- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Anger/Foul Language
Any valid therapeutic approach must not only apply to clients and the people we help, but also apply to the issues that all of us face, including therapists and pastors. What many would consider major life crises, are addressed rather calmly by this therapist, as I have come to, at a heart level, totally accept and trust in the sovereignty of God.
This therapist has however, embarrassingly struggled with anger, yelling, and even profanity, when inconvenienced by minor disruptions in my daily routine. When my computer won't do what I want it to do, my lawnmower won't start, or when an unexpected even minor interruption occurs in my daily schedule, I can become frustrated and lose perspective. The Holy Spirit convicted me of my own sinful behavior of anger and profanity, which is a violation of my relationship with God.
After thoughtful deliberation, this therapist recognized that my source of anger came from impatience, loss of perspective, and a temporary lack of appreciation for the many blessings in my life. This therapist made a conscious decision to Throw Off “anger and foul language” when confronted with an inconvenience in my daily routine, and to Put On “thanking God” for my numerous blessings, such as having the computer, a lawnmower, a yard to mow, a home, good health, adequate finances, a loving wife, spiritually minded children, etc. Each time something does not go my way, I quickly thank God for the specific blessings in whatever situation I'm dealing with, which has now developed into a positive pattern of gratitude.
When my spiritual life suffers, or more accurately, when I neglect my spiritual life, my pattern of sin has a way of creeping back into my life. When I am actively involved in reading the Bible, praying, doing devotionals, attending church, interacting with and other believers, serving in a ministry, and leading our family life group, my tendency towards anger and foul language diminishes and I am much more quickly able to Put On worshiping and thanking God and having victory over my sin of anger. The life verse I selected for this issue is:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Under what circumstances do I get angry or resentful, or lack gratitude:
What blessings are hidden in my difficult circumstances:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Self-Centeredness
Bob was criticized by his wife for frequently interrupting, over-talking, and putting his agenda above hers. He would share about his day, but when she began to share about her day, he would walk away or turn on the computer or the television. When friends would share about their lives, he had the habit of quickly changing the focus to himself and trumping them with his experiences. Although he became increasingly aware of this problem, his awareness did not change his behavior. During Biblical therapy he adopted Philippians 2:3-7 as his life verse. He made a decision to Throw Off “self-centeredness” and to Put On “other-centeredness”. He implemented specific skills in active listening, asking elaborating open-ended questions, and practicing empathetic responding. With practice, practice, and more practice, his relationship with his wife and friends has improved. At this point he may not be as other-focused and as empathetic as his wife, but he has made tremendous gains in his decline in self-centeredness and in increasing his heart felt concern for others.
Philippians 2:3-7 Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form God, did not regard equality with God as something to cling to. But emptied himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Where do I practice selfishness or self-centeredness:
Where do I need to be more selfless or other-centered:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Boastful Pride/Alcohol Abuse
Paul, who was a Christian, enjoyed being the center of attention. At social functions he would drink too much, tell what he believed to be funny stories, make offensive jokes, make witty hurtful comments about others, and would boastfully exaggerate his own accomplishments. Each attempt he made at drawing attention to himself resulted in his embarrassing himself and being the focus of negative attention. His wife began to hear negative comments regarding her husband's reputation and their invitation to social functions greatly declined. As Paul became painfully aware of how he was perceived by others, he became increasingly convicted of his own pride. As a result, he made the decision during couple’s therapy to Throw Off “boastful pride” and to Put On “humility and boasting in the Lord”.
At social functions he reduced his drinking, shared positive comments about his wife, shared how other coworkers had contributed to his work success, and how God was working in his life. Each time bragging and self-focus creeps back into his life, there is a convicting embarrassment. Paul now perceives his embarrassment as a gift from God by way of a conviction from the Holy Spirit. When this occurs Paul quickly humbles himself, becomes other-focused, and boasts in the Lord. Both Paul and his wife have noted that his reputation has become more positive and that their invitations to social functions have increased. Approximately one year after the initiation of his change, Paul was promoted in his workplace to a team leader. Paul chose Jeremiah 9:23 and 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 as his memory verses.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the Lord, let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, and let not a rich man boast of his riches.
2 Corinthians 10:17-18 But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord. For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.
Is there an area of my life where I boastfully commend myself to others:
Where will I share my testimony with others about how God is working in my life:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Shutting Down
Scott and his wife Jane are Christians who presented for marital therapy. When Scott experiences either workplace stress, feelings of being overwhelmed, or feelings of being hurt, he shuts down. For Scott shutting down includes withdrawing, detaching, not communicating, losing motivation, and becoming critical of himself and subsequently critical of others.
This pattern has created marital problems, with Jane attempting to push Scott to show more initiative. She perceived her attempts to be helpful. Her attempts however, were perceived by Scott as being critical or controlling rather than helpful. The generalized Throw Off of “shutting down” and Put On of “stepping up” did not prove to be helpful for Scott. When role-playing “stepping up”, Scott developed the feeling of being intrusive and aggressive. Scott went through a process of trying to not personalize his wife's “helpful” attempts at drawing him out as statements about his ineptness. He came to utilize the Biblical life verse of Proverbs 19:11.
