What’s On Your Mind?
So, what’s on your mind these days? Really. We can paint on a smile and play the image management games, but inside we all struggle with our thoughts, our stress, our confusion, our fears. Let’s face it…life is hard. Jesus told us it would be. And the past couple of years have a lot of us mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually at a breaking point. So maybe it would do us all some good to honestly talk about it. To remove any stigma, any embarrassment, any “faking fine,” and as a family open up some life-giving dialogue and invite God to meet us there.
weekend in review
Today we examine sadness and depression expressed in Psalms. We also explore hope and deliverance found in scripture, particularly scripture describing our relationship with our Heavenly Father who loves us and is for us.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are a few potential questions to get the conversation going.
- What is your favorite cure for the blues: TV? Sleep? Food? Exercise? Talk? Prayer? What does it do for you?
- Read Proverbs 13:12. Depression has been described as an emotional winter and a lethal absence of hope. Describe, if you feel comfortable, a time you felt that you were in an emotional winter.
- David was not afraid to be vulnerable before the Lord. What are the benefits of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable?
- Read Psalm 121:1-2. Counseling and therapy are important parts of dealing with depression. Our faith is also an important component and David turned to God in his darkest moments. How quickly do you turn to God when you or someone you love is struggling with depression?
- Read Psalm 102:7 and Psalm 6:2,3,6. List the emotions David is feeling. Have you ever found yourself sick with grief, worried about something or praying for healing, yet not receiving it?
- Mike talked about negative rumination, where we keep turning something over in our minds. Read Psalm 27:1 and 14. How would saying these verses in those times help?
- List three qualities of God that David spoke of in Psalm 27:1.
- Read Psalm 13:1-3. Have you ever been forgotten by someone, maybe someone forgot to pick you up or left you sitting at a restaurant. How did you feel?
- In the above passage, the words “how long” are used 22 times in the Psalms. Here they are used 4 times giving a sense of urgency. What in your life makes you cry out, “How long, O Lord?”
- Gratitude is one of the most powerful practices for treating depression, grief, and all kinds of things. Have you experience this? What happened?
- Read Psalm 40:1-3. Are you good at waiting? How long do you wait before giving up or considering a different path?
- Psalm 46:1-3, 10. What difference does it make to you to know that in the midst of disasters, God is with you to be a refuge and strength, and that it is possible to be still and trust him?
- Read Psalm 23. Which verse is most meaningful to you in this season? Mike suggested that one of the most meaningful things we can do when we are struggling is to stay connected and share a meal. Who in your life needs someone to share a meal with?
- Where do you feel a need for God’s special protection or intervention right now? This week spend time daily thanking God for being your refuge and asking him for protection.
- Start or end each day writing out three things you are grateful for.
- Like Letha and David, maybe you need to cry out to God and humbly acknowledge that no matter what medicine you take, or exercises you do, or people you surround yourself with, at the end of the day, it’s God and God alone who can bring you through this battle with depression and fill your cup.
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Spend time praying for each other. Thank God that because of him you are not alone. Thank him for being for you and not against you. Ask him to help you lean into the truth, that he is our Father who us and wants to lead us to green pastures and still waters and let Him restore your soul.