I've had a frequent visitor in my life since adolescence. Sometimes I know in advance he will arrive. Other times he shows up without any notice at all. You’d think we would be close friends, considering all the time we've spent together. But in recent years, I've realized how everything he says to me is a lie. These lies are audible only to me because they come from deep in my mind and heart where my visitor, named Depression, comes to stay.
From the first time he came to my door, carrying suitcases like he was there to stay, he spoke a running commentary on my life. When faced with obstacles or trials, I heard whispers like, "It's too much, you can't handle it" and "You'll never make it." When in the company of friends, I’d hear "You're not loved or wanted." "No one understands you." "You're ugly and can't do anything right."
These lies have become shouts that reverberate deep within my soul. The echo lingers on for days, weeks, months, even years. Every time I give in and believe those lies, the overwhelming feelings of sadness and despair threaten to drown me.
Do you have a frequent visitor in your life? Perhaps instead of Depression, they might go by the name of Shame or Anger, Pride or Anxiety. No matter the name, they all bring with them lies that were birthed from the original lie spoken long ago in the Garden (Genesis 3). It was in that perfect place of love and joy that Satan twisted the truth, giving life to the first lie. Adam and Eve received the lie as truth and fell into sin. Ever since, lies have only reproduced and multiplied. Like a deadly plague that leaves weakness and death in its wake, the whispers of twisted truth steals joy and leaves behind only sorrow and despair.
While our first parents were not able to resist Satan’s lies, Jesus battled against him and won. Matthew 4 records Jesus’ temptation in the desert. With each challenge from Satan, Jesus defeated him by the word of God. The bible says that Jesus has faced every temptation we face, yet he never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Because of this, he became the perfect sacrifice and substitute for us on the cross. His death freed us from the slavery to sin that began after that very first lie.
Through faith in Christ, we’ve been given his Spirit who dwells within us. Jesus referred to the Spirit as our counselor, helper, and advocate. It is the Spirit who reminds us of God’s word and enables us to fight against lies (John 14:26). The apostle Paul said in Romans 8:6 "So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace."
In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul tells us to take every though captive to make it obedient to Christ (10:5). If my visitor Depression calls for a visit, I can confront his lies with the truth. I can speak the word of God to my heart, making the lie powerless. The book of Hebrews says that God's word is sharper than any double-edged sword (4:12). There is no lie that can stand in battle before the word of God and win.
When I hear lies such as "You should give up, you'll never make it" I can recall these words: "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). When I hear "It's too much, you can't handle it." I can remember these verses: "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:13) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Or if I hear "You're not loved or wanted." I can dwell on this truth: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:13-14).
When visitors like Depression, Shame, Anger, Pride, or Anxiety arrive at the door of your heart carrying luggage filled with lies, remember that Jesus perfectly fulfilled what Adam and Eve could not. Because of Jesus, we’ve been set free from the lies that enslave us. We now have access to the Spirit who empowers us to wield the word of God and send visitors like Depression packing. There is no lie that can destroy us, for "if the Son has set you free, you are free indeed" (John 8:36).
Christina Fox, @toshowthemjesus, is a homeschooling mom, licensed mental health counselor, writer, and coffee drinker, not necessarily in that order. She lives in sunny S. Florida with her husband of sixteen years and their two boys. You can find her sharing her faith journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus.