God’s vision for you!

Author: Voice Of God Ministry  //  Category: Youth Life

Clinical depression is a serious illness, with various physical, mental and social symptoms, which can incapacitate people. The levels of certain chemicals in the brain can contribute to the problem. Those suffering from severe or chronic depression should seek specialized counseling and medical guidance in addition to applying the biblical tools mentioned in this response.

Depression, in more everyday terminology, usually refers to periods of unusual sadness, of prolonged fear or worry, or of feeling overwhelmed by stress or distress. The immediate response is often to forget past successes, to feel hopeless, vulnerable and to want to quit. No Christian is immune.

On occasion even some of the great men in the Bible suffered from depression. After a string of miracles and a long, close relationship with God, the prophet Elijah became prey to depression when Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him.

Elijah was tired following a long period of stress, and this probably exacerbated his sense of discouragement and hopelessness. Nonetheless, God did not want him to remain in this condition. In a quiet, compassionate way, God explained to Elijah what he could not see in his irrational state—that he was not alone and that God would continue to support him in the work he had to do. Read about Elijah’s recovery in 1 Kings 19:1-18

The book of Proverbs has much to say on depression and worry and offers useful guidance (see Proverbs 12:25 ; 13:12; 15:13; 18:14). In Luke 12:22-31

Jesus Christ explained the futility of worry, a trait that often leads to depression. In verse 28 He highlighted one aspect of the problem when He referred to His disciples as “you of little faith.”

For a Christian, depression (again, the more typical variety, not the physiological malady) sometimes may be an outgrowth of lack of faith in God. It would be easier for Christians if, following water baptism and the laying on of hands for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, we could all be immediately filled with faith, love and patience. But it doesn’t happen that way. Instead, God expects us to develop these characteristics through experiences and even trials, just as we learn obedience to His law.

Christians should not remain in a depressive state. As God dealt with Elijah in the Old Testament, so He deals with Christians today through Jesus Christ. By His own suffering while here on earth, Jesus learned compassion for His people (Hebrews 4:14-16)

He knows that we are weak and prone to fears, doubts and worry that can lead to depression. But He is always there to help when we are overburdened and promises to give us rest (Matthew 11:28-30

In practical terms, is there anything we can do when anxiety, worry or depression threaten to engulf us? There is, but it takes mental effort and it often means noticing potential problems before they take hold.

The apostle Paul instructs us to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). When a fearful thought or a worry first enters your head, pray to God and ask Him for His help to dispel it. Do not give it either time or space to implant itself in your mind. This may be easier said than done at first, but with God’s help, it does begin to work.

Prayer is a vital way of drawing close to God—as is the study of Scripture. Indeed, the Bible and its promises will help us to build faith. Paul pointed out that faith comes through hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17) Paul also admonishes us, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

As Christians, we should be familiar with the promises God has made to us. Remember the great love the Father and Jesus Christ have shown us by providing a way by which we can be rescued from our sins. Meditating on these things can bring us comfort in times of sorrow. Read scriptures such as John 3:16-17

Luke 12:32 ,, Romans 8:18-39, and Revelation 21:1-7

Try actively imagining what the coming 1,000-year reign of Christ will be like or the New Jerusalem in the eternal age beyond. Scriptures such as Isaiah 11:6-9

, 35:1-10 and Revelation 21-22 may help here. You could even imagine yourself being there. However, we should never lose sight of present reality.

Always ask God the Father and Jesus Christ for their help. But also tap into the support of other Christians. Having someone whom you can phone, e-mail or text can be a valuable help. Maybe a friend could contact you from time to time, just to let you know you are not alone.

If you have Sabbath services in your area, go along and meet people. Get involved in something that does not add further stress or anxiety, but that improves your life. Physical activities such as jogging,

Walking, ballroom dancing, swimming and team sports can all help. Another huge help is to get involved in helping others. Doing so can help get our minds off of our own problems as we focus on serving others.

Do not become discouraged if you cannot overcome depression or worry all at once. As the apostle Peter wrote, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).Climbing out of depression can be likened to trying to climb out of a slippery pit. We can set off with good intentions and then slide back in. It’s a long journey, but we must keep at it with God’s help. Christians are those growing to be like Christ, and we all still have much to learn.

In God’s master plan everyone is created with many things in common. Yet each is distinct from any other human being.

God has a great plan, a vision. And that vision includes you. Yes, it does, or you would not be here. You are special. You are different from anyone else. The great Creator God personally designed and made you that way. Therefore, you have a contribution to offer that no one else can make.

It is said that the difference between a chump and a champ is dedication, and dedication demands purpose, faith and vision-daily vision.

Having vision means being able to visualize. Visualizing is the beginning of fulfilled vision. When we think of an apple, we see it in our mind’s eye.

Christians have vision and are able to dream the impossible dream. A man or woman of vision (of faith) fully believes the impossible dream is possible. I believe in this type of vision. How about you?

God’s master plan

In God’s master plan everyone is created with many things in common with everyone else. Yet each person is distinct from any other human being.

In God’s sight you are not a washout. You are not a complete failure. You are not a hopeless sinner. God says you are worth having. You are worth loving. God’s greatest physical creation is you.

Accept this fact: You have value and are not inferior to anyone. Different.Yes, wonderfully different. Remember, you are God’s idea; and He never makes a mistake. You were not made to be exactly like any other person. But each of us was made for a purpose. God had a vision about you and has a vision for you. If you don’t know God’s present and ultimate vision for you personally, right now, let me share it with you.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17) The apostle Paul summarizes God’s will and vision for all humanity in a nutshell: “. . . God our Savior . . . desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-40)

God, through His Son Jesus Christ, reveals the knowledge of truth Paul is referring to: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17)

That is God’s vision prepared and outlined for mankind, including you. It is the offering of, and the way to, eternal life in the kingdom of God: “That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:15). “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29) Revealing! Exciting! Awesome!

But is such a thing really possible? Maybe you are skeptical. Well, so were some of Jesus’ disciples. “But Jesus looked at them and said, `With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible'” (Mark 10:27). There’s the answer. Jesus said all things are possible to him who really believes they are possible, and according to God’s will.

In Acts 2:38-39 the apostle Peter outlines the process, the steps, to begin fulfilling God’s vision for you. “Then Peter said to them, `Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.'”

Christ then begins to live within you through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:27); Ephesians 3:16-17

In the book of Romans, God continues to explain His personal vision for you, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11)

.In subsequent verses He nails down in detail His ultimate purpose and vision for you: your magnificent destiny, why you were born. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14

Hard to believe, but true. Your destiny envisioned by the Creator God is to become His very own son or daughter. His child. His family, His heirs. Read on in Romans 8:16-17

: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ . . .” There is not, nor can there be, a greater hope or destiny.

Are you being called?

Will you act to fulfill God’s vision for you? Those called now are invited to be living examples of a better way, a richer and fuller life. You are called to the joy of sharing God’s vision for mankind with others, called to be trendsetters in high moral values and conduct, in physical and spiritual integrity. You are called to leadership through service, called to son ship. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12) The Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, does change lives, and for the better. Christians, bought and paid for by the death and blood of Christ, have been wonderfully invited by God to join Him in His vision for mankind. In baptism, we covenant with Him and fully dedicate our lives to His purpose for us.

In Matthew 20:26-28

Jesus said, “…But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

While still in this life, your opportunity is “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Wherever you are, work every day to be the best person you can be, doing the best you can do with what you have to do with, to the glory of God.

Yes, this is your destiny, God’s vision for you!

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