In his wonderful book, Moving Beyond Depression, Dr. Greg Jartz cites four stages of this debilitating affliction:
- Loss of the ability to experience joy.
- Loss of hope.
- Sense of no positive future.
- An attitude of “what’s the use?” “Why carry on?”
All of this leads to an atmosphere of negativity and negative self-talk which manifests itself in anger, fear, guilt, and shame.
Now, I would go a step further and add one more thing to Dr. Jartz’s list: Demonic oppression. Fear, anger, guilt, and shame are normal emotions that, given the opportunity to linger (ie: dwelling on them) will become spiritual strongholds of wrong thinking, inviting demonic pressure. After all:
- Anger drains optimism.
- Fear steals hope.
- Shame and guilt crush joy.
Overcoming this paralysis of hopelessness requires a change of mind and heart – a paradigm shift.
For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Get Rid of Stinking Thinking
Moving from heaviness to hope requires a choice… your choice. Albert Einstein once said that “Significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” Make a decision to tear down the strongholds of wrong thinking, evict the agents of darkness, and upsize to God-sized… GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!
Evaluate Your Situation Honestly
Only the truth will set you free. We find in the above verse a promise… God has a plan for your life!
However, the context of this verse is interesting. The people are already in captivity. God may not take you out of your circumstances, but may choose to bless you in the midst of them!
Get The Basic Stuff Right
We have to recognize that the plans of God are not fanciful schemes. In the case of the people Jeremiah was talking to, God didn’t hit them in the head with a gold brick. Sometimes, the resources and answers are not immediate. Instead, God’s desire for us may be to affect change where we are. That may mean to settle in, build homes, start businesses, grow families, and be positive influences in the places where God puts us. Just do the normal, everyday stuff with all of your heart, and watch what God can do. Do it with gusto, and expect to prosper where you are (even if it is in a place of governmental hostility and oppression).
Claim A God-Sized Future
We may not always see the end result of the promise, but God’s promises about our future is multi-generational. We may not see the prophetic word fulfilled, but our children and grandchildren can!
So what should you do to claim the future God has for you?
- Make God’s promise your plan.
- Make prayer a priority.
- Make the pursuit of God’s Presence a Holy passion.
- Realize that God’s Presence is the Pathway to Prosperity.
Friend, you have a God-sized future waiting for you! Take hold of His promises today!