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Five steps to keep depression out.
Friday, January 6, 2023 by Janet Perez Eckles

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” my friend said as she tapped my arm. “I can’t believe I asked if you saw that movie. I keep forgetting about your…”

I laughed. “Of course, I saw it,” I said, “even without eyesight, I can still enjoy the dialogue, plot, message and story line.”

I confess though, learning to enjoy movies while blind took time. When I first lost my sight, I feared my life would be so insanely limited, I’d spend my days with wrinkled tissue in hand seated on my sofa of self-pity. But when Jesus opened the eyes of my heart, all changed. I embraced courage to try new things, to explore options, and to plunge into areas that some view as seemingly illogical.

It's in our praises…

In the middle of today’s mess, God is also asking us to do something a bit illogical. When disturbing thoughts invite depression, He provides the answer. The solution isn’t so much in persevering during trials, or persisting during tough time. Rather, it’s in our praises…at all times.

But how can we manage that? Praise Him when things crumble around us? Praise Him when all seems out of control? Praise Him when pain never stops?

Like the blind going to the movies, the concept of praising God when the chains of despair grip tighter defies logic. But these men in the Bible did that very thing: Joseph, when unfairness shook him. David, when he faced his sin. Nehemiah, when he saw destruction. Elijah, when fear gripped him. Paul, when he was in chains.

None of them demanded explanations. Instead, they had blind obedience to God when He directs to praise Him…in the bad, the ugly and the sad. Each of them came out triumphant before depression pressed in. That’s because they knew that although God doesn’t give explanations, He gives promises.

And as each one prevailed back then, they will prevail today as well. Even as we’re caught in a spiritual, destructive war. We march to the battlefield with confidence by our side because we possess the most powerful weapon to prevent depression—to praise God. Praise His Holy name. Praise Him for what He’s done and praise Him for what He’s about to do.

Five Declarations

What will He do and when? We don’t know. But while we wait, let’s get bold. No matter how upside down this world gets or how deep our personal distress, we’ll not retreat. Instead, we’ll recharge our courage to make these five declarations:

  1. Should my efforts fail, my ways end up wrong, and my plans fall apart, depression or sadness will not come near me because “my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever” (Psalm 44:6-8).
  2. The world may turn darker and become hopeless, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long” (Psalm 71:14-15).
  3. No matter what bad news rattle my world, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
  4. Even when my life didn’t turn out as I wanted, “I will praise you “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You” (Psalm 63:3-4).
  5. I will silence words of negativity, pessimism or gloom. Instead, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You…” (Psalm 71:23).

Dare I admit that through my blindness I praise Him? Not because I like being blind but because His healing is already mine. Whether it manifests itself today or in heaven, I spend my days singing the melody of praise as it ushers in a colorful portrait of joy.

Maybe blindness isn’t what turned your world dark, but whatever it is, victory is yours when you remember that when your lips praise the King of kings, lamenting or complaining end. When in your mind you Praise Him, negative thoughts vanish. When your habit becomes to praise Him, depression cannot come in. You become a triumphant warrior as you stand under the banner of praise.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for showing me the way to guard against depression, anguish and distress. My lips, mind and life will learn to praise You in all things, at all times and in all ways. Thank You for the security we find in Your promises. Amen.

Are you willing to begin the new year with a habit of praise?

Janet

It’s my joy to have you as part of my inspirational family. Please feel free to share today’s post with others.

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