Last Devotional of the short Study.

Day 7: Choose Life

When my father passed away, I went through a season where I spiraled deep down into depression. He and my mom built an incredible church, I had big shoes to fill as I stepped in to be the Senior Pastor. I was missing my dad and feeling the weight of leading our church. 

I felt like I just kept walking further and further down into a basement. I had walked down to a fourth story basement in my mind and heart. I was there on the outside but totally absent on the inside. 

One night during this time, I was walking alone in the dark. As I came across a highway bridge, I felt the enemy shout, “Just end it! Just jump!” I stood there for 10 minutes just looking at the bridge. Then I started to feel hope and life leak into my heart. I started declaring that God had a purpose and destiny for my life. That He loved me and that His plans were for good, not for evil. 

In the darkness, I stood up and yelled out loud, “No devil! You lose. I choose to live! I refuse to jump. I refuse to quit. I am climbing out of this basement!” 

Day by day, step by step, with God’s help I climbed out of the basement of depression. Victory is possible. Freedom is real. With God, you can overcome and experience mental and emotional health. 

You are not defined by your diagnosis, you are defined by your Heavenly Father. Do not give up. God calls you beloved, chosen, fearfully and wonderfully made and valuable. 

With God’s supernatural help and taking wise steps in the natural, I walked up out of the basement and chose life! I have good news—it is possible for you to experience victory from depression too. God created you to live a life filled with faith, peace, joy, goodness, and hope. Choose life today. 

Pray with me today: “Heavenly Father, today I decide to choose life. I ask that you would renew my mind and help me to see me the way you see me. Fill my heart and mind with your peace and give me wisdom and insight into the next steps towards full freedom and victory within my mental and emotional health. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” 

This seven day plan only scratches the surface of the complexity of mental and emotional health. If you are struggling in this area of your life, reach out to someone. Get professional or medical help, open up to someone you trust and ask God to give you a personalized strategy for your mental and emotional health.

      

Watch the full message “Fighting for Mental and Emotional Health” here! 

Devotional

Day 6: Fight to be Fully Alive

“The glory of God is man fully alive.” -St. Irenaeus 

When was the last time you were fully alive? Can you think back to when you were truly engaged in life? God did not create you to live half alive! It is time to get back your fight to live. 

People need what you have. Your life is important. Your role is vital in the body of Christ! 

Mental and emotional illnesses tend to drain the life from people. Depression and anxiety can feel all-consuming. Sometimes, you might not even feel anything at all. Life might seem dull, meaningless or cloudy. 

God created you to be fully alive. Jesus gives abundant life! Full life! Overflowing and to the brim! With His help, it is possible to live fully alive again. 

God is fighting for you, but you also need to do your part in the natural. Fight to wake up. Fight to get out of bed. Fight to show up to work. Fight to be present with your family. Fight to love your spouse. Fight to focus on your relationship with Christ. Fight to get to church. Fight to be fully alive! 

Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will not face problems or challenges in life. Take a look at what Jesus tells us in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

No matter what troubles or circumstances you are facing, Jesus has overcome the world. Since He lives in you, you also can overcome. Embrace the peace He promises and fight to be fully alive!

Pray with me today: “Father, today I choose to fight to be fully alive! Give me the energy to live this day to the fullest. Help me to be present and engaged with the people in my life. Work through me as your vessel. Thank you for your life and energy at work in my heart and mind. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” 

Devotional

Day 5: Fight for your Servanthood

Fight for servanthood! We need to proactively fight against the self-centered society we live in. Servanthood combats selfishness because it causes us to lift our eyes from our own struggles. Science actually proves that serving others greatly helps our mental and emotional wellbeing. 

Jesus is our ultimate example when it comes to serving others. Matthew 20:28 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are called to be like Christ. One way we can do that is by living to serve God and others. What are some practical ways to walk this out? Volunteer at a homeless shelter, join a serving team at church, or simply give to those around you. 

Depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses often cause people to live and think more inwardly. Take time this week to intentionally serve the people around you and watch as your heart is also refreshed and encouraged. 

Living the lifestyle of a servant takes your eyes off of you and puts your eyes on others. In a culture that is “all about me,”, our Savior calls us to live with a Kingdom mindset and be “all about God and others.”

God designed us to be connected to one another. Ask God for eyes to see those around you who you can serve and reflect His love to. Choose to fight for servanthood! 

Pray with me today: “Father, create in me the heart of a servant. Help me to look more like Jesus and serve those around me. I pray as my eyes lift up to see others, my own heart would be refreshed with new hope and strength by your Holy Spirit. Teach me how to love and see people the way you love and see people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”  

Devotional

Day 4: Fight for your Relationships

If you are walking through depression, sometimes the best thing to do is spend time with good friends. Community matters. Go out for dinner with those you love, join a connect group to meet new people and fight for real and meaningful relationships! Do not do this journey alone—we need each other. 

One of the first signs of depression and anxiety is isolation. When you are tempted to withdraw from those around you, it is time to fight even harder for genuine friendships. 

Good friends bring laughter, support, listening ears and open arms—all things that help with the battle for mental and emotional health. 

I love what Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” 

Are you in a time of adversity? A difficult season or situation? Lean in close to your friends and family. God created brothers and sisters for times of adversity. If you are personally walking through depression right now, get vulnerable and open up to someone you trust this week. 

Isolation is a setup for destruction. Positioning yourself around people who care for you is vitally important to mental and emotional wellbeing. I know it can be tough to get out of the door when you are facing depression, but ask God for help to push onward and build community anyways. He is an ever present help in time of need! 

Show up, get together, invest in your friends and make memories. When depression tries to draw you further away, push all the harder to get closer to the people in your life. Fight for your relationships! 

Pray with me today: “Father, give me the strength to fight for community and relationships. I pray you would bring the right people across my path and deepen the relationships I currently have with family and friends. Help me to open up with honesty and vulnerability and use the people around me to encourage my heart! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”