Mental Health – Learn How to Encourage Ourselves in the Lord
James 3:10, NKJV
Control our conversations and we will control our situation.
Our conversations with ourselves could be called Mood Managers or Mood Monsters. Out of the same internal conversations we produce both blessings and curses. King David felt forgot and that God had turned His back on him. (Psalm 13:1-6, NCV)
Just because you are having a self-talk does not mean you are having the right talk. Depression will make us feel alone and nobody can help us; we feel even the Lord has abandoned us.
Way too many of us are waiting on God’s confirmation, when we can have peace by God’s promises and presence now! We need to learn to turn our crying into praying God’s promises back to Him.
Optimist tend to not get depressed as pessimist:
Pessimist tend to have lots of negative automatic thoughts.
Filtering: Is where the individual filters out all the positives and sees only the negative.
Catastrophizing: Is where the individual extrapolates all or most situations to the worst scenario, which leads to not doing something we need to do to avoid the risk of failure or humiliation.
Help: Is to think positively, we have to monitor our self-talk and begin to alter the negativity.
Examples of healthy Self-Talk
Woman who suffered with issue of blood for 12 years: Her self-talk changed her life forever. (Matthew 9:20-22, TEV) Our situations can change but we have to be the one change it. David encouraged himself in the Lord by having internal conversation replacing the worry, stress, darkness, with the lights of God’s Word and Promises. (1 Samuel 30:6, KJV)
How can we better encourage ourselves in the Lord?
We must become aware of internal dialogue or internal conversations. We have to become aware of what mood we are in and why. Our conversations greatly determine the situation.
Action steps: Never Again List
I agree: Never again will I confess fear. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)
I agree: Never again will I confess that “I can’t”. (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)
I agree: That all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NKJV)
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:00 Morning Journey Church. Amen? Well, we are kind of going to be talking about mental health issues, which really is not talked about too much in church. Amen? But the truth is, at our church, you could say, I have mental health issues. You’ve got mental health issues. We all have mental health issues. It’s just a matter of how bad we have them. And with Christmas coming, sometimes our anxieties overcome our joy. We’re just going to scratch the surface. I really don’t think you can preach a message that would deal with mental health issues. I think what we do is try to just get some handles on how to better handle it. People say, what causes that? Well, there’s so many things you don’t know. Sometimes I believe there’s everything from the environment, what’s in the environment today, to food, to drugs, to alcohol, to your genes. Every little, everything that comes into play. The sermon will not deal with the issues that just hopefully give you some things to better handle it.
James Greer: 01:09 I always say, if you’re on medication, which most people are, don’t forget to have meditation as well as medication. Amen? I know recently somebody that was really right with the Lord, I mean better than almost anybody I know. They just, they were right with God. They were right with people. And yet they were just really struggling with depression and some bad thoughts in their life and got them to the doctor and they got on some of the right medication. And, and right now they’re doing really well. I know somebody else who was really struggling with some depression and wouldn’t had some testing done and they told him that he didn’t need to be on any medication. They had do a little bit of exercise and take some vitamins and now they’re doing great. I don’t believe there’s this one answer. I believe it’s physical. I believe it’s emotional. I believe it’s spiritual. I believe that we’re at least tracheotomy. I believe we’re body, soul and spirit. I mean, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it says that, take care of your spirit, soul and body. And so we have to learn to treat all three. I should have a handout today that I changed the message and I know deb upstairs was excited and welcome to Alexandria campus. Amen?
James Greer: 02:34 About six o’clock this morning, I text, I sent this to Darryl, and Darryl’s hopefully had a chance to run a copy out of it. And it says anxiety and worry worksheet. Because I know that when you leave every Sunday, usually forget 80% of everything that I preach. So, I thought if I could give you a worksheet and we might work through that this morning, you’ll have something to take home with you. Because everybody at some time or another will struggle with some anxieties. Amen? I mean, there’s millions and millions of people, including Christians that struggle with mental health issues in a depression and anxiety to only say a few of them. And today you’re going to see David, a man after God’s own heart, and David would often struggle with depression and anxiety. The Psalmist said in Psalms 94:18,19, David speaking, he said, I’m falling. He said, but you’re consistent love oh God help me up. Then he said, listen, whenever I’m anxious, whenever I have anxiety and worry, God, you comfort me and you make me glad. Now here’s an insight that I want you to get. Now I’m going to tell you over and over and over, it’s probably the key to the whole thing.
