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On several occasions on this platform, I have engaged us in conversations around the danger of emotions and how to navigate through the lowest points in your lives in contrast to scripture. While I honor the scientific and medical work that has been put into helping human beings navigate their moods better in a clinical way,, the church must also have answers to navigate these situations from a spiritual standpoint.

In John 17, we read a powerful, distinct yet holistic prayer Jesus made for all believers. He focused His prayer on those that had come to Him and believed in Him also including those that were yet to believe but who eventually would. The highlight from this prayer is that our Master said Himself, that ‘we were not of this world’ though we lived in it (v15,16) and asked God not to take us out of it but to protect us while in it. Every effort to look for worldly solutions therefore, becomes futile for the believer, and will seldom work out efficiently.

Many schools of thought define depression as a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. I have often emphasized that we are spirits with souls living in bodies and God who is spirit engages your spirit primarily. Therefore, as believers you are regarded as spiritual beings and scripture teaches that emotions follow thoughts (Colossians 3:2) and your emotions will be as a result of what your mind is fixated on (Isaiah 26:3). For example, a person who is in perpetual worry of what happened in the past or what might go wrong tomorrow and the day after based on that past experience, will inevitably fall into a pattern of destruction because they are unable to do anything to change the past or foretell the future.

This constant obstination with holding on to the past or wanting to control what’s ahead leads to mood alterations, which scientists then call depression. As a result, symptoms like chemical imbalance which can be diagnosed on the surface appear and are then treated. For the believer however, it is important for you to understand that symptoms such as chemical imbalance are only a result of a mind that has stopped operating within the constraints it was set to operate in by God (Isaiah 26:3). When such symptoms appear, you would be surprised to know that your body is responding exactly as God has designed it to function.

For when they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

The word imagination in our theme scripture is translated yetser in its original Hebrew language, and this yetser can also connote mind or thoughts. The writer of Romans therefore alludes to the cause that leads a believer to have vain imaginations. Firstly, they know God but they neither glorify Him by acknowledging and magnifying every good thing they have received through Christ (Philemon 1:6)and secondly, they are not thankful for His sacrifice to make them whole. This total indifference towards God, the one who created them, then leads to vain imaginations. In simpler terms, vain imaginations are a counterfeit way for a believer to think and engage their mind, leading up to the darkening of their whole being (hearts) from the pollution that is now existing in their minds.

You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

The Hebrew word in our text for mind is also yetser, connoting imagination. If your imaginations are stayed on things above, that is who God calls you (Ephesians 2:10), what He says about your life, inheritance, promises (Deuteronomy 28:13), what He calls your reality (Colossian 2:17) – it is impossible to look at the vanities surrounding you until they steal your joy and peace. That is why, as I mentioned above, when your body’s chemicals begin to get out of balance, it may truly be that you walked out of the original and correct pattern your body is set to function within.

..,while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV

Child of God, it is possible to live a life that is not constantly tied to strife. While your spirit is seated at the right hand of the Father when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your mind is still tied to its earthen vessel and must therefore be renewed at all times to align with your spirit (Romans 12:2). Paul tells us in the text above that while we look not, meaning it is a choice to observe what might not be moving as expected but he also reminds us that everything you can see is only temporal. If then you have chosen the way of faith and you have been raised with Christ, set your mind on things above where this Christ you have been made one with, is seated (Colossians 3:1-4). [Selah]

If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, and you feel that this is the perfect time, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I thank you because you died for my sins and you were raised for my glory. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. Amen.”

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