In therapy Scott also created a new Throwing Off of “personalizing and shutting down” and a new Putting On of “stepping forward with other-focus”. When coupled with “other-focus” Scott felt a reduction in intrusiveness and aggressiveness and an increase in initiative and helpfulness. When faced with marital stress, disagreements, hurts, or feeling of being overwhelmed, Scott now steps forward to attack the problem and focus on the needs of others, rather than withdraw, shut down, or attack the other person. He reports a lessening of self-criticalness and anger. When Scott moves toward shutting down, he is now able to recall the visual image of stepping forward in a way that is more pleasing in his wife's site and in the sight of God. Couple reports an improvement in their marital relationship.
Proverbs 19:11 A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Are there areas in my life where I shut down, detach, or withdraw from my responsibilities:
Where might I show more initiative to be more Christ like:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Anxiety/Fear
Ed was a Christian who in addition to his primary job of teaching school, always worked a second job. His wife was also employed. Ed was frequently anxious and fearful about having enough money for his retirement. He would spend several hours each week looking at the growth or decline of their retirement funds, investments, savings accounts, and their checking account. He became increasingly preoccupied with potential scenarios about their future lifestyle. He developed racing thoughts, anticipatory anxiety, hot flashes, sweating, inability to relax, racing heart, lightheadedness, and vague feelings of impending doom. His worries about their financial future turned into worrying about having enough money for their present lifestyle, which was clearly unrelated to the reality of their financial situation. Despite his wife's reassurances that they had enough money, he became increasingly distracted from daily living.
When he presented for counseling he was frozen with fear, which adversely affected his work performance as well as his marital and family relationships. During Biblical therapy it became clear that his faith was head knowledge, which was not integrated into his daily life. As it began to spend more time reading the Bible, praying both alone and together with his wife, doing devotionals, and serving others, his spiritual life began to move from his head to his heart. He adopted Matthew 6:26-34, and Proverbs 3:5-8 as his life verses.
He developed the Throw Off “trusting in myself” and the Put On “trusting in God”. In future months some of Ed's investments declined. His fear and anxiety however, continued to diminish. Since that time he has continued to notice his investments going up and down, but his emotional life has become detached from his investments. He has also noticed an increased ability to live in the present and have an increasing connectedness with his wife through doing shared prayer and service to others. He has developed a balance in this lifestyle, by working less and enjoying life more.
Matthew 6: 33-34 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Are there areas of my life where I am preoccupied with anxiety/fear:
It is my goal to move my faith and trust in God, from mere head knowledge, to actual heart acceptance. I will commit to trusting God, in the daily practice of my life, in the following area(s):
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Keeping Score
Don and Diane presented with marital problems related to poor communication, lack of companionship with an absence of marital time, anger and resentments, feelings that the other was not contributing enough, decline and later absence of physical intimacy, and frequent arguments over the recall of hurtful experiences that had occurred throughout the years of their marriage. They had developed a cultural perspective that marriage was a 50/50 proposition. They began to keep score of what the other was contributing to the relationship, and also keeping track of their hurts. Their relationship had regressed to the point where they were competitive and intentionally hurting each other. When they presented for marital therapy, Diane had already consulted an attorney regarding her rights should they get a divorce. Although Don did not want out of the marriage, he had taken a consumers perspective that Diane was not meeting his needs.
During the course of Biblical therapy the couple learned the relational skills of active listening, empathetic responding, and other-centered love. They began to cognitively reframe their spouse as a friend rather than an ill-willed foe. They also learned to adopt the position that marriage is a 100/100 proposition.
Don developed the Throw Off of “keeping score” and the Put On of “serving his wife”. Through practice he was able to increase his other-centered love, and develop a servant's heart, focusing more on what he is giving rather than what he is getting.
Diane developed the Throw Off of “anger/resentment” and the Put On of “forgiveness”. With frequent struggles against their own selfish positions, and relapses back to arguing, conflicts began to lessen in both frequency and duration. Gradually marital connectedness began to increase in areas of communication, praying together, companionship, going on dates without the children, family time with the children, attending church and worshiping together, emotional support, and eventually physical intimacy. When conflicts now arise, this couple has learned to fight fairly, attacking the problem rather than attacking each other. Their active spiritual lives help to keep them focus on other-centered versus self-centered love. They both adopted the life verses:
1 Corinthians 14:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Where might I be keeping score or taking a consumer orientation to relationships:
Where might I focus on Putting On a servant's heart:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Alcohol and Drug Dependence
Patty began using alcohol and marijuana while in high school. While at college her alcohol and drug use dramatically increased. She began missing classes and her grades declined. Her life became focused around alcohol, drugs, sex, and partying. She dropped out of school focusing on a relationship which later failed. She obtained employment and began developing her career. She felt a void in her life which she tried to fill with alcohol and marijuana, relationships, sex, work, popularity, and being the center of attention at parties. Nothing filled her feelings of emptiness and she progressed to using cocaine. When she entered therapy she became increasingly aware of the emptiness in her life.
During Biblical therapy she committed to total abstinence from alcohol, drugs, and sex, and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, and a Bible based church. Although she enjoyed the worship music, the preaching, and the fellowship of others in AA, Celebrate Recovery, and other believers in her church, she continued to relapse to using alcohol and drugs.
She developed the Throw Off of “getting high on alcohol and drugs” and the Put On of “getting high on life and being filled with the spirit”. She adopted the memory verses Ephesians 5:18 and 2 Timothy 2:26. She had several more relapses before being filled with the Holy Spirit and recognizing that she no longer felt a hole or emptiness in her life. Whenever she feels the urge to use alcohol or drugs, she calls her AA sponsor and her Celebrate Recovery sponsor. When she begins to feel a void in her life, she calls her accountability partner from her women's Bible study life group.
Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the spirit.
2 Timothy 2:26 And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
I am filling the void in my life with:
I will commit to filling the void in my life with the Holy Spirit in the following ways:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Family Conflict
Michael and Sue have been married for 17 years and have three children Carlene 15, Jordan 13, and Erika 10. Michael and Sue presented with frequent arguments and conflicts over parenting. Sue saw Michael as harsh, arbitrary, and unreasonably provoking the children in his manner of discipline. He would frequently become angry and yell at the children. Michael perceived Sue as permissive and undermining his authority.
Initially Michael and Sue presented for couple’s therapy. Sue complained of not feeling loved due to Michael's anger and frustration with the children, which became redirected at her and her parenting style. Michael complained of not feeling respected due to Sue defending the children and criticizing Michael in their presence.
Through Biblical couple’s therapy Sue was able to define clearly for Michael what made her feel loved and what made her feel unloved. Michael was able to convey what made him feel respected and what made him feel disrespected. When the children joined their parents for family therapy, the children complained of not being heard and the parents complained that their children were disrespectful and disobedient.
Through Biblical family therapy the children were able to define what made them feel provoked and what made them feel valued and loved. The parents were able to share with the children what made them feel honored and what made them feel dishonored by the children's behavior.
The family developed the following collaborative treatment plan: Michael to Throw Off “anger and yelling” and to Put On “explaining and giving consequences”. Sue to Throw Off “criticizing and undermining”, and to Put On “joining Michael in disciplinary experiments”. Carlene to Throw Off “talking back and defiance” and to Put On “obedience”. Jordan to Throw Off “disrespectful language” and to Put On “respectful language”. Erika to Throw Off “complaining and not doing chores” and to Put On “appreciation and performing chores”.
Additionally each member of the family became aware of both the positive and negative impact that they had on other members of the family. Each member of the family also became aware of the other's goals and how to be supportive of each other, as well as holding each other accountable for their positive or negative contribution to the family. Michael and Sue have developed more collaborative parenting experiments, clearly sharing family rules, expectations, and following through with logical and natural consequences. The children's behavior has dramatically improved with the children feeling more valued and respected even when they are being disciplined for their misbehavior. Family adopted the following Biblical life verses:
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, you will live a long life, full of blessings.
Ephesians 6:4 And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
Where may my own contribution, to marital or family relationships, be maintaining conflict:
I will commit to making the following change(s) in my own contribution to marital or family relationships that will be pleasing in God's sight:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Depression/Medication Management
William presented with depressed mood, hopelessness about his future, feeling lethargic, inadequate, guilty, self-critical, indecisive, with loss of interest in family and friends, loneliness, loss of motivation, avoidance, loss of joy and pleasure in everyday living, not wanting to get out of bed, feelings of fatigue, and suicidal thoughts. He was withdrawn, failed to communicate, and was unresponsive when his wife would initiate conversation. When she left him, he presented for therapy.
Despite several experiments of Throwing Off and Putting On, William continued to be depressed. His wife joined him for couple’s therapy with her expressed desire to save the marriage. William was unsuccessful in Throwing Off “silence” and Putting On “initiating and responding”; Throwing Off “negative thoughts” and Putting On “keeping a blessings inventory”; Throwing Off “feeling-centered living” and Putting On “Commandment-centered living”.
William was referred by this therapist to a psychiatrist for antidepressant medication. He responded remarkably with a dramatic change in his personality. He was more animated, talkative, responsive, and at times he even initiated conversations. With medication management William was successfully able to Throw Off “shutting down” and Put On “verbalizing his thoughts and feelings” with his wife. William however, repeatedly made the decision that he did not like or feel the need for medication. For the next year he had episodes of going off and on his antidepressant medication. Each time he went off his medication he relapsed into flat affect and shutting down. His wife's biggest complaint was that when William was depressed that he would not communicate with her. It has been my therapeutic experience that there are clearly some patients that require an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication in order to reach their highest level of functioning.
When William walks into this therapist office, I can immediately tell whether or not he is on or off of his antidepressant medication. William is clearly one of those patients who require medication management in order to cognitively, emotionally, and relationally be able to utilize the principles of Biblical therapy. Because of antidepressant medication William has been able to follow through on his therapeutic homework assignments of keeping a gratitude journal and sharing his journal with his wife.
Despite multiple efforts, I continue to have the following symptoms of depression:
If I continue to have symptoms of major depression, despite attempting several therapeutic approaches, including Biblical therapy, I will obtain a medication consult.
