This quote is so powerful and critical for people to not only know these truths but to believe them! I recently read an article that stated…
“An estimated 13 million students are bullied annually, according to government statistics.”
Let that set in…13 million! Bullying is a major issue that does not end once a student gets home, but continues on through social media, long after the final school bell rings. Any type of bullying, whether verbal, physical or in cyberspace should never be tolerated and needs to end! October is “National Bullying Prevention Month.” I want to encourage everyone to Speak Up and Stop Bullying if you see it going on because the ramifications can be enormous! At a minimum, feelings of inadequacy because of a lack of friends will result, but more than likely, depression will set in.
Just look at the what happened the other day when an incoming high-school freshman named Hannah reached out to Taylor Swift on Instagram, (Sunday – 9/7/14) to share her heartbreaking fears of being bullied in the new school year. The 24-year-old singer responded so compassionately to her High School fan that it made headlines. You can read the article here that shares the exchange.
Taylor Swift has a new single called “Shake it Off” which the main chorus makes this declaration:
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
It is a catchy song but the message is that bullying IS going to happen and we need to take hold of our feelings and “shake it off.” I agree to a point but there is more that we need to do but let me know get ahead of myself…
Depression and hopelessness are real, and if you are suffering from this, know you are NOT alone! Beside millions of other people who are experiencing some form of depression, God is with you always, even if you do not have a relationship with Him, God is just one prayer away…All you need to do is take one step in the His direction and just like a Daddy running to His child that is hurt, so your Heavenly Father will come running to you! God is just waiting for you to make a move in His direction. But sometimes that is so hard to conceive of a loving father in heaven right? Do you know why that is? Because of the war that we are in. What war you ask? The war for our mind, for our life, for our eternal soul…we are in a spiritual battle with a very real enemy…the Devil tries very hard to cause doubt, confusion, and disillusionment about God’s character and about our identity as a “Child of God.” That is why allowing depression to continue is so dangerous. So many people suffer from it but never talk about it because of the stigma that society places on it. Whether it is from fear of people minimizing your feelings or not wanting to appear weak or ________ (you fill in the blank)…The silent killer of souls continues to rage on.
DO NOT ALLOW the depression you feel to keep you isolated, because this is the Devil’s greatest tactics…He works hard to isolate us from God, from other people and ultimately destroy us with our own negative thoughts of hopelessness. This is called Spiritual Warfare (see Ephesians 6:11-17 for more detail)…It is real and depression is a bi-product of the battle. So how do you overcome depression…easier said than done right? In His mercy and love, God gave us His Word (the Bible) to be a road map that can help you navigate out of your depression. You have heard the saying…“You are what you eat,” well the same is true for your mind and emotions, they will be focused on whatever you feed them, (or don’t feed it.) Reading the Bible is not something for religious fanatics or weirdo’s, it is for anyone who wants to live a life of peace and joy, which only will come when you understand your Identity in God. You can choose to remain angry and rebellious, refusing to trust God, but I guarantee you that you are not going to achieve peace or joy trying to handle your problems on your own…We were never created to do that. We were created to having fellowship with God and Jesus and they will carry the burden…see Matthew 11:28-30 for proof. One verse that has given me comfort in times of trouble is Psalm 27:13–14 (NLT) which says…
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Wait patiently, be brave and courageous through this season and know that regardless of anything you have done, God will always love you and be with you. You are His child and He Chose you from before time existed! You may be thinking, how do I know that, well I am glad you asked…
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV) says…
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship [daughtership] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One He loves.”
God says we are CHOSEN! You are an adopted child though Jesus Christ! All you need to do is make the decision to release the guilt, the shame, the hurt, whatever it is, and accept the free gift of Grace and Salvation through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection for the payment of ANY past, present and future sins! (See Romans 10:8-13 to read more).
Maybe you are a Christian already, but still struggle with depression or insecurities or guilt, James MacDonald made this profound statement during his “I AM: Finding your Identity in God” series that I pray will wash over your spirit and that you will receive the grace of God.
Kick the negative thoughts and the enemy to the curb!! You are loved and forgiven! God is just one prayer away. What will you do?