“We’re in the fire.”
That’s how I described our current life situation when I ran into a couple of friends recently who asked how me and my family were.
“This may go down as our most challenging year ever,” I explained.
“That’s saying a lot given all you two have endured in your 30 years together!” one of them replied.
The other chimed in, “I just don’t know how you do it. You’re one strong woman!”
“I’m really not. I’m no different from either of you. It’s not me doing it, it’s God. I am weak, and I am tired, and I am weary. It’s the prayers of friends, and God’s strength that is getting us through.”
We said goodbye and each headed in our respective directions, but the conversation kept replaying in my mind.
My family and I were no strangers to trials, but in the past couple of years it seemed that they came one right on the heels of another. From burglaries to cancer, to deaths of close friends and family, and even the threat of losing our livelihood. There were some days it truly did seem more than I could bear.
There were moments I wanted God to remove the trial, but generally those were fleeting. What I really wanted was to learn whatever lessons God had for me in the trial so I didn’t have to repeat them again later.
In my private practice, I’m privy to the pain others suffer on a daily basis. When God opens the door, I share with them from my own experience; from the comfort He has given me. That’s where I draw my strength. I don’t know how people find the strength to carry on through some of life’s most difficult trials if they don’t rely on God and His strength. In my own strength, I am weak, but when I set my eyes on Him over and above all my circumstances, relying on Him to be my strength, He gives graciously.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)
Still, there are days that just seem almost too much to handle. What do we do then? I focus on God and the promises He has given in scripture because He has said that His word will not return void without accomplishing what it set out to do!
On those days when I feel particularly weak, I cling to His word that promises He will be my strength and help me through:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:2-3).
“those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
“The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him” (Exodus 15:2).
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving” (Psalm 28:7).
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Where do you find yourself today? Are you just barely hanging on, wondering how you’ll make it? Turn to God and rely on His strength for the day.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.