Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's Good for a Spirit of Heaviness?

Recently, I spent some time with a Christian woman who battles a spirit of heaviness. As she shared some of the things that troubled her (physical, emotional, and social issues), I could understand why she'd be depressed! In fact, I began to take on her mood. How could I help her?

Sometimes there's nothing we can do but listen . . . and mourn with those who mourn. And that may be just exactly what they need. However, other effective ways to help include:
  • Encouraging them to get professional help for physical and emotional issues,
  • Offering helpful feedback (especially when asked),
  • Loving them unconditionally,
  • Pointing them back to God,
  • Giving them a crown of beauty and a garment of praise.
Crown of beauty? Garment of praise? What's with that? It's a prescription from Isaiah 61 against a spirit of despair. Speaking of his role as messenger of God (and that's what you are when you minister in God's name to someone who is hurting), Isaiah said:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted . . .
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
~Isaiah 61:1-3

Sometimes the only way to comfort a mourning believer is to remind her that God knows all about her situation, that He loves her and wants only the best for her, that He is working everything out in the way only He can. For that, she can praise God. And in praising God, she is comforted. 

Can you share a time when you found comfort in praising God?

No comments:

Post a Comment