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Anxiety/Panic
Tom, who is a Christian, has for years had an active spiritual life in the service of other people. He began to experience a high level of anxiety related to health problems. After several medical evaluations he was diagnosed with leukemia. He began to experience severe anxiety with racing thoughts and severe disturbance of sleep and appetite. Tom's anxiety progressed to having panic attacks with pounding-racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, hot flashes, inability to relax, lightheadedness, choking sensation, shakiness, sweating, and fear of dying. His Bible study - life group laid hands on him and prayed for him, that he would be able to Throw Off “anxiety and fear” and would be able to Put On “peace”. From that moment on, Tom reported an incredible sense of peace. Tom adopted Philippians 1:21 as his life verse, determining that he would live surrender to God's will for his life, whether that meant continuing his Christian ministry of service, or dying and going to heaven. Although Tom's cancer has come in and out of remission, he has continued to be at peace, no longer experiencing fear or panic
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Are there areas in my life where I experience fear, anxiety, and or panic:
What do I need to surrender to God in order to obtain lasting peace:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Relational Issues
Darla had been in an abusive marriage where her husband was emotionally, verbally, and at times physically abusive. He had an extramarital affair and he left her for the other woman. Darla went through a serious of dysfunctional dating relationships making her relational decisions out of feelings of desperation. She was lonely and was afraid that she would end up alone. She found herself again settling for men who were angry, neglectful, hurtful, and/or dishonest. During Biblical therapy Darla came to realize that having no relationship was a step up from having a bad relationship. Darla made a conscious decision to Throw Off “emotional desperation” and to Put On “thoughtful patience “. She began attending to her cognitive as well as her emotional data and used the cognitive behavioral experiential red light/green light. As she progressed in making decisions regarding her relationships, friendships, finances, and dating she would evaluate whether her head (thoughts )and her heart (emotions )were both red lights telling her to stop, or both green lights telling her to go forward, or mixed red/green lights, basically a crash in the intersection, telling her to stop and to use caution. She made the decision to live surrender to God's will for her relational life, with acceptance and being patient whether God brings the right man into her life or whether that means living single. Darla has continued to remain out of relationship. There are times when she has feelings of loneliness, but she reports feeling happier than when she was having feelings of fear or desperation. Darla has also reconciled that she may be single for the rest of her life. She adopted the following life verses:
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
In what ways may I be desperately settling for a life that is not pleasing in the sight of God:
In what area of my life will I be patient and wait on the Lord to provide what I need, according to His wisdom:
Biblical Therapy Case Example: Damaged Self-Esteem/The Impact of Harsh Words
When Joe went to church and other social events he would withdraw and isolate from others. Since childhood he had feelings of shyness. During Biblical therapy he kept a cognitive/emotional journal with themes of having the feeling that he was in people's way and under their feet. Joe was also given the experiential assignment of writing an autobiography. Joe's father was a carpenter who worked out of their family home carpentry shop. Joe's father was successful and very busy remodeling people's homes and building cabinets. Joe had no memories of he and his father riding bikes, going camping, playing ball, or father coming to any of Joe's school events. When Joe wanted to spend time with his father, he would go to father's workshop and would usually be met with a statement by his father “shoo, you're in the way and under my feet”. As subsequent social functions when Joe would begin to develop the feelings of being in the way and underfoot, he became aware that these feelings were not coming from other people, but coming from the DVD that had his father's voice and that was playing within Joe's head. Joe chose the Biblical life verse Jeremiah 1:4-8. He began to give other people the benefit of the doubt and after reluctantly approaching them, Joe developed a sense of feeling welcomed and welcoming others. Joe never felt the need to develop a specific Put On. After three subsequent social experiments, Joe's feelings of being in the way and underfoot left him, and have never returned. Joe has since become more actively involved in serving in his church and in developing friendships.
Jeremiah 1:4-8 The Lord gave me a message. He said, I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman for the world. O sovereign Lord, I said, I cannot speak for you! I am too young! Don't say that, the Lord replied, for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken.
Where in my own life do I have damaged self-esteem:
Where in my own life do I need to see myself as God's creation:
Write an Example from Your Own Life Story
- Throw Off Problematic Ways of Thinking, Feeling, or Acting
- Put On New Biblical Thought, Feeling, and/or Behavioral Patterns
- Select Your Biblical Life Verse
- Make a Commitment
From Major Depression to Happiness and Abundant Joy
Major depression is not sadness, grief associated with losses, unhappiness, discouragement, lack of joy or pleasure, or feeling down. For these emotions are partial, temporary, normal, and universal. Depressed mood, in and of itself, is not a sin. It is how we handle these emotions however, that lead to health, or how we mishandle these emotions that lead to furthering depression. When we feed depression it grows and can become chronic. For the most part, our ability to overcome depression, or inadvertently to worsen depression, is a choice, perhaps an unconscious choice or a choice outside of our awareness, but nevertheless a choice.
Major depression is the mishandling of sadness, grief, feelings of unhappiness, and misfortune, in sinful ways that become all-consuming, chronic, and characterized by the loss of hope, shutting down, and not functioning. Most of us do not like to think of our thoughts or behaviors as sinful. Our present day culture has for the most part eliminated any reference to sin, and has redefined sin as symptoms of some greater problem outside of our control or as a dysfunction. One way to think about sin is that we place our will regarding our life above God's will for our life. We conduct ourselves in such a manner as to violate our relationship with God. We put our ways above His ways.
We become dominated by our feelings, resulting in disturbances of sleep and appetite, emotional fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, thinking that we have no value, criticalness of ourselves and others, irritability and anger, taking on a negative pessimistic worldview, detachment, loss of motivation, indecisiveness, withdrawal from family and friends, avoidance, experiencing a loss of joy and pleasure in everyday living, developing hopelessness, suicidal despair, and other related distortions in our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors resulting in a downward spiral.
We can develop automatic negative cognitive distortions, through the use of erroneous vocabulary, convincing ourselves that “things are hopeless” or that “we can't take it anymore” or that “everything is terrible” or “that nothing will work out” or that “we are irreversibly defective”, etc… self-messages which reinforce our weakness and our sense of hopelessness, and which strengthens our depression and the problems in our lives. If we allow ourselves to spiral downward we may develop other chronic patterns of anger and rage, abuse of alcohol and drugs, overspending, not eating or overeating, emotional lability, brooding, getting into conflicts with others, shutting down with failure to perform our responsibilities, isolating, not attending to self-care etc… which are dysfunctional, sinful responses that is continuously practiced or rehearsed, strengthen, compound, perpetuate, feed, and grow depression.
