No Condemnation

Today’s devotional thoughts are from Holley Gerth. God is for us not against us – what a truth to lift your heart and soul!

You encourage them and you listen to their cry. Psalm 10:17

“It would be easier to pull the covers back over her head. It would be simpler to let the sun stream through the windows and not rise to greet it. It would be less painful to turn over and let sleep seize her again.

But she doesn’t let the depression win. Not today. She pushes back the blankets and puts her feet on the floor. She stretches her arms to the heavens and whispers, “Help me, Jesus.” She takes a step away from her comfort zone and into the arms of the Savior who is waiting to walk with her through every moment of her day.

Depression is real. And I believe we are whole beings who need help with every aspect of it—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. So if you’re struggling with ongoing sadness, then learn the symptoms, go see your doctor, find a wise counselor, and do everything you can to help yourself get what you need.

Also know this: God doesn’t condemn you for your feelings. Many of the well-known characters of the Bible struggled with periods of depression too. You’re not alone in your struggle, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve personally wrestled on and off with depression—and most likely will for the rest of my life. I don’t understand why this is a “thorn in my flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). But thankfully I’ve learned this truth along the way: God is on my side, especially in those times.

I love that the verse above says that God encourages us. Have you ever thought about that? When the day seems difficult, when you’re weary, when you feel like a failure . . . God is encouraging you. For so long I thought of him as standing by and shaking his head as he wondered, “Why can’t you get it together?” But that’s not his heart toward us at all.

To encourage literally means “to give courage,” and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, “I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.”

He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be.

Depression is a hard enough battle on its own. God doesn’t want you to add guilt and shame to what you’re already trying to overcome. Instead he wants to encourage you.

What if, on the days when it’s hard for you to get out of bed, you imagined him reaching out to lift you up instead of being disappointed in you? What if he’s cheering as you take your first step into a day that’s not one you want to face? What if instead of saying “get it together,” he’s whispering, “Let’s do this together”?

And it can change us.

You are encouraged, not condemned, my friend.”

 

(c) 2014 Holley Gerth  Used with Permission http://holleygerth.com/god-wants-encourage-today/

 

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