10 Things I Think about when Life is Overwhelming

By Chuck Lawless on Jul 21, 2021 01:00 am

Sometimes life is overwhelming. Things out of our control unexpectedly happen. Responsibilities increase. Time seems way too short. Rest is fleeting. When I find myself in one of these situations, I try to remind myself of these truths:

  1. God is still in control. My life might seem chaotic, but God’s still sovereign.
  2. God is not worried. That’s why it’s sin for me to worry.
  3. God can handle my burdens. His shoulders are much bigger than mine.
  4. God loves me so much His Son died for me. That simple truth is still powerfully comforting.
  5. God’s mercies are renewed every day. When the sun comes up, it’s a new day no matter what I face.
  6. God is still conforming me to the image of His Son. And, He uses all the craziness of life to move me in that direction.
  7. God has never let me down in the past. Like the psalmist, I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken.
  8. God lives in me. He indwells me through His Spirit—and that miraculous truth gives me peace.
  9. God sees the bigger picture. He knows how the seemingly disconnected puzzle pieces of my life today fit into His puzzle.
  10. God is the story—not I. My responsibility is simply to trust Him.

If your life is overwhelming today, I pray these words help you today.

 

Comment at: http://chucklawless.com/2021/07/10-things-i-think-about-when-life-is-overwhelming/

A Lesson on Prayer from a Depressed Charles Spurgeon

Any time I’ve asked a group of church-goers how they feel about their prayer life, the answer is always that it could be better. In fact, I don’t believe even once I’ve heard someone say they’re content in it. Part of the reason for this is simply bound up in the reality that as Don Whitney says, “…when we pray, we tend to say the same old things about the same old things. And when you’ve said the same old things about the same old things about a thousand times, how do you feel about saying them again? Bored!” This really is a tremendous insight that cuts to the heart of much of the issue people face with prayer. Rote repetition is their prayer life—is it any wonder that in the midst of prayer their minds wander to something else, almost as if it is begging for something more engaging. Prayer should be engaging. Yet often it is anything but and we know it, and because we know we are to do it to be faithful, we limp through it out of sheer guilt.

If this describes you and your prayer life, I would earnestly recommend purchasing Don Whitney’s book and putting it into practice. Instead of tasking the reader with multiple steps to a better prayer life, Whitney advocates a simple approach: you pray using scripture as your source, namely, the psalms. The reason being we can avoid vain repetition in our prayers, use inspired text that covers a wide range of emotions, doctrines, and troubles, and initiate the conversation of prayer with God freely. The goal is that our prayers are informed by the Word of God. In essence, we are speaking God’s own words back to Him, and the result is that we not only have biblically saturated prayer, but we know these will be prayers God honors and is honored by. Another great resource that I’d recommend is D.A. Carson’s book, which has a similar proposal utilizing the apostle Paul’s prayers.

Read more of this blog: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/chorusinthechaos/lesson-prayer-depressed-charles-spurgeon/

3 Things to Remember When You Feel Discouraged and Defeated

fram Marc and Angel

This morning I didn’t feel like doing anything. It’s a combination of exhaustion from a few days of hard work and lack of sleep following a disagreement I had with someone I love.

I honestly couldn’t motivate myself to do anything important, which is a rare occurrence for me. I just felt completely discouraged and defeated. I started overthinking things and doubting myself, and wondering whether anything I do is worthwhile.

I sat there in this funk for nearly an hour and wondered how to get out of it. Should I just forget about today? Should I just give up on this project, because I’m not as good at it as I thought I was?

That’s what I was considering, at least for a little while. But the better part of me knew this mild state of depression was temporary, and so I dug into my own intellectual toolbox for solutions…

Here’s what works for me – three things to keep in mind (and do) when you feel discouraged and defeated:

1.  You are more than one thing (loosen up and stretch your identity). – We all have this picture in our minds of ourselves – this idea of what kind of person we are. When this idea gets threatened, we react defensively. People may question whether we did a good job, and this threatens our idea of being a competent person, so we become angry or hurt by the criticism. Someone falsely accuses us of something and this threatens our idea that we’re a good person, and so we get angry and argumentative. My identity of myself as someone who’s motivated and productive and has great ideas… this was getting in the way this morning. When I wasn’t productive, it made me feel defeated because I began subconsciously worrying that I wasn’t who I thought I was. My solution was to realize that I’m not just one thing. I’m not always productive – sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m unproductive too. I’m not always motivated — sometimes I am, but other times I’m feeling lazy. And obviously I don’t always have great ideas either – because that’s impossible. The truth is, I can be many things, and remembering this helps me stretch my identity so it isn’t so fragile. Then it doesn’t matter if someone thinks I didn’t do a good job – because I don’t always do a good job. I make mistakes. I am less than perfect. And that’s perfectly OK. (covered in the “Hapiness & Positive Living” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)

2. Today is still a priceless gift (make the best of it). – I only have so many days left on Earth. I don’t know how many that is, but I do know it’s a very limited number. I know that each one of those limited days is a gift, a blessing… a miracle. And that squandering this miracle is a crime – a horrible lack of appreciation for what I’ve been given. And so, I reminded myself this morning that this day counts and that I still need to make the best of it. That doesn’t mean I need to be hyper-productive or work myself into the ground, but that I should do something worthwhile. Sometimes taking a break to nourish yourself is a worthwhile activity, because doing so allows you to regroup and do other worthwhile things. But just sitting around in self-pity isn’t helpful. So I got up and took my 6-year-old (homeshooled) son for a little walk that we both enjoyed, and I came back feeling better (and so did he).

