If I had just one message to share with every person struggling with fear, depression or crippling anxiety, it would be this: God does not take away our problems–rather, he gives us the strength and resources we need to overcome them. When I was battling fear and panic, my greatest victory came with this revelation.
When I was struggling, I waited and waited and waited for God to zap this fear out of me. But, it never came. The longer I waited, the more frustrated I became. The more I prayed, the more I questioned God’s silence. “Where are you, God? Why won’t you help me?”
As I read through the Bible desperately searching for some answers, I noticed a pattern: Noah wasn’t saved from the flood–he was saved through it (Genesis 6-8). The three Hebrew boys were not saved from the fire–they were saved through it (Daniel 3). Jesus wasn’t exempt from temptation–he persevered through it (Matthew 4).
Then, I found this scripture in Isaiah where God is telling his children about the difficulties they’ll face: “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (43:2).
Notice what is said in this verse:
- when you go through…
- when you go through…
- when you walk through…
Yet, God promised them:
- “I will be with you.”
- “You will not drown.”
- “You will not be burned up.
- “The flames will not consume you.”
What are you deep waters? Loneliness, despair, depression? God will be with you. What are your rivers of difficulty? Driving alone, fearful nights, the grocery store? You will not drown.
Reading through the first part of that chapter, I could hear my Father’s gentle, caring voice. You can hear it too. Listen.
- “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (verse 1).
- “I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (verse 3).
- “You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you” (verse 4).
- “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (verse 5).
This week, spend some time with your Father. If you listen carefully with your heart, you will hear his words of love over you. Let his love carry you through the deep waters of depression and through the fiery flames of fear. In Christ, God is with you.
Prayer: Father, help me understand that you did not come into my life to take away my problems. Rather, you have come into my life to give me the strength and resources to rise above them. You have called me not to be an escape artist, but rather an overcomer. Lord, in Christ, I will overcome.