These are choices of thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that feed depression which we need to Throw Off. A partial list of causes for major depression include poor choices made by ourselves, poor choices made by others that affect us, our sin, the sins of others, self-focus, selfishness, self-pity, damaged self-esteem, the belief that we are useless, belief that we have no purpose, unrealistic expectations, impatience in our time frame, and lack of appreciation for the blessings we have in our lives.
Other non-Biblical beliefs and values grounded in our culture, such as happiness is based in wealth, appearance, youth, status, successfulness, popularity, romantic relationships etc. also contribute to depression. Major depression may also result from the belief that our moods, attitudes, thoughts, and feelings are inextricably connected to our life circumstances.
Four powerful Biblical approaches to overcoming major depression and allowing the opportunity for happiness and even an overflow of joy include: 1) a clear understanding and appreciation for the sovereignty of God, 2) an appreciation of our blessings and perceiving where our “glass” is partially full rather than a discontented focus on where our “glass” is partially empty, 3) understanding and mastery of the skill of taking our thoughts captive and deliberately choosing what to Throw Off and what to Put On, and 4) recognition that our circumstances in life do not have to dictate or dominate our mood.
Sovereignty of God
In our culture we are more focused on being consumers, including what others and even what God can do for us, rather than focusing on being servants and on what we can do for God. Our prayers tend to be self-centered asking God to provide us with our list of blessings, rather than paying attention to where He is working in our lives and in the lives of others and what we need to be doing in order to serve him. Our goal in overcoming major depression should not necessarily be to alleviate our problems, but to be obedient to and trust in God's will for our lives. The solution is not a human solution, or the way of our culture, but God's way as outlined in the Bible.
God is not our counselor to make us happy, but to make us holy. We find happiness, purpose, and direction as a result of surrendering our lives to his authority and to his purpose. If Jesus died on the cross for your sins and my sins so that we could enter into the presence of God and have eternal life, then he paid our ransom and we belong to him. Therefore our lives are no longer our lives do with as we please, but to live our lives in a way that pleases him, according to his book of rules, the Bible.
To overcome depression, and be more than undepressed, more than numb from antidepressants, to be truly happy, and have overflowing joy, results from the intentional practices of positive habits in two major areas. Most research on true happiness, beyond the absence of depression, comes from a life with close positive relationships and an active spiritual life. Close relationships involve good communication, companionship or spending quality time, emotional support and connectedness, empathy, and having a servant rather than a consumer orientation to relationship. An active spiritual life includes reading the Bible, doing devotionals, praying, attending church, fellowship with other believers and having a ministry of serving others. It may seem difficult to accept God's sovereignty in the midst of our misfortune.
A friend of mine Paul, who is a devout Christian, fell and broke his foot. Before he got up he prayed to God that his foot would not be broken, or if broken that God would heal him and that he would walk. When Paul stood up he fell. At first Paul was surprised that God did not answer his prayer. Afterward he became angry with God. He was upset, irritated, and depressed, that the severity of his injury required him to be hospitalized. While in the hospital Paul was able to lead his roommate, who had terminal cancer, to accept the Lord. After discharge Paul learned that his hospital roommate had died. It turned out that his roommate's wife had unsuccessfully attempted to lead her husband to the Lord on many locations. When she informed Paul of her husband's death, she also shared her gratitude for what Paul had done while he was in the hospital. Paul was convicted of his anger and he came to an appreciation of God's sovereignty of allowing his foot to be broken in order that his hospital roommate would have salvation. Paul came to realize that God's plan for Paul's life was superior to Paul's plan for his life.
We need to follow his commandments and not our own feelings. It is disobedient and going our own way which puts us in despair. The Bible is God's textbook for our lives. The Bible teaches standards and teaches us where we fall short, provides correction, direction, and trains us in righteousness. We should take the perspective that trials and tribulations, which may involve physical, emotional, or relational pain and suffering, occur within the context of God's sovereignty. By going through adversity he develops our character, develops our strength and perseverance, and draws us into a closer relationship with him when we reach the end of ourselves. If we practice being filled with his Spirit, rather than being filled with our own emotions, we can overcome depression and develop true joy. We first need to have self-control, to give up our agenda, and put on God's agenda.
As I look back over my life, I now realize that God was working through my specific chapter of adversity to accomplish the following, for me and/or for others:
As I focus on my current life situation, I realize that God may be working to accomplish the following, for me and/or for others:
A second perspective that helps us Throw Off major depression is to avoid dwelling on where our glass is partially empty. As part of our human nature we will always have seasons of trouble. Problems, trials, tribulations, hurts, disappointments, losses, conflicts, illness, and even death, are part of our human condition in a fallen world. These are true and should not be denied. We should not attempt to lie to ourselves or deny that the negatives exist. Nor should we attempt to minimize the significance of these problems in our lives. But when we dwell on the negatives, it is as if we are rehearsing them in our mind, they become our focus, and they grow stronger. We can actually develop the skill of perceiving negatives and complaining.
It is also true that there are many blessings in our lives and we should have an appreciation for where our glass is partially full.Keeping a gratitude list, an appreciation journal, or a blessings inventory is essential to overcoming major depression. We have a choice as to where we choose to dwell or camp out in our heads. We can focus on our illness with cough, congestion, and sneezing, which in reality does cause us discomfort, or when we are ill we can focus on our day off from work, our ability to rest in bed, and the opportunity to take the down time to read a good book. Both of these aspects of an illness are true and with proper perspective our illness can also be a blessing. Research has demonstrated that the habits of happy people include being intentional and deliberate about practicing appreciation and having gratitude.
