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After spending the weekend feeling discouraged and fearful, I decided that I would focus on finding little blessings throughout the day.  As I found things, I would text them to my husband.  Blessing #1:  the ability to text so I can stay in touch with Josh all day.  Blessing #2: God provided lunch at work, etc.  The discouragement and fear were beginning to be replaced with peace and joy, that is, until I received a phone call.  A doctor’s office called informing me of a medical bill that I had no idea I even had.  They were very unsympathetic to my surprise, all they cared about was when they would receive payment.

“God, really?  I’m trying to do the right thing here by not grumbling and complaining.  What’s this all about?  Why can’t we get a break?”

In the quietness of the moment, God answered, “What about the commitment you made this morning about be thankful for the blessings?”

“Yes, BLESSINGS, not more bad news!”  I complained.  “You know we’ll never be able to pay this!  We can’t even buy a roll of paper towels!” (fact, not exaggeration)

“But who’s to say that I didn’t just give you a blessing?”  God challenged.

“What?” I retorted, but then I stopped and thought about it.  Our helpless situation required a miracle, and the only one that could perform the miracle was God.  There was the blessing.  I would be able to see God provide for us in a way that only he could do!  Through this my faith would be strengthened.

Quite humbled and filled with gratitude, I responded, “You’re right, God, this bill and this situation is a blessing.  No matter what, I will praise you.”

That night, my husband and I shared with our children the situation that we were in and our commitment to give thanks in all things.  As our kids prayed asking God to meet our needs, they also made sure they thanked him for all that he has given.

Sometimes blessings come in disguises, we just need to have a different perspective.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(I Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

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As the stone of Seek Truth sails through the air and hits its mark, the giant of depression comes into full view. You now can see him even more clearly than you had before. His monstrous face leers down at you daring you to throw the next two stones! Absently, your thumb rubs over the etched words. As you prepare to throw the stone, you glance at the words and read “Give Up”. What? Give up?

Yes! Give up! Let go! Surrender your depression! This step is a choice not a feeling. You can either choose to accept the truth or to continue on in your depression. Contrary to the popular philosophy to “follow your heart”, the truth is that you must lead your heart. God says that the heart is deceitful. (Jeremiah 17:9) Our feelings, our emotions often keep us from doing what is right. If you do what is right whether you feel like it or not, the right emotions will follow.

Let’s get back to our example on finances. In the last blog, we unveiled the root problem of the depression which was unbelief in God’s provision and making money your focus. At this point, you can choose to hang onto unbelief because you don’t “feel” like you can believe or you can prayerfully repent of your unbelief and wrong focus and ask God to help you believe and to change your focus.

The next stone to throw at your very weak giant is the stone of “Fill Up”. This is extremely important! Quite often teenagers will make decisions at camp to give up certain things, but when they return home they go right back to doing the same wrong things. The reason is that they emptied themselves of their sin but didn’t replace it with truth. Get your chart out! It’s time to write and study!

Illustration Chart:

Face It Seek Truth Give Up Fill Up ?

journal Matt. 6:25-33 Pray Romans 8:28
Finances Matt. 6:19-21 Repent Phil. 4:19
1Tim. 6:20 Let go Psalm 23
Wrong focus 2 Kings 4
Unbelief

In this illustration chart, I’ve filled up on God’s promises that “all things work together for good” and that he supplies all my needs. I filled up on a real story about how God met a widow’s need with a great supply of oil. (2 Kings 4) By studying these things you are learning that you can believe completely in God’s provision.

By now you’re giant is writhing on the ground. The stones “Give Up” and “Fill Up” hit the giant dead center disabling his grip on your soul. There’s still one more stone left that will send the final death blow to the depression giving you a whole new sense of freedom!

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The source of your depression is glaring down at you. Like the young boy David, you stare defiantly back at your giant. You are now facing the monster that has plagued you for so long. Now what? How can you possibly defeat this hideous creature? Instead of five stones, you bend down and pick up four smooth stones. The cool smoothness of the stones shock your hot sweaty palms. You stare back at your creature who is still looming over you. As you slowly raise the first stone, you notice the words that are carved into it, SEEK TRUTH.

Truth is your weapon. The Bible states that the “truth will set you free”. Finding out what God says about the source of your depression is the next step in your journey. Before you dig for the truth, pray that God will guide you in your search and will give you understanding as you read His Word.

How do we seek truth? Well, grab a piece of paper and a pen and let’s walk through this step together. Draw five columns. On the top of the first column write FACE IT. Now write down what your giant is in this column. As an example we will choose a topic that could be the source of anxiety for many people – finances. Next, write SEEK TRUTH for the heading of the second column. In this column write down Bible verses that are related to your giant.

For Example:

Face It Seek Truth ? ? ?

Finances Matt. 6:25-33
Matt. 6:19-21
1 Timothy 6:10

After reading these verses, I now can see what my problem really is:
1. my fear of money is greater than my fear of God
2. I am placing more faith and trust in money to meet my needs than I am in God
3. My focus is on providing for my own needs and not expecting God to meet my needs
4. I don’t believe that God will really take care of me

This is the plain truth, God’s truth. Wrong focus and unbelief is the root problem of the depression. We have just narrowed the problem down even farther making it easier to defeat it!

I encourage you to fill in the columns with your personal giants and to seek out what God says about them. You will then be ready to pick up the next two stones to hurl at your weakening giant! Keep your columns handy for the next step in the journey.

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