James Greer: 04:04 David would acknowledge his problem, but then he would accept the help, and there’s a big insight. Because so many people that struggle with anxiety and depression will acknowledge the problem but won’t accept the help. And so if you, if you just simply acknowledge the problem and you don’t accept the help, that’s not fair to you. And it’s not fair to God. God has integrity, God has character. God says, cast all your cares on me cause I care for you. So when you acknowledge the problem, make sure you’re willing to accept the help. Not help can be from God. Of course, it may be from doctors, of course, it may be from counselors of course, but don’t simply acknowledge the problem without accepting the help. That is totally unacceptable.
James Greer: 04:51 First thing you do, and I know you want to hear this because it’s such a Christian cliché. When you pray when you’re going through anxiety, but in Philippians 4 it tells you why. In Philippians 4:6 it says, be anxious for nothing. In other words, you’re going to have anxiety, but he’s saying don’t live a continual life of anxiety. Then it says because in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. If you had paraphrase it, got to say, you’re going to have times of anxiety. I don’t want you to live in anxiety. I want you to learn to have prayer and supplication. It’d be thanksgiving. Now that God’s word is inspired. Amen? But, I believe not only God’s word is inspired, I believe the order of God’s word is inspired.
James Greer: 05:56 See, a big part of dealing with anxiety is learning to train your mind. You ready to be thankful for what you have. Because, if you have the gene and I’m learning, I just went through a DNA, an hour of a DNA seminar, that if you have the gene of anxiety and depression, your mind will all automatically be drawn to the negative. It will be drawn to the negative state of the positive. So, you have to train your mind to be thankful for what you have and see. So when I read this, I thought, man, God, you are ahead of the doctors. Now the doctors are learning that you have to train your mind to do that, and so God’s words and you’re going to have times that you’re going to be anxious. You’re going to have anxiety. When you have anxiety, train your mind to start being thankful for what you have. It may not come natural. So, you have to say God overcome the gene or the drawl to be negative and learn to be thankful for what God’s given you.
James Greer: 07:01 In other words, acknowledge the problem, except the help. And only then verse seven said, then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. You don’t have to understand it. Well, guard your heart and your mind through Jesus Christ. It says, one of the things you have to learn to do is guard, protect. Uh, what goes into your mind, your thought pattern. It’s a fortress. You almost have to build a fortress around your mind and you have to do it over and over and over again. Then you to ask God to guide you and direct you. There there’s a prayers that you can pray. You can say something like, I come to you as a child purchasing the blood of Jesus Christ. I declare my dependence upon you, oh God. I acknowledge my need for you. I know apart from Christ I can do nothing.
James Greer: 08:03 You know my thoughts. You know my intent and my heart. You know, the situation that I’m in. You know the beginning and the end. I feel though I’m double-minded now. I know that your peace guards with my heart and my mind. I humble myself before you, God. I choose to trust you and exalt me in the proper time that you choose. I place my trust in you. Supply all my needs according to your riches. You guide me in all truth. I ask you for your divine guidance so that I may fulfill my calling. Search me oh God, know my heart. Try me, for all my anxious thoughts. See if there’s any hurtful ways in me. You’ve got to just talk to God. The Psalmist said in 139:23 says, search me. O God. Know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties. Know my anxiousness. David said, just know it, and see if there’s any wicked way in me. So, the first thing you do is pray. But the second thing you do, you’re ready.
James Greer: 09:09 Settle any personal and spiritual conflict. Unresolved conflict causes anxiety. Amen? When I have unresolved conflict, I have this unbelievable anxiety. It can be with my wife, it can be with the employee, it can be somebody at church. So many times at church, or I’ll have a conflict with somebody that I have anxiety too, until I get back and sometimes we’ll just call each other and say, are you okay? I’m okay. You okay? But when we don’t, I have had anxiety and I can’t control what somebody else does, but I can control what I do. I, I’ve had conflict with people and even when I tried to settle it, they didn’t want to settle it. But, after I tried to do my best, then God would give me peace about it. And so don’t go with unsettled conflict.