A current inventory of my life reveals the following lists of appreciations, gratitude, and blessings:
Taking Our Thoughts Captive
A third way to overcome major depression is to recognize that we can take our thoughts captive and intentionally and deliberately choose what to Throw Off and what to Put On. Once making the choice to overcome major depression, we need to Throw Off: hopelessness or placing our hope only in ourselves, shutting down and not functioning, believing that we are worthless, practicing pessimism and negativity, withdrawing, detachment, lack of motivation, avoidance, suicidal thoughts, impatience, selfishness, a self-centered perspective, abuse of alcohol and drugs, conflict, divisiveness, and other such negative moods, thoughts, and behaviors.
Thought stop and stopping a behavior are not enough. These efforts are usually only temporarily effective, as our old habits will eventually push back up unless there is something stronger in their place. In order to have long-lasting or permanent change we need to link stop thought and stopping a behavior with thought substitution and behavioral substitution. We need to Put on: placing our hope in the Lord, taking initiative, be attentive to our strengths and our giftedness, utilize our strengths and giftedness in the service of others, practice patience, discernment, confession and repentance of sin, forgiveness of others, reconciliation, appreciation, gratitude, obedience to God's word, and a changed heart. Many of my patients believe that they will change what they are doing, only after they feel better. Paradoxically, individuals need to perform their obligations and responsibilities and had positive ways of thinking and acting first. Our emotions will catch up later. The Bible requires obedient centered living rather than feeling driven living.
I need to take the following thoughts captive, and put on the mind of Christ. I will Throw Off/Put On the following thoughts, feelings, and behaviors:
Uncoupling Our Emotions from Our Circumstances
The forth way to overcome major depression is to recognize that our emotions do not have to be inextricably related to or dictated by our circumstances. When in the midst of feelings of depression, it may seem difficult to separate our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors from our difficult circumstances.
Mark, who was in Biblical therapy for depression related to workaholism and being laid off, eventually found work. Within eight months however, he came down with a major illness and missed several weeks of work. By the end of his first week off he was again becoming irritable, impatient, anxious, and angry regarding being out of work. He was focused on his illness and worries over his finances. He remembered his previous ability to Throw Off depression, pessimism, irritability, and negativity regarding his unemployment, and to Put On enjoying being a husband, father, and being of value for who he is, rather than for what he produces. Mark was again able to separate his mood from his circumstance. He was also able to accept his situation and focus on where his glass was partially full rather than where it was partially empty. He made the best of his situation and thanked God for his illness, which kept him in check from eventually returning to his previous life dominating problems of an imbalanced lifestyle with overworking and tying his identity to his career
Paul, an apostle of Jesus, ended up in prison for preaching the gospel. After many hard years of serving Christ he ended up being martyred. I confess that if it had been me, I probably would have been whining, complaining, angry at Jesus for betraying me, shutting down, and not function. Paul on the other hand, is an excellent example of taking a godly approach to separating our mood from our circumstance. Paul utilized this time while in prison to preach to the palace guard, write letters to the newly established churches, and disciple the jail guards and visitors who came to see him.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for major depression has its origins in the Biblical commandments related to Throw Offs and Put Ons found in the Bible. The use of stop thought and thought substitution is best demonstrated by Taking Off our human nature and Putting On the mind of Christ. The use of stopping a behavior and behavioral substitution emerged from the Biblical commandments to Throw Off negative, self-centered, sinful thoughts, feelings and behaviors which are destructive to both self and others and to Put On obedience to God's word with positive thoughts, feelings and behaviors which are constructive for the individual, family, and the community. Our automatic negative thoughts and cognitive distortions feed depression. Cognitive reframing to Put On the mind of Christ and obedience to God's word, helps us to recognize God's sovereignty and where he is playing an active role in our lives, have gratitude and appreciation for our daily blessings, and separate out our feelings from our circumstances.
Is there an area of my life where I allow my circumstances to dictate and dominate my mood ?:
If I divorce my mood, from my difficult life circumstance, what will I be able to accomplish that will be pleasing in God's sight:
As I was writing this workbook I had the opportunity to attend a secular conference on the habits of happy people. Much of the research has shown that the vast majority of happy people display two essential characteristics:
The first is that they have fostered positive relationships with good communication, companionship or spending quality time, developing empathy and emotional support, and physical contact such as giving and receiving hugs and kisses. If they are married, having regular physical intimacy.
The second characteristic is having an active spiritual life. With Christians this involves reading the Bible, praying, doing devotionals, developing fellowship with other Christians, supporting the body of Christ through attending and getting involved in a Bible-based church, and actively serving others.
Psychotherapy and/or medication management in and of themselves cannot fulfill these two essential characteristics. Medication management, when necessary, should assist the person to feel better so that they may pursue development of positive relationships and an active spiritual life. Psychotherapy should provide counsel that is consistent with developing an active spiritual life and fostering relationships that are pleasing in God's sight.
Biblical Passages Regarding Overcoming Depression. Experiencing Happiness and Abundant Joy:
John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; Remain in my love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (Obedience)
Matthew 6:33 The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you. (Holiness over Happiness)
Romans 8:28 We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.
