God's Word tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, that outward beauty is deceptive and fleeting while inward beauty is unfading and of great worth. It doesn't take long to look at today's media and see how the world is trying to convince us otherwise! Read uplifting and encouraging real life stories from Christian women about true beauty and health. Start seeing yourself as the women God created you to be!
We live in a world that is filled with despair. The enemy strikes hard with the spirit of despair. It’s deep-seated and it’s everywhere—even within the body of Christ. The devil will scream in our ears, “You’re no good.” “God’s will for you is not good.” “Your situation is hopeless.” It’s hard to live in victory when we believe enemy lies. The dictionary definition of despair is: the complete loss or absence of hope, disheartenment, discouragement, desperation, distress, anguish, depression, misery, defeatism, pessimism, and even suicidal feelings. This doesn't sound good.
Many of us were shocked when we heard of the death of 63-year-old Robin Williams, the well-known American actor and comedian. Williams, who had all the world’s comfort and fame, ended his own life tragically by hanging himself with a belt in his California home. He entertained millions on stage, film or television, wanting to make others laugh and feel less afraid. He rose to fame starring in many well-known movies such as Dead Poet Society. He was nominated for the Academy Award for best actor three times and won two Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards.
But all of this fame and fortune did not meet the inner emptiness in His life that only God could fill. Stardom in the world’s eyes was not enough. The one who made others laugh was himself living in utter despair. He listened to the lies of the enemy saying, “Life is hopeless. Just end it all.”
There is a shocking reality regarding despair and suicide that we cannot ignore. There are 35,000 suicides in America every year, and the suicide rate is the same among Christians and non-Christians. This is alarming. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We ask ourselves, “Why is this so, and what can we do about it? How can we overcome despair within our own lives as well as within our families, friends, and co-workers?”
Transformed by the Renewing of Our Mind
We overcome despair and are transformed by changing how we think and by the renewing of our mind. We need to know what God is like, who we are in Christ (Romans 5), and what we believe.
If we were to admit it personally, there is not one of us who hasn’t had the enemy strike hard at us with feelings of despair at one time or other. We live in the world system, and we fight the devil on a daily basis. There is a battlefield of the mind where we wrestle against the powers of darkness. Intercessors especially are a target of the enemy because the enemy hates prayer. He will try to defeat us through a spirit of despair.
We are called to enjoy our relationship with Jesus fully. We are equipped to experience God’s transforming grace by renewing our minds with the truths that give us the assurance of how God accepts us and views us with mercy (even when we feel weak). Understanding God’s mercy motivates us to give ourselves fully to God with confidence. Read Romans 1-11 and see how the truths of God’s grace and mercy fill these chapters, especially Romans 5-6. See Micah 7:18.
How can we move out of despair to a transforming faith in God? How can we move from the debilitating effects of despair and hopelessness in our own heart and change our thinking?
Ways to Overcome Despair
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… to bestow on them a crown of beautyinstead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” - (Isaiah 61:1-3).
Meditating on the following truths and living them out in our personal life will bring transformation to our minds and hearts. We don’t have to live in despair. It is our God-given right to live in joyful confidence. The following are ways you can walk out of despair and hopelessness, and into the transforming power of God through the renewing of your mind:
Finally, learn to say no to Satan’s lies. Don’t agree with him because he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Pull down those strongholds in your mind by renouncing lies about God and who you are in Christ. When condemnation, shame, fear, or despair rise up in your heart to challenge what God promised in His Word, come against it by confessing the Truth and resisting His lies. Speak out loud specific verses from God's Word that combat the lie. Our words are powerful in causing fear or faith to grow in us. By learning to agree with God’s Word, you release His power in your life.
It’s time to take charge of negative thinking. You have power to cast down all thoughts of despair and hopelessness. You do not have to be a captive to negative thoughts that lead to despair. You can renew your mind in God’s Word. It’s not by trying harder to change, but by seeing more clearly how God evaluates you. Learn to meditate on Scriptures like Psalm 139 until it sinks deeply into your spirit.
As you renew your mind in these truths an amazing thing happens—Your emotions will be transformed and your behavior will change! You will begin to walk in a transforming faith with a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
My Prayer to God to Overcome Despair
“Dear Lord, I offer my body to You as a living sacrifice. I choose to make it my ambition to love You with all my heart (Matthew 22:37). I thank You that my offering is pleasing, good and acceptable to You. I give to You my feelings of despair, and I confess and renounce the lies that I have been believing [Name those lies specifically]. I renounce and pull down every stronghold about You and who I am in Christ. I ask Your forgiveness for believing these false beliefs, and I bring these lies to the feet of Jesus. I thank you that your blood cleanses me from these false beliefs. I take authority and break the spirit of despair over my life in the Name of Jesus and in its place, what do You want to give me? [Take time to listen quietly for anything the Lord may be saying to you that replaces the lie with His Truth. i.e. A Scriptural verse, a picture, a gentle thought, etc.]
Teach me to confess Your Word out loud and resist Satan’s lies every day. Help me to renew my mind in Your Truth. Help me to no longer conform to the world system. I choose to not listen to the world’s evaluation of who I am. I choose to listen only to Your evaluation. I can be confident that You have a master plan for my life, and You will complete Your work in me (Philippines 1:6). Jesus, I trust Your leadership in my life. I thank You that I am transformed by the renewing of my mind. I will meditate on Your Word every day. [Meditate on Psalm 139 and pray it out loud to the Lord]. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If this article has helped you, please write to me and tell me what God has done for you at [email protected].
November 24/7 Prayer for the Mediterranean Basis - There are many countries participating in the November on-line House of Prayer. Sign up for a prayer slot and join believers around the world in prayer for Houses of Prayer to start in the cities around the Mediterranean.