Wars between countries, people, and governments are very common. The war between political parties and differing points of view are even more common (and annoying). But the most common type of war is also the one most hidden. It is a war without bloodshed and physical battle. You will hear no gunshots or witness battle wounds. You will not shield your eyes as it flashes on the news because it is never featured on the news. This war is hidden. This war is camouflaged. This war is inside of us.
Although not open to public viewing, there are wars going on in our minds constantly. The war between doubt and faith. Between strength and weakness. Between eating the donut or the broccoli. Little wars like these seem to be just that: little. However, to each person, they are different, and much more hard to deal with. Some battle the war of self-doubt and confidence each day when they wake up and look into the mirror. Others are fighting off the negative thoughts that are swirling around in the depths of their brain. A common application of the word “battle” is applied to depression, and I have seen people battle it with all of their might. Some of these battles, like the broccoli battle, can be won simply by an increase of self restraint and willpower to not pick up the donut.
The most beautiful part about internal wars is the victory that can be reached. It takes a combination of all of you to succeed: heart, mind, and soul. But sometimes, you just can’t win. There is nothing more you can do, and that is when Jesus comes in.
Believe it or not, those internal battles aren’t yours to win. You don’t get to be victorious or have your right fist lifted high as the winner. Those battles against depression, anxiety, and fear are not going to be won by you alone. Jesus already won those battles, over 2,000 years ago. God placed Him on Earth to teach people about God and be a living example of Him. After all, He is God. He taught that the pure source of unending joy and peace is found in the Lord. Jesus never told anyone to have fear or to be worried. The Bible teaches that Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-27, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Many people say that there is no “cure” for things like anxiety, depression, etc. I rebuke that. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus does not want us drowning in despair or constantly overwhelmed by anxious thought. Those are the thieves, and Jesus came to set us free from them. Unlike pills or prescriptions from doctors here on Earth, God’s effect lasts much longer than just a few hours or days. If we surrender ourselves to Him, cry out to Him, telling Him we need Him, He is faithful and just to sweep in and help you to stand when you no longer can.
I am fully convinced that God is happy when we are happy…because we are His children. Picture any father with children. When his kids are sad or hurt, the dad is most likely mad and feels hurt as well. One of my favorite pastors, Andy Stanley, once said, “When you hurt one of my kids, you hurt me. But one of the best things you can do for me is to do something nice for my kids.” This is how our Heavenly Father sees us, too. What dad wants his kids to be sad, depressed, or anxious? With a good fatherly instinct, dads are going to reach out and help their son or daughter, as soon as that child comes and tells them what help they need.
I find that people feel like their condition or disorder defines them and becomes a part of them, but it does not have to be that way. We are called to surrender the things that cripple us…the things that tear at our hearts and minds. We can lay them down at our Father’s feet and say, “Here I am, Lord. I cannot do this anymore, but I know that you can.” Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” God is waiting for us to seek Him for help and guidance, not more medicine and counselors. While these can be of great help, they are not as great as the Great I Am. They will not make you eternally victorious from the wars that rage on inside of you, only God can do that.
There is good news for anyone in search of relief from anxiety, depression, or fear. There is good news for anyone who desires complete joy, contentment, and fulfillment. His name is Jesus. There is even more good news…the hidden war is no match for the Prince of Peace.