James Greer: 10:12 There’s also a spiritual conflict. 1 Timothy 4:1 says this, now the spirit expressly says in the later times, listen, some will depart from the faith. They’re giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. In other words, what is saying is you’ve got to be very careful. Don’t be double minded and paying attention to deceiving spirits. There’s God’s spirit and there’s deceiving spirits. They’ll come into you like light, but they’re really darkness. And they’ll deceive you. They’ll bring confusion. They’ll bring fear. They’ll bring doubt, that doesn’t come from God. God’s not a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. So, don’t let the deceiving spirit come into your life. James 1:8 says, don’t be double-minded. Don’t be unstable. Double-minded person will pay attention if you’re not careful to deceiving spirits. I mean the world today is confusing. The world is trying to pull you away from God. The media is trying to deceive you. You’ve got to be really holy spirit perceptive what you’re going into your mind. You need to have the presence of God, to have the peace of God. Settle your conflict, settle it spiritually, settle it personally.
James Greer: 11:51 Third state, the real problem. If you’re having anxiety, your mind is running away with some problem. State the real problem. A problem well stated is halfway solved. Ask yourself, will this problem really matter in eternity? You just eliminated 90% of the problems. Half the problems I get anxiety over is not going to matter in eternity. Itself. You ready? I have whole lot of self-imposed pressure, problem and anxiety, but when I don’t state it, it builds up, it’s false and it’s deceiving. So, what are you really struggling with right now, that is going to really matter in eternity? State it. Forth, divide the facts from assumption. This is so important. I’m telling you all Journey Church you all. It’s not what we want from you today it’s what we want for you. We’re trying to give you something that you can take home and you can use it over and over and over again. Some of you all are going to be struggling with anxiety, with Christmas coming and anxiety leads to depression.
James Greer: 13:20 A particular trait, and I got to see it in medical terms. There are certain genes they can now track your genes in your mind and some of the genes have a tendency to always assume the worst. It’s called filtering and it you filter out the good in you and focus on the worst. The assumption is to instead of accepting the truth you focus on that and it brings unlimited anxiety. You make the presumption about tomorrow. You start worrying about tomorrow and so you suffer negative consequences. Proverbs 12:25 says, anxiety, worry in the heart of a man causes what? What does worry and anxiety cause? Now, I want to tell you upfront there is spiritual depression and there’s a chemical imbalance of depression. So, don’t ever let anybody simply tell you if you’d get right spiritually, you wouldn’t be depressed. That’s not true. But there’s multitudes of people that are depressed because of spiritual also. You’re not dealing with the things that I’m talking about. You’re letting your anxiety lead to your depression.
James Greer: 14:39 You’re worried about tomorrow, which you cannot control. Matthew 6:34 says, don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow worry about itself is sufficient. Another one says, don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care them more and he’s going to take care of today. He tells us to quit worrying about tomorrow. Let’s just worry about Sunday today. Amen? Let’s just have a great day in the Lord today. Amen? I mean, you could do that. Just enjoy today. You can’t control tomorrow. Amen? You don’t even know if you’re going to be here tomorrow. Amen? And that’s what God’s trying to tell you. Let’s enjoy today. God’s going to take care of you today.
James Greer: 15:28 Fifth, determine what you have the right or ability to control. Now, this is tricky. You’re responsible only for which you have the right inability to control. Your sense of worth is tied only to what you have, you’re responsible for, but on the other hand, don’t try to cast your responsibility or God, he’ll give it back to you. There’s a lot of people instead accepting their responsibility to get up, to go to work, to do what they’re supposed to. I’m casting all my responsibility on God, that’s not what it says. It says, cast all your cares on God. You get up and get your butt to work. Amen? So, that’s not what it says. So you can’t cast your responsibilities on God and then say, well, I’m just so anxious. No, no. You go to work and do the best you can. Then you let God take care of everything else. When you’re doing the best you can then let God do everything else. That’s what he’s saying. You cast all your cares on God. Listen to this, God’s integrity’s at stake on taking care of you. His character’s at stake of taking care of you. He said, cast all your cares on me because I care for you.
