Years ago, depression and anxiety tried to ruin my life.
But what the enemy meant for evil, God worked for good! I’ve written my story below, and also share￼ it in this video set to the music “Praise You in This Storm”. I choreographed and danced it to tell of God’s goodness and love, and also as a testament to the power of praise and worship. Watch the video then read the story below to learn how God set me free! I pray it will be an encouragement to you, especially during this trying season with the global pandemic.
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” Psalm 30:11
My Story: How I Overcame Anxiety and Depression Through Praise and Worship
When life hurts, when we’re anxious and depressed and the storm clouds are gathering, we typically don’t feel like praising God. Yet this is exactly the time we need to praise him most. Before I share my story, I’d like to give a definition of praise, and briefly highlight some of its powerful benefits.
Anxiety, fear, confusion, doubt, discouragement, try to enter our mind and steal our peace and joy.
So where do we turn for help and relief?
Many of us turn to the news, social media, or google search for help and answers. Sometimes we’re lucky and fall upon some really good advice. But more often than not we become inundated with information and can’t really know what’s accurate. And most of the information we read doesn’t address our deepest need, for inner strength and peace.
Thankfully, there is one true help always available and sure— GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
Take a moment and meditate on Psalm 121. May God’s Word strengthen your heart, comfort your soul, and fill you with indescribable peace.
Do we go for a nature walk, soak in a bubble bath, practice deep breathing, eat chocolate, and so on?
Certainly, these can offer a measure of calm. But they lack the power to pull our souls up from deep despair. Only God can do that.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:2
God is strong and powerful, ruler over all the earth. So it’s to him we turn for peace in times of trouble. God’s peace is like a strong, powerful, mighty warrior standing guard at the entrance of our heart and mind. It’s what protects our soul when fear tries to steal our joy and wreak havoc in our mind.
So how do we receive God’s peace when storms are raging around and within us?
Well, it’s not by osmosis. It takes intentionality and practice, prayer and praise, and capturing unruly thoughts. Mostly, it takes a willingness to obey God’s Word.
That said, I’ve gathered 10 powerful keys (taken from Philippians 4:8-9) to receiving God’s peace. They’ve been an incredible encouragement to me. I pray they will comfort and guard your heart and mind as you put them into practice:
When storms comes, be strong and trust in God’s faithful promises and everlasting love for you!
With all the troubling news out there regarding Coronavirus, the flu, and natural disasters such as the recent tornado in Tennessee—we can easily become discouraged and fearful, and even feel helpless. We are all prone to such emotions. That said, we must never forget that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). He has also given us many wonderful and powerful tools to protect ourselves and our families, both emotionally and physically.
Here are 7 positive, powerful, practical, and proactive things we can do to help us weather life’s storms and overcome:
Beloved of God, let not your heart be troubled. Look up! Lift your eyes above all the chaos and noise and discouraging news updates. Look to God. Trust him with all your heart. Talk to him continually. Hold fast to his faithful promises and love for you, and find peace…
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3).
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Pawz and Pray,
Sweet Jesus, help me to lift my thoughts above all the disquieting things around me. Help me to center my thoughts on you, and find peace. Amen.