God is Light (No Darkness At All) – Let’s Talk About Depression

Godislight

So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, it’s everywhere and everyone ignores it: depression. I think it’s safe to say that by September 17th 2014, most all of us are back in school. (Unless you’re like me and you graduated this spring and are taking a gap year, hooray for being like me! I kid.) A lot of us are in College for the first time, or second time, or maybe you just live there. Some of us are in highschool or middle school or whatever kind of school you may be in (scuba diving school, awesome beard growing school?) and the thing that keeps coming back to me is how much darkness there is. And honestly, it doesn’t matter what kind of school you’re doing. I was homeschooled my entire scholastic years and still, school is hard and, if you’re not careful, can become a huge point of stress in your life. A 2011 poll found that over 29% of all high school students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sex, reported feeling constantly sad, or depressed and some even suicidal.

What I’m saying here is this: there’s a big problem in our schools, even in our own homes, that drives many young people to feeling lost and alone and unable to do what’s expected of them. I think most all of us here at Grafted have felt that feeling at one point or another and me? Well, sometimes I live in that feeling. Even today after graduating highschool, I start each Monday going “OH NO I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH MATH. NO ONE WILL EVER LET ME IN THEIR SCHOOL.” Guys, I literally start sweating when math I don’t know well enough is talked about, it’s a problem.

So what does all of this have to do with light and darkness? A lot, I think.

The verse we picked for September is 1 John 1:5, a personal favorite of mine which says:

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

If we’re in Him (Acts 17:18 “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”) then we can not live in darkness.

That’s an easy thing to say, right? But it’s not so simple. Depression is a disease of the mind, the same as having a bodily injury, it can’t be healed simply by wishing. It is no help to anyone when we simply say “You can overcome depression!!! … With God’s help!!!” to me, that’s the same as saying “You can walk on that broken femur!!! Go on, stand up!!! Don’t you believe in God’s healing touch?”

Depression, for many, is something that never truly leaves your mind, but it doesn’t make you any less loved by God or treasured by Him. As Charles Spurgeon put it:

“The way of sorrow is not the way of sin, but a hallowed road sanctified by the prayers of myriads of pilgrims now with God–pilgrims who, passing through the valley of Baca [lit: of weeping], made it a well, the rain also filled the pools: of such it is written: ‘They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.’

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1881, vol. 27, p. 1595”

Many godly men and women of faith have struggled with depression, C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, and King David to name a few. You, sweetheart, are not alone.

God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

It’s no secret that our schools are dark, in only the past few months there have been multiple school shootings and not to mention the perverted young people promoting sexual immorality and harm to young students. It’s a dark world, friends, that’s a fact we will never get away from. But there does not have to be darkness in your life. The bible says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

We pray for the constant renewal of our minds, that the disease that holds our generation will not set its grip into our hearts, knowing that God will overcome in the final hour. It sounds complicated, but we are living in a spiritual battle. It’s a constant fight between what Satan claimed (and Eve and Adam gave up with their rebellion) and what is rightfully God’s creation and claim. Something I am learning is that the wars we see, both in our minds and hearts and physically, for example right now in Gaza and Israel, is just an effect of the war that’s happening not on earth. God’s will for humanity has never been that we’d have sickness and destruction, His greatest desire is to be worshiped by all nations, his desire for us is that we’d be blessed.

What I’m getting at here with all this, is that depression is not simple. It shouldn’t treated simply. It should be said “just do this!” or “get over yourself!” or any of the hundreds of things that are said about depression that is not said about other problems in our lives. 

Friends, if you are struggling with depression or anxiety, don’t hide it or be ashamed. The way to dispel darkness is to let in light. Tell someone you know and trust or write to us (contact@graftedmagazine.com) here at Grafted and we can talk to you and direct to others with more wisdom (and definitely older wisdom!) who will love you and pray with you. Don’t give in to the lie that you’re abnormal in the kingdom of God. You are unique, yes. But your physical and mental problems and diseases do not define you.

If you’d rather talk to me personally, I check my inbox much more frequently than the Grafted email, imjohannagrace@gmail.com

Much love,

Johanna Schnakenberg

Quotes of Light and Darkness

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

― Anne Frank

John 3:19-21 (KJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

― Plato

Ephesians 5:11 (KJV)
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

“It is often in the darkest

skies that we see the

brightest stars.”

― Richard Evans

1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3 (KJV)
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

- Jesus

“Evil cannot and will not be vanquished by evil. Dark will only swallow dark and deepen. The good and the light are the keenest weapons.”

― Nora Roberts

James 1:13-21 (KJV)
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Exiles of Sin

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Exiles of Sin

As we live, we tend to run into darkness, such as pain and death. They hurt, and are uncomfortable, and we often wonder why God would let such horrible things happen. If you think about it, it makes sense, because we have been exiled from perfection by our acts of sin.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11

Even though we’ve strayed and wandered off, sinned and spit at the out-stretched hand of love and help, God has picked us as a royal priesthood!

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” 1 Peter 2:9

Now that we’ve been saved, and pulled out of darkness, we aren’t allowed to go back to living our sinful lives thinking we will always be safe. We get to praise the One that saved us, and try to lovingly show others the light. We are not to live in darkness, for we are to be a light and call others unto Him!

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 1:22 – 2:3 (KJV)

photo taken by: Catherine Grace

Verses on Prayer

Prayer verses

 

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Acts 1:14 (ESV)
14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Acts 6:4 (ESV)
4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

Romans 10:1 (ESV)
1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Romans 12:12 (ESV)
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

1 Corinthians 7:5 (ESV)
5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self- control.

2 Corinthians 1:11 (ESV)
22 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV)
while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

Philippians 1:4 (ESV)
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

Philippians 1:19 (ESV)
for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Colossians 4:2 (KJV)
2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

1 Timothy 4:5 (KJV)
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

James 5:15-16 (KJV)
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

1 Peter 4:7 (KJV)
7 But the end of all things is at hand:be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.