Since coming to Christ in my late 20’s, I have been an avid reader, always looking for little nuggets of truth. When I run across one that makes an impact on me I write it down. I have hung one of these on the door to my office. Let me share with you what it is.
Lt. General Kenneth Anderson, Commander of the British First Army in Africa in World War II, said; “…it is good medicine to one’s self esteem to meet with serious setbacks at timely intervals.”
Upon the failure of taking Longstop Mountain Ridge from the Germans in Tunisia to overtake Rommel’s German army he said; “I feel deflated and disappointed, but it is no use getting depressed. It would be too easy if we all attempted everything and succeeded. The Almighty is much too wise to spoil us mortals that way.” Taken from the book, An Army At Dawn – The War in Africa, 1942 – 43, by Rick Atkinson.
General Anderson had a view of life that enabled him to rise above difficulties. He had suffered a great defeat. Many of his soldiers had been killed or wounded in battle and yet he did not let the situation get him downhearted and depressed. He refused to allow a negative mood that could have diminished his effectiveness.
I see so many today that are unable to handle the issues of life. They are led by their feelings causing multiple mental maladies in their lives. They are like a feather in the wind having no capacity to handle disappointment. Being led by their moods they are subject to the wiles of the devil who will use this fallow ground to manipulate their minds and emotions.
Scripture says; “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Our stability in life has to do with how we think, not how we feel. I am reminded of my own father who lost his mother in a fire when he was 5 years old. His father then gave him to his grandfather to be raised. His grandfather was very poor and lived on a small farm. At the age of 15, he watched his grandfather die from diabetes. Being left alone, he purchased an old truck and pursued a job plastering houses. He worked hard all of his life. I never saw my father in depression in spite of his hardships.
How many of you reading this have let yourselves drift into depression because of some accident, loss, heartbreak, disappointment or discouragement? The Lord has given us a propensity for a sound mind. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) But you must be actively engaged in managing your mind. Being led by how you feel is the fastest way of disabling the mind. Things are difficult for all of us. Trouble is the plight for all of us “…man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7) We must actively check any drift toward depression by an act of our will. We see King David questioning this foul mood of despair inPsalm 42:11; “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Is this not the answer in all our troubles? We are to look to God for help. He is our hope to lift us above all of the turmoil that may be brewing in our lives. He provides the grace to bear under the burdens of our lives. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) And, Psalm 55:22 tells us; “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never allow the righteous to be moved (shaken).” And, 1 Peter 5:7 directs us to “….cast(ing) all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”
I recommend you read in the book of Psalms. Start relying on God’s Word to help you keep a sound mind. Spend time with friends that know the Word of God who can and will encourage you from His Word. Begin to manage your mind; do not let it drift into despair. It is no use getting depressed.