Just after writing my last post I listened to a podcast with Derek Prince on ‘Hope as a Helmet’. Prince shared openly about his own struggle with depression and how God delivered him. His story deeply resonated with me as it is similar my own.
When Prince was in the midst of his depression he read Isaiah 61:3 in which God gives the garment of praise for the spirit of despair. ‘The word used here (כהה kēhâh ), usually means faint, feeble, weak; Here it denotes those of a faint and desponding heart’ (from studyight.org) Look back at the description of depression: hopelessness, emptiness, deadness etc. These correspond exactly with the definition of the spirit of despair.
I don’t know about you, but when I am struggling with darkness I find myself falling deeper and deeper into the pit. Everything within in me and around me turns sour. I feel like a failure in all areas. My words and thoughts about the past, present and future turn pessimistic. Pessimism is the opposite of faith.I want faith. I want to live faith, to speak faith and to hold on to faith. Click To Tweet
Hebrews 11 has some strong words to say about faith. Verse 1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’
Verse 6 ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.’
Pessimism is not faith. Click To Tweet In fact, it can even be a form of godliness, denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:5). The truth is that God has power over my circumstances, over my finances, over whatever it is that may be tied into my feelings of despair. When I verbally project thoughts and feelings, like ‘I’m a failure,’ I can’t do anything right, I am never going to get better, I am speaking words that do not align with who I am in Christ and what He has said in His Word concerning me. This is the opposite of faith! Even when I don’t see God working, even when life feels like it is falling apart I cannot agree with what I see. Faith believes the unseen promises of God.
The desire to live in faith must become stronger than the desire to live in darkness. It is hard to choose faith- to confess the powerful lifegiving words of God’s promises when I don’t see the reality of the. Sometimes darkness feels good, it gives my flesh time to enjoy a few moments of self-pity. And darkness doesn’t take a lot of energy so if I don’t feel like putting in the effort to come out of it, I stay there.
God did not leave us to fight the battle against darkness on our own.
In Isaiah 61 it says to put on the garment of praise of the spirit of despair of heaviness. The New Testament also has instructions for despair. In Ephesians 6, Paul writes, instructing those who were already saved, to put on their spiritual armor. One piece of armor listed is the helmet of salvation. A helmet protects the head, or the mind. Depression attacks our minds by bringing on doubt and fear.
Another reference to the helmet of salvation is 1 Thessalonians 5:8 in which Paul writes ‘the hope of salvation as a helmet.’
I used to assume that salvation always referred to eternal salvation, but there are many other meanings of salvation, but Strong’s concordance lists many other applications for salvation. It encompasses present and future deliverance.
Despair separates us from enjoying fellowship with God. Through Jesus Christ we can receive salvation from our despair, when we put on hope as our helmet. Hope that God will work all things for our God, that we are His loved children and so much more.
Life Coach Moment:
- What are some pessimistic phrases that you have thought or spoken recently?
- Find Scripture promises that contradict these phrases. You could simply do a google search for Bible verses on your topic, whether it be finances, insecurity, guilt, shame, worthlessness, etc. there are many lists of verses on all these topics throughout the internet. Or you can buy a Bible promise book that has Bible verses listed by category. Write down one or two of the Scriptures on your topic that speak to your heart and carry them with you, tape them over your kitchen sink, on your vanity mirror or steering wheel. Type them as a reminder in your phone. Do whatever you need to do to have these words of truth in front of you all the time!
Renew Your mind in Truth.
Ponder 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ‘But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.’
Through the Words of Scripture and the Power of His Spirit God will enable you to be self-controlled, to fight the battle against your darkness and to choose faith, as you rely on Him.
Next time I will be writing more about the Hope of Change that we have in Christ. When He saves us He fills us with His Spirit and begins the process of continual transformation.
Abba Father, thank You for the hope of salvation that I have in You. Thank you for sending Your Son to deliver me from eternal destruction, and also for salvation from despair in this life. I want to choose faith and believe your word. Amen.
I am not defined by my feelings of despair or depression. I choose to hope in God.
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