and each experience of depression is unique in some way.

As I pray for and counsel others I take encouragement from the knowledge that there is always one fact that I can know about every person who struggles with depression: they are liked and loved by the Father and included in his life through Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Are you sad? You are sad in Jesus, loved by the Father. Are you happy? You are happy in Jesus, loved by the Father. Are filled with anxiety? You are anxious in Jesus and loved by the Father. Are you hopeful? You are hopeful in Jesus, loved by the Father.

Even in the midst of struggle, suffering, and trial the Holy Spirit is constantly at work to encourage us to view ourselves as loved children of the Father in Jesus. He doesn’t tell us to “just snap out of it”. He doesn’t tell us we need to fix ourselves. He simply encourages us by saying:

Your Daddy loves you, likes you, and has embraced you in Jesus in such a way that he will never let you go. You’re his child no matter how you feel or what you think. And when you’ve healed a bit and gotten through this rough patch you’ll look back and see you were always in Jesus and Jesus was always in you.

Such a view of ourselves goes a long ways towards not only encouraging us when we are down but also healing us from those wounds in the soul that have caused the problem to begin with.

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Responses

  1. CORRECT. We are always and forever the Father’s child and always loved and ‘placed’ inside of the Triune God’s Life.

    The conditions you describe above, the sadness, anxiety, depression are all IN Jesus but they are in Jesus from the fallenness of our existence in our human father, Adam. We live out our human existence in that fallenness and Jesus takes it all INTO Himself and makes it RIGHT. ( II Cor.5:21)

    Isn’t it great to know that whatever way we as humans are able to screw up, Jesus “unscrews” us and makes it all right and good in the Father’s eyes.

    We can not do anything to separate ourselves from that love of God that is so 100% Given by our Father.

    Satan, Adam and what we experience in this human life are NOTHING

  2. CORRECT. We are always and forever the Father’s child and always loved and ‘placed’ inside of the Triune God’s Life.

    The conditions you describe above, the sadness, anxiety, depression are all IN Jesus but they are in Jesus from the fallenness of our existence in our human father, Adam. We live out our human existence in that fallenness and Jesus takes it all INTO Himself and makes it RIGHT. ( II Cor.5:21)

    Isn’t it great to know that whatever way we as humans are able to screw up, Jesus “unscrews” us and makes it all right and good in the Father’s eyes.

    We can not do anything to separate ourselves from that love of God that is so 100% Given by our Father. ( Romans 8)

    Satan, Adam and what we experience in this human life are NOTHING to be compared to the ultimate blessings our Father has for us to experience forever.

    Thanks again, Jonathan, for this post. I love it.

    Paul Kurts
    http://www.newlifewcg.org
    http://www.pastorpaulsinteractiveblog.blogspot.com

  3. Good points, Paul, thanks for adding to the thought!

  4. I would say this is some good news for the likes of me and to those who think they have been left behind. All sinners hear the good news! All your wrongs are right in Jesus Christ. My sins are buried in his death and my life is hid in HIs life.

    I want to keep hearing this good news; thank you for keeping at it guys!!

  5. great article pastor j. if only we would bathe ourselves in this kind of knowledge, and less in the things that do depress us. our problem is sight. we dont see this enough[gospel] we are so blinded by the things that bother us or distracted by, that we forget to think on things above. we all want a strong disciplined life without putting in the time at the gym[bathing ourselves in assurance daily] so thankyou for your part in giving us something that we can continue reading to remind us of our identity

  6. Thanks, guys, glad it’s helpful! And thanks for reading.


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