3.  Even the tiniest possible step is progress (take that tiny step). – It can be hard to get moving when you are seriously stuck. This is how I felt a decade ago when I was stuck in a rut after simultaneously losing my breadwinning job and two loved ones to illness. It was really hard to motivate myself when I didn’t think I had the strength to push forward – when I felt insanely horrible and sorry for myself. But I took one tiny step every day, and it felt good, and I got stronger. That’s what I did this morning too – I took the tiniest possible step. Just turning on my computer, opening up a document, and writing a single sentence. Such an action is so small as to seem insignificant, and yet so easy as to be possible when I was feeling defeated. And it showed me the next step was possible, and the next. And the end result is this email you’re reading now. (covered in the “Goals & Growth” module of “Getting Back to Happy”)

To read more or comment: https://marcandangel.ontraport.net/c/s/s3e/WyBpC/v/xy/sYM5/6oYzu3/6btwBil4X2/P/P/0z

The Dark Night of the Soul

A Broadcast with Derek Thomas

Some chapters of the Bible are so bleak that they are almost exhausting to read. Yet, the Holy Spirit gave us these verses for a reason. Today, Derek Thomas comes to Job 3 to express what we can learn from this dark chapter.

Overcoming Depression – Part I

Click HERE

Is My Depression A Burden To The Church? podcast

https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/episodes/is-my-depression-a-burden-to-the-church

When Your Friend Is Depressed

~ Sayable blog

This past year I discovered the writings of Parker Palmer, an octogenarian Quaker who has an impressive line-up of little books behind him. I say “little” not because they are the work of simpleton, but because they are the work of someone who, in the Quaker tradition, knows sometimes it is better to be silent than to speak. A better word for them may be brief.

The other night, after we blew out the Advent candles and let the fire burn down to its coals, Nate lay in bed with his poetry journal (in which he scribes and scribbles and crosses out and copies whatever poem he is working on) and I lay in bed rereading this selection from Let Your Life Speak. I read it weeks ago but it was still on my mind and today I thought I’d share it with you.

“It is odd that some of my most vivid memories of depression involve the people who came to look in on me, since in the middle of the experience I was barely able to notice who was or was not there. Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection—it deprives one of the relatedness that is the lifeline of every living being.

I do not like to speak ungratefully of my visitors. They all meant well, and they were among the few who did not avoid me altogether. But despite their good intentions, most of them acted like Job’s comforters—the friends who came to Job in his misery and offered “sympathy” that led him deeper into his despair.

Some visitors, in an effort to cheer me up, would say, “It’s a beautiful day. Why don’t you go out and soak up some sunshine and look at the flowers? Surely that’ll make you feel better?”

But that advice only made me more depressed. Intellectually, I knew that the day was beautiful, but I was unable to experience that beauty through my senses, to feel it in my body. Depression is the ultimate state of disconnection, not just between people but between one’s mind and one’s feelings. To be reminded of that disconnection only deepened my despair.

Read more: http://www.sayable.net/blog/2019/12/24/when-your-friend-is-depressed

When Being Still is the Best Option

When Being Still is the Best Option

Discovering a Steadfast Hope

“…Be still, and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10

One day several years ago, a day like many others before it, the fervent prayer for one of my young adult children was answered yes, while an equally fervent prayer for my other young adult child was (again) answered no. On the same day, this familiar scripture passage was the day’s devotion.

The passage intends to convey peace and hope, even on days when life holds anything but. For that day, I chose not to wallow in despair, though admittedly there were some tears. Facing the “no” answer time and again makes you a little less sensitive to the sting, but the sting still smarts.

But that day, even though there appeared to be no hope, I chose to have hope. I forced myself to sit still, and know that even another “no” is part of God’s plan, and I have a choice whether or not to trust God.

An incredibly valuable thing I’ve learned in hearing “no” repeatedly in prayers for this child is that the love my husband and I have for both of our children has become thoroughly separated from their accomplishments, and is solely focused on who each is as a human. With a long-delayed mental health diagnosis for one of them and an entirely different difficult season for the other, the situations each has faced have driven me to the bottom of my parental ability to make things better. I have been spiritually flattened.

The only thing that stands on a flat surface are words on the page. HIS Words on the page. Peace. Be still. And know that I AM is still God.

So, I chose to believe that He will nurture my child’s hurting heart. And we moved forward with a new plan of action.

God measures our faithfulness by overcoming, by working with what we’re given, not by results. Results are up to Him. Overcoming is in part doing what we can with what we have, even when part of what we have to overcome are mental health struggles.

Being still and knowing that God is in charge also means seeking the gifts in each person. Proverbs 24:3-4 says that wisdom builds a house, and knowledge fills its rooms with rare and beautiful treasures. These treasures are in part seeking and finding value in every person in the family, no matter their ability or disability. Building a family legacy in part means to find the place where each person fits.

The Church has the opportunity to show the world that God’s Words are true. When the Church digs in to love, understand and be patient with all people—even those with mental health struggles—it builds our spiritual legacy.

Hope in Jesus is not in vain. He’s working all things together for my good, and the good of my family, because we love Him and each other. By trusting that God sees everything, and He knows best, we patiently wait for God to act. When He does, the outcome is often far better than what I asked for in the first place. The key to seeing Him work is for me to sit still, and know that He has a better plan yet to unfold.

 

Read more: https://mentalhealthgracealliance.org/christian-mental-health-and-mental-illness/when-being-still-is-the-best-option

6 Ways to Reach Out to Someone With Depression

https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/175197-anne-marie-miller-ways-to-reach-out-to-someone-with-depression.html

Dealing With Depression in Ministry

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/153946-dealing-with-depression-in-ministry.html