Proverbs 18:14 The will to live can get you through sickness, but no one can live with a broken spirit.
Psalm 32:1-2 Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty and in whom there is nothing false. (Focus on Blessings)
2 Corinthians 4:6 God once said, Let the light shine out of darkness! This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:8 We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles.
Philippians 4:6-9 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Taking Thoughts Captive
Romans 5:3-4 And not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Sovereignty of God)
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing, or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. (Separating Mood from Circumstances)
Ephesians 4:23 And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
Psalm 97:11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Psalm 16:7-9 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; Even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; My body also will rest secure.
Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever
Ephesians 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
I will select the following Biblical life verse(s), as my own verse(s), in order to have victory over depression and to bring happiness and overflowing joy:
From Anxiety/Panic Attacks to Peace
Clients presenting with anxiety usually reveal the following symptoms: pounding racing heart, shortness of breath, lightheadedness/dizziness, stomach distress, hot flashes, feelings of unsteadiness, anticipatory anxiety, inability to relax, nervousness, feeling scared or terrified, choking sensation, trembling hands, fear of losing control over their emotions, fear of dying, fear going crazy, flushed face, and sweating. With prolonged anxiety, clients may experience an increase in severity of symptoms including panic attacks, social anxiety with restricted ability to go out in public, agoraphobia or fear of even leaving their home, phobias, and obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors.
A client’s initial anxiety or panic may have resulted from the experience of acute stress, childhood traumas, relationship conflicts, health problems, financial stressors, school or workplace harassment, loss of a valued relationship, parenting stress, death of a loved one, major or life-threatening accident, experiencing or observing violence, or other emotionally painful or stressful situations.
The client may have experienced specific thoughts, feelings, or behaviors associated with the stressful event. They may have told themselves: I cannot handle this. Nothing will ever be the same. I have no control. I better not go out. I will lose everything. I can't live without them. My children will fail. I am a bad parent. I will have another panic attack. I cannot cope. I am going to lose control over my feelings. I am going to go crazy. I am going to die. Etc. With repetition, automatic, negative, catastrophic thoughts may develop
Along with symptoms of anxiety/panic, such as anticipatory anxiety and fear of losing control over one's emotions, the client may develop behavioral patterns such as withdrawal, isolation, avoidance, shutting down, not leaving their home, and not functioning. Depression frequently becomes a byproduct for clients who mismanage stressors and develop severe anxiety/panic.
Many clients, as well as other members of our society, have fallen into the unrealistic cultural expectations about what we deserve and/or what we need. We believe that we should always feel good, not be inconvenienced, not have losses, prosper, be accepted, be popular, be healthy, be youthful, be happy, not go through adversity, have what others have, be in a romantic relationship, etc.... and when we do not have these things, to either become anxious or depressed.
Let's take a look at the Biblical view of facing adversities, suffering, distress, trials, losses, afflictions, disappointments, and other difficult chapters in our lives. As part of our human condition we will all have difficult chapters to contend with.
Romans 5:3-4 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produce perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
Since God is sovereign, trials and tribulations are either caused by, or allowed by God, to occur in our lives. God is sovereign and works all things to His good, and in retrospect, on many occasions, God works things to our own good. Trials and tribulations, if properly handled according to God's precepts, builds our strength and endurance, builds our character, and draws us into a closer relationship and reliance on God when we reach the end of ourselves. If we have a close relationship with God, are grounded in and have an understanding of the Bible, and have faith and trust in God and in his word, we should diligently be looking for God's involvement within our life circumstances. Rather than ask, “Why is this happening to me?”, We should be looking for where God is working, what we are to be learning, and what we are to be doing, as we go through our trials, our suffering, our adversities, our distress, our losses, our disappointments, our afflictions, and within whatever difficult chapter we face. At the time we are going through trials and tribulations we may be unaware of God's hand.
If we look back over our lives we can often reframe our experience based on our current understanding of where God was working at that time. We can however, develop the skill of increasing our spiritual perspective, putting on our spiritual lenses, and getting better at perceiving where God is working in our lives in the moment. When get better at seeing God at work in our lives, our primary job is to cooperate with God, rather than struggle and resist his plan. It is an awesome experience to be able to look into our lives, see where God is working, and attempt to join him in his work, which can change the whole course of our lives.
Where is God currently working in my life?
The attributes of God, include that he is all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, sovereign, unchanging, eternal, just, righteous, patient, and merciful. He is the God of love, but we must remember that he is also the God of wrath. There are times when he disciplines us, because he loves us, when we get off- track with his plan for our lives. Fear and respect for God, should replace and eliminate all other fears. Trust and hope in God, should replace and eliminate trusting in ourselves and in our own self-reliance. Am I trusting God only in my head? Am I willing to get out of the boat (my comfort zone), when he calls? Or am I willing to really trust God and to move forward with my responsibilities and what I am called to do, despite my anxieties and fears?
Information does not necessarily lead to transformation. Where do I need to trust God with my life?
Worries and concerns, in and of themselves, are not sinful. Our reaction to life circumstances, and how we choose to respond, can be sinful choices. If we focus on ourselves, trusting only in ourselves and our own self-reliance, focus on the future, and allow ourselves to have automatic, negative, catastrophic thoughts, rather than immersion in spiritual thinking, we are likely to have severe anxiety and panic. It is frequently too late to immerse ourselves in Biblical passages when we are in the midst of a crisis. If we arm ourselves with Biblical knowledge and live surrendered to God prior to the crisis, we are likely to fare much better. If we are only casual Christians or knowledge-based Christians without walking daily with the Lord, we are likely to lack faith when confronted with a crisis.
