“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
You wonder what is wrong with you.
Why can’t you just be happy?
The weight of your weariness seems to know no end and seems insurmountable.
Joy. So illusive, dampened by the heavy depression that covers you like a fog.
Putting on a happy face leaves you feeling even more empty.
Is this the joy our faith promises?
Where did joy vanish to?
Ever feel any of those thoughts above? It is likely that most of us have at one time or another. This life is not our joy, and yet we try to get joy from this life and wind up confused, discouraged or depressed when people let us down, circumstances defeat us or shame blocks our view.
How do we rise from the ashes of shame and depression? How do we find joy without feeling like we are convincing ourselves and wearing a mask again?
Change of Focus
Sometimes we feel swallowed up by our depression because all we see and feel and think about is our depression. It surrounds us in our thought life and reminders in our lives. But just changing the scenery will not produce joy. We have to be diligent to set our minds on things above. What we focus on fuels our joy or sorrow. When we focus on what we don’t have, on our loss, we give those things power to steal our joy. But when we focus on truth—our vision clears. All we have does not belong to us. God has given us a portion and craving more or less than that portion is a wrong focus and idolatry. And God can help us to have a right focus by His lavish grace.
We Have a Choice
Sometimes we let the enemy deceive us. Our minds feel so beaten down we think we have no choice. But underneath all of the layers of shame and pain is the empowering reality that we can overcome. Christ already did on our behalf. We do have a choice—whether we feel like it or not. Will we let our feelings rule us or walk in truth? Feelings are not fact. They are difficult to defeat, but it is worth the struggle to overcome.
Not a Victim Anymore
One of my daughters shared on my podcast this week about how she finally overcame depression after a 6 year long battle with it. She fought hard. She was not passive in defeating her foe. When we really want something, apathy and defeat are not the route we choose to go. She realized that she needed to face a difficult truth: she was trapped by a victim mentality. And she decided that she did not want to play that role anymore.
You might be saying, I can’t choose that. I am too weak. Well, you cannot choose that in your own strength, but what your mind is focused on makes all the difference in the world.
Mind of Christ
Instead of focusing on shame, self or our victimhood, we can choose to saturate our minds in truth. We can ask God for the mind of Christ and the sound mind that He promises. God is good. When we are on the hunt to be more like Him, He will not keep such a desire from happening. Keep seeking. Don’t give up. And even if our hunt for relief from depression does not look so pretty, progress is happening.
Joy does not just happen. It is chosen . . . in a fallen world where we expect troubles and problems. Such expectations do not mean we will not still feel sad or burdened, but we are reminded that we have a Savior to walk with us to help us carry our burdens.
Why live with shame when you don’t have to? God has provided a way for us to remove shame and live in victory. Come and release your shame in Jesus’ name. Shame Off You details a biblical method for removing shame and is available at many retailers. Here are a few places you can get Shame Off You. Let me know you bought Shame Off You and receive a free bonus digital download.