The more I counsel people the more I see the failure of believers in Christ to use the vast depth of the Scriptures to help them in their pain, their loss, their sufferings, their anxieties, their depression, their hopelessness, their guilt, their shame, their lusts, and the list goes on. The saints of old leaned on the Word of God to sustain them through all the tribulations of life. They could not have withstood the calamities that came upon them if they did not cling to the Person of God and the promises of God. We read in Psalm 94:17-19 where the psalmist wrote; “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips”, your mercy O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comfort delights my soul.”
It is only when you have a knowledge that is derived from God and His Word that you are able to stand when the flood of life’s issues and the devil himself assault you. There are a multitude of words in the world that are without knowledge. Job 35:16 says; “He multiplies words without knowledge.” This is not to diminish good counsel, but counsel seasoned with the grace of God is specifically helpful to us as believers because it is of a spiritual dynamic. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak. And He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13 This kind of counsel is derived from God’s Word and is Christo- centric; centered in Christ. Christ’s words in Matthew 11:28 are; “Come to Me, all ye that are heavy laden and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I think about my own life, of the various assaults by the devil upon my soul. Where could I go but to the Scriptures? “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) “If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) It is through the application and appropriation of the Scriptures mentioned that I experience confidence and strength against our adversary “the devil [who] walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8-9)
This is the spiritual dynamic – that as a believer in Jesus Christ I have an advantage that the person without Christ does not have access to.
I think of the tendency to succumb to depression when things are lost, whether it be possessions, loved-ones, or security. We all have experienced, as a general rule, hardships in our lives, be it divorce, failure, finances, children, rejection, death of a loved one, etc. If we put our hope in grasping of these things for our sanity and happiness, we are at the mercy of the roller coaster of life. If we do not catch ourselves, and look to God through it all, we will be down cast and anxious. Now look at what King David wrote; “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And, why are you disquieted within me? For I shall yet praise Him, the Help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 42:11) In one confession, he overcame depression (cast down) and anxiety (disquieted). It is by his confession that he is justified, by bringing into his mind a positive confession. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37)
I would like to share something with you that made a lasting impact on my mind. I once asked someone to pray for me concerning a particular issue that was troubling me. That person prayed; “God has made us alive together again with Him, having forgiven us all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [and decrees] that were against us which are contrary to us. And, He has taken it out of the way, nailed it to the cross.” That verse came alive to me! My own and others’ confessions that were contrary to my well-being were nailed to the cross! I thought how easily we can fall into a confession that may or MAY NOT be true. It revolutionized my life! I have been careful about my confessions since that prayer.
Now, I challenge you to start reading God’s Word to discover God’s vast resource of truth to help you through this life. If you haven’t been there for a while, start reading through the New Testament. And, do one more thing for me that will help put your focus on the Scriptures. Write out every verse in Psalm 119 that contains the word “word”. It will refresh your soul.