Christianity is not about a religion, but about a relationship with God. A focus on self produces fear, severe anxiety, and panic. Anticipatory anxiety is usually focused on the wrong day, either worrying about tomorrow or what will happen in the future. Panic is a cognitive and an emotional distortion of not seeing God's hand in our lives or trusting in his sovereignty. Not trusting in our relationship with Him. It really is scary, and we should experience fear and panic if we do life alone, outside of a relationship with God.
What do I need to do to further my daily walk with the Lord, in order to equip myself for when I will experience trials and tribulations?
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
The Bible instructs us in the proper manner for facing our anxieties:
Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, please do, and the God of peace will be with you.
We are able to take our thoughts captive and to renew our spiritual minds through practice.
Romans 12:2 Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
Whatever we immerse ourselves in will affect the way we think, feel, and act. It will eventually shape our character. If we immerse ourselves in law, we will think about our problems in legal terms regarding our rights, how we have been wronged, and potentials for lawsuits. If we immerse ourselves in materialism, we will focus on our wants and our deprivations. If we immerse ourselves in the common culture of television, our minds will be filled with sex and violence. If we immerse ourselves in pornography, we will sexualize relationships. If we immerse ourselves in the daily news, we may become pessimistic, anxious, fearful, and cynical.
We can retrain our minds, by taking control over not immersing ourselves in, and Throwing Off, things that lead to negativity, pessimism, hopelessness, and fearful thinking. These may include what we read, what we view, places we go, and even people we associate with. We can Put On immersing ourselves in things that lead to being positive and hopeful, thus reducing our anxious thoughts and producing internal peace. These may include what we read, what we view, places we go, and even the people we associate with. These are choices. Choices we need to recommit ourselves to on a daily basis. We can learn to worry for nothing and let people see God at work within us. We can learn to magnify the Lord by having a thankful attitude in looking for blessings even in the midst of our trials. We can learn to take captive and Throw Off every negative thought such as fear of losing control, fear of going crazy, or fear of dying.
We can choose to Put On positive thoughts such as God is at work in my circumstance. If I seek God and where he is at work in my life and join him by cooperating with the Holy Spirit, anxiety, fear, and panic will be dramatically reduced or eliminated. 59 Once we accept the sovereignty of God and move trusting God from our head to our heart, commit to his plan for our lives, and leave the outcome of the situation up to God, we will be far less anxious.
It is helpful to focus on scheduling our daily activities to follow our schedule, rather than focus on or follow our emotions. We may feel anxious and not feel like dealing with people, but once we begin our agenda, somewhere along the way, our feelings are likely to catch up with our behavior, and we are likely to develop a sense of accomplishment and victory over our anxieties. Anticipatory anxiety is a perverted fear related to our own need for control, our own wants, and our own expectations, rather than respecting what God wants, or fearing what he forbids.
If we align our agenda with God's agenda, we can develop an attitude of allowing feared experiences to unfold, and not worry about either ourselves or the outcome. Acceptance of God's sovereignty at a heart level requires that we totally accept that God's mind is superior to our own mind, and that his ways are superior to our ways. This requires that we live surrendered to his will, and that we fully lean on our relationship with God.
Fear has power and is an obstacle to trusting God. Fear distorts, deceives, produces doubt, sabotages, and destroys our relationship with God. If we feed fear, it creates avoidance and paralysis.
Trust also has power and can deliver us from fear. Trust produces faith and confidence in God which guides and protects us. By affirming and reaffirming your trust in God, regardless of how you feel, your feelings will eventually fall in line with your faith. Practice persistence of faith and fearfulness will gradually lessen its stranglehold on you.
The therapeutic tools of cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety/panic, include stop thought and thought substitution, bracketing off and scheduling worry times, and behavioral modification with progressive exposure, immersion, saturation, and desensitization to the feared situation. Cognitive behavioral therapy utilizes the tools of taking our thoughts captive by reframing anxiety from an intolerable, catastrophic feeling, to a tolerable, although uncomfortable, temporary state. Stop thought, or Throwing Off of automatic negative, irrational, catastrophic thoughts, and Putting On relying on our relationship with God, will get us through the unwanted chapters in our lives and bring us internal peace.
To either break a dysfunctional habit or stopping negative, destructive thoughts will only be temporary, unless a positive, cognitive or behavioral substitute is put in its place. The precepts of the Bible are positive, constructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which bring enduring peace. (See Throw Offs/ Put Ons related to Anxiety)
Biblical Passages Related to Victory Over Anxiety/Panic Attacks, and Experiencing Peace
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal rock.
Isaiah 41:9-10 I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can serve me. For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Psalm 32:7 For you are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
1 Peter 5:6-7 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.
Luke 12:22-31 Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life... Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry cannot do little things like that, what is the use of worrying about bigger things?... These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the kingdom of God your primary concern.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
Proverbs 9:10 Fear (respect and obedience) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self- discipline.
Philippians 4:19 And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Colossians 3:16-17 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, living your heart and make you wise. Uses words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the father.
Colossians 3:23-24 Work hard and carefully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the master you are serving is Christ.
John 14:27 I am leaving you a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is not like the peace the world gives. So do not be troubled or afraid.
I will meditate upon the following Biblical verse in order to help me have victory over anxiety/panic:
I will meditate upon the following Biblical verse in order to obtain true peace: