Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25 NKJ)
The foundation for anxiety and depression is fear.
Now, most Christians don’t have to be reminded that it’s wrong to be fearful because we have heard it over and over again. Yet, in our brokenness and our frailty, we fall short of trusting the Lord in all of our circumstances.
The “what if this happens or that happens, then what” scenarios continue to play over and over in our minds and drown out our trust in the Lord. Right?
The Apostle Paul underlined our struggles when he wrote:
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
Paul answered his question in Romans 8:1.
Many of us have memorized Romans 8:1, but how can we really walk in the truth of not allowing condemnation to derail our lives?
Yes, the Bible exhorts us to pray and study the word. But let’s be honest, this advice fails to move most of us, which brings us back to Paul’s question: “who will deliver us?”
If we’re thinking the answer is going to a church on Sunday, sitting in a pew with 300, 600, 1000 or 8000 other believers, listening to a sermon-lecture and a few prayers, and returning week after week for more of the same, then why aren’t we all delivered from our fear, anxiety and depression as yet?
Maybe we need to look elsewhere.
Did you know that 50% of the members at Alcoholic Anonymous stay sober, another 25% relapse but return, and the other 25% do not remain sober?
Why is Alcoholics Anonymous so successful?
The meetings are small in size and open to all. Everyone is allowed to share what’s on his heart. Success stories – even small successes – are celebrated as victories. There are intense discussions. Each member is paired up with a mentor who helps them through any struggles.
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26 NLT)
Alcoholic Anonymous modeled its meetings after the early home churches. And it works!
Thus, I believe the only way for us to overcome our fear, anxiety and depression is to have small home groups (or home churches) with open formats, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our midst. Members can pray and use their spiritual gifts to help set others free.
The reason I use a bold font to emphasize “with open formats” is that many churches have home groups, but have rigid formats that they follow. This won’t work!
Why is this so important?
I believe America is about to enter into a period of extreme tribulation and confusion that has never been experienced before in our nation’s history. The number of people who suffer from fear, anxiety and depression will multiply off the charts almost over night.
We need to prepare ourselves now.