My vision is horrible. When I take my glasses off, I can barely see the nose in front of my face. Literally! In fact, my doctor tells me that I have 20/500 vision. In other words, what a normal person clearly sees at 500 feet, I can only see at 20 feet. That's pretty bad vision. If I'm not wearing my glasses, I simply cannot trust what I think I see. Everything is fuzzy, distorted, and unfamiliar. Without the proper "focus," my perception of reality is warped.
On a psychological and spiritual level, the same holds true. We don't see things accurately at times. Our past experiences, hurts, personalities, and spiritual maturity affect our perception of reality. For some, this distortion is mild. For others, it is moderate to severe. Recognizing your tendency to see through a "glass darkly" (1 Corinthians 13:12) is a critical step to psychological and spiritual maturity.
This especially holds true if you are struggling with depression. In fact, depressed people fail to recognize that they are trapped by their own misconceptions. They tell themselves lies, such as:
There Is No Hope I'll Never Feel Better I Can't Change Nobody Likes Me I'm a Victim I Can't Take the Hurt I Can't Trust Anyone I'm Not Good Enough
These thoughts trigger deep and dark feelings. They would for anyone. I told myself those lies for many years. Over time, I realized they did me no good. Ultimately, they only perpetuated my depression and my negative thinking. In addition, they affected my success in life, work, and relationships. When we have a distorted vision of reality, we can't help but feel depressed, alone, and ineffective.
We all know that life is difficult - as I mentioned in my previous post. But it's how we respond to difficulties in life that determines our well-being. It always amazes me how two people can experience the same exact trial, but respond differently. One becomes sullen, angry, or sad, but the other accepts it, deals with it, and moves on.
That doesn't mean that you should ignore the pain. However, you need to run everything through a "God filter." The things you tell yourself make all of the difference in the world. It's through your belief in God that you are saved - not just eternally, but in this world as well. He saves you from yourself if you give yourself to him.
Facing trials is never easy, but if you are to rise above them, you can't succumb to despair. Countless people in the Bible, throughout history, and in our day have experienced terrible trials. The fact is, true joy is not found in the absence of trials, but in your ability to handle them with a godly vision.
When you're in that dark place, and your vision is shadowy, remind yourself of the truth. Here are 10 the things I tell myself whenever I encounter trials. Like most people, this happens on a regular basis.
Believe That He Has a Hope and Future for You (Jeremiah 29:11) God Is Able to Fully Understand You (Hebrews 4:15) Think about Good Things - Things That Are True (Philippians 4:8) Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World (John 16:33) Even Though Life Is Painful, We Are More Than Conquerors (Romans 8:37) God Is Fighting for You, Trust Him (2 Chronicles 20:15) Find Refuge in God, Clinging to His Truth (Isaiah 41:10) Calm Down. It's Not All Up to You (Philippians 4:6-7) God Is on Your Side Even When You Fail (Hebrews 7:25) Find a Few Things to Be Thankful for, Really Thankful (Hebrews 12:28)
Trials are not fun, but facing them with a godly perspective changes everything. Visit my Christian blog for more articles about faith, healing, and recovery.
About the Author: Tim lives in Saint Augustine, Florida with his wife and four kids. He has a master's degree in psychology and in Christian Counseling. Tim has a deep belief that God is the source of all healing, and that He has empowered each of us to experience victorious living. By sharing his own life experiences along with scriptural truths, he takes you on a path to finding joy and true living again.