Sunday, February 11, 2018


As a new Christian, I saw my struggle and hope in terms of God rescuing me from decades of depression. I was “damaged merchandise,” and Jesus would have to transform me by removing my childhood scars. I wanted to live for Jesus, but I didn’t see how I could possibly do so unless He first removed my many fears, insecurities, and self-loathing. After all, how could I love others if I could not first love myself!

However, as I grew in the Lord, I began to see that serving God was a matter overcoming unbelief and sin, as John had written:

·       For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:3-5)

I am now more convinced than ever that overcoming is a matter of believing in Jesus and the teachings of Scripture by the Holy Spirit and resisting the temptations to believe otherwise, even in ourselves.

Meanwhile, the faith of this Western world is about believing in ourselves and denying all those things that might influence us not to believe in ourselves. However, according to Scripture, such a faith is death:

·       Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

According to the Lord, faith in ourselves is opposed to faith in God. Besides, the former yields bad fruit, while the latter bears peace and confidence. All of my efforts to trust in myself focused my hopes on myself, and this had only increased my depression. There was no way I could lift myself out of my misery. Instead, I had to trust in the One powerful enough to lift me out of my depressive rut. This meant that I had to entrust myself completely to Him (Matthew 6:33).

I had already forsaken all other hopes after battling with my feelings for decades. My five highly recommended psychologists had failed me completely, and I too had failed myself. Fortunately, I was left with no other alternatives apart from Jesus. Faith never came easily to me, but Jesus was the only One left to turn to, the last unturned Rock.

However, I later found that my weakness was actually my spiritual strength (2 Cor. 12:7-10), because my weakness and pain forced me into the Word to seek for answers (Psalm 119:71) and hope. I found that my struggle was not a matter of getting rid of my weaknesses but of using them as a boat uses its sails to harness the wind to propel it in any chosen direction. What the boat cannot tolerate is the utter absence of wind. Likewise, we cannot change in the absence of weakness.

Instead, I began to see that my struggle wasn’t against my feelings and weaknesses but against spiritual influences:

·       For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

This struggle is about who we believe in and what we believe. If we believe in Christ and what Scripture tells us, we have overcome and are being transformed into the likewise of Christ:

·       And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:2)

How do we behold the “glory of the Lord?” Through the Scriptures and the Spirit applying this knowledge to us:

·       In their case the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6)

It is the light of the Gospel that counteracts the influence of Satan. While the light of Gospel transforms us, the deceptions of Satan corrupt us when we heed them.

Every trial or temptation we face is the same. It challenges us with the question, “Who will you trust?” It doesn’t matter whether we are OCD or MDD, each struggle boils down to the same exact question. Whenever we decide to follow God, we have overcome the world and the enemy of our souls.

I am still quite disappointed in myself. However, it is this disappointment that makes me glory in the sufficiency of my Savior who is even able to work my inadequacies into something beautiful. And I adore Him for this.

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