Breathe Truth through
While the One-Percent Solution can include lots of practical things, such as self-care, I think the single most effective thing we can do to feel better is change our thoughts. So along with identifying trash talk in our heads, we need to start filling our minds with truth until it becomes as natural as breathing.
Start with God’s truth as found in the Bible.
When I feel a depression cycle moving in, I immediately begin spending more time in God’s Word. Not only is it a comforting lifeline for me, it also fills my mind with God’s truth to help dislodge the lies that seek to make depression worse.
Read the Bible. Listen to the Bible. Mark your favorite verses. Make a list of verses you find comforting or challenging during times of depression. Memorize verses, if you can. Or, if you’re like me and find memorizing difficult, especially with the fog of depression, then summarize a verse or two into a concise affirmation of truth.
Use these affirmations to declare God’s truth to yourself all day, every day until the depression lifts. Speak them out loud at least three times a day. Write one or two on a card to keep in your pocket to remind you of important truths.
Here are some examples of biblical affirmations:
God continues His work in my life, even when I’m depressed.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).
God is changing the way I think, giving me an outlook that is good, pleasing, and perfect.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Be patient with this period of darkness, keep praying your way through it, and rejoice in the hope for a better tomorrow.
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying” (Romans 12:12).
God sees me as whole, not broken.
“So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (Colossians 2:10).
God sees who I will become in the future. I am not stuck in this place. By God’s grace, I will move forward.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16).
These are examples to get you started, but it’s important to make your own biblical affirmations. For one thing, you’ll remember them because it will be something the Lord spoke to your heart about. Making it personal helps make it permanent.
Ask the Lord to show you meaningful passages of Scripture. When God highlights a verse for you, take time to reword it into a custom-made affirmation of truth.
Before you set this aside, take a moment to practice. Look up one (or all) of these verses and try to write your own biblical affirmation:
2 Corinthians 1:9
By affirming God’s truth, we loosen the grip of the lies we believe. Try to create a biblical affirmation each day, or at least three a week as God opens your eyes to truth. Write them in a small notebook, on notecards, or in a computer file. Keep it handy to refer to several times a day as you grow.
Think of it this way: any skill you learn takes practice. Changing your thoughts is no different. You’ll need to practice these new thoughts until they become automatic. All of a sudden, you’ll look back and realize how far you’ve come. Growth happens that way.
May God bless you as you endeavor to make small adjustments in your life, and especially your thoughts. One percent at a time. You’ll get better and the cloud of depression will dissolve.
The above text is from week 3 of Push Back Depression: Experience Daily Improvement for Depression. This 21-day workbook focuses on one topic per week:
The One-Percent Solution for Depression
Take Out the Trash in Your Mind
Breathe Truth through Biblical Affirmations
Each week includes seven days of Scripture, biblical affirmations, and simple exercises to help you apply the concepts to your situation.