Thursday, December 25th, 2014
Depression (Part 9)
Solutions: Faith, Hope & Love
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see Face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NIV)*
Why did Jesus say, 'All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive' (Matthew 21:22)? Why did Paul remind us, 'Hope does not disappoint' (Romans 5:5) and 'Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:8)? Because disciples face depression: scoffers and circumstances that seek to push us down and prevent our witness.
Because He wants to prepare us for the battles to come: the Light that brightens, the Hand that lifts, the Force that shields and the weapons that win... unfailingly:
'For You are my Lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall... He is a Shield to all who trust in Him' (2 Samuel 22:29-31).
The power to overwhelm every enemy, including depression, is accessed by faith, hope and love. This power was Personified by Jesus. It is carried forth by His disciples.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: How can faith, hope and love be manifested in your life, both as a beacon and a shield in the entertainment industry? Consider three ways:
1) By faith, you enter a dirty field. 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' (Matthew 13:27). By Example, you ignore the tares. By commission, you grow the wheat.**
2) By hope, you cherish an unusual destiny. 'These who have turned the world upside down have come here too' (Acts 17:6). By Example, you ignore the skeptics. By commission, you grow His talents.***
3) By love, you seek the lost. 'For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost' (Luke 19:10). By Example, you ignore the difficulties. By commission, you grow His witness.****
In the process of Steps 1, 2 and 3, guess where depression stands? Nowhere. 'Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all' (Isaiah 41:12).
To Be Continued...
* Consider The Message interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13:
1 Corinthians 13:8-13 The Message (MSG)
'Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.'
** The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13%3A24-30&version=NASB
*** The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
**** 'He went out, bearing His Own Cross' (John 19:17).
**** 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..' http://biblehub.com/matthew/28-19.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression series.