James Greer: 16:43 Sixth, list what your real responsibilities are. You need to commit yourself to being personally responsible for your called to, which you’re obligated for. Seven, the rest is God’s responsibility. If you continue to have unbelievable anxiety after you’ve done all these, is probably do, you ready? For you assuming responsibility that God never intended on you having. One of the greatest reasons we have anxiety as Christians now
James Greer: 17:26 is we’re assuming responsibility that God never intended on us having. That God said, I want to take care of that, and you’re saying, no, I’m going to take care of it. So God said, quit doing it. So, I’m going to read Philippians 4 and then I’m going to give a real summary of my message that I was going to preach, but I want you all to have this. I want you to have something you could take. Philippians 4:6 says, be anxious for nothing. Don’t live in a state of anxiety, but in everything prayer and supplication, practice be in thankfulness. Let your request be made known unto God. Tell God was boggling you. The peace of God will surpass all your understanding, but you’ve got to guard your heart and your mind through Jesus Christ.
James Greer: 18:13 But then finally, my brothers that are saved, think on different things. Think on what’s true. Think on what’s noble. In other words, train your mind what you’re thinking or think on good things, pure things, lovely things, think on whatever things, if there’s good report, virtue, praise worthy, meditate. I told you medication and meditation. Think on these things. God said, listen, I want you to train what you think on and it will change the mood that you are in. Okay? All that was a worksheet. Everybody say Amen? All right, you all ready to rock on? Turn it on. Turn it on. Turn it on.
James Greer: 18:51 James 3:10 we were going through two messages in 23 minutes. You all can handle it. Somebody said you all rocking. Huh? You all know what to do when you have anxiety? You got a worksheet. Amen? Alright, you can take it home and I promise you will need it. If you don’t need it today, you’ll need it Monday because we’ve got a lot of people at our church that have a lot anxiety. Don’t act like you don’t have it.
James Greer: 19:14 A lot of it is brought on by your pastor. Hey man, I know. Okay, let’s go. James 3:10 says, out of the same mouth proceed both blessings and curses. Oh my brother that shouldn’t be like that. You’ve got to learn to control the conversation and you’ll control the situation. But, the conversation I’m talking about, not the conversation with other people, I’m talking about the conversation you have with yourself. The conversation you have with yourself is way more important than the conversation you have with other people. You have to learn to control the conversation. It’s an internal conversation that brings both blessings and curses. David in the Bible, greatly understood this. In fact, let me tell you what David, who wrote Psalms, most of Psalms. He was the one that went from a shepherd to a King. Amen? David was the one when everybody else was afraid to fight Goliath. He said, I’ll fight him. David, not only fought Goliath, he killed Goliath. David became the King. What you don’t know about David is, David struggled with anxiety and depression. David struggled with many, many mental health issues. He struggled sometimes with God being far from him, but yet the Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart.
James Greer: 20:52 Because of time. I’d like to read through Psalms 13:1-6, David speaking, he says, how long will you forget me, Lord? How long? Forever will you forget me? In other words, he said, how long have you turned your back on me? Are you? Are you going to do it forever? How long? How long? Listen, how long must I worry? I feel sad in my heart all day. He’s saying, then how long am I going to worry? How long am I going to have anxiety? How long am I going to be depressed? How long am I going to feel sad in my heart? Is it going to be all day? And then he keeps saying, how long? How long are my enemies going to win over me? Do you think David’s having a bad day or what? Amen? You ever felt like that? God, where are you at? God, what are you doing? I feel sad in my heart. I feel like the enemies are going to win over me. He’s crying. He’s pleading with God. Verse three says, Lord, look at me. Answer me my God. Tell me or I’m going to die. He’s struggling, isn’t he? I mean he’s pleading with God. Verse four he says, otherwise my enemy is going to say they’ve won. Those against me are going to rejoice. I’ve been defeated. I mean he feels like he’s about to give up. He’s been defeated. He’s crying out to God. He’s telling God what the problem is. He’s telling him how depressed he is. He is telling him how discouraged he is. He feels that God has abandoned him.
James Greer: 22:29 God has not spoken yet. Look at the next verse, verse that you ready? I trust in your love. My heart is happy because you saved me. How in the world do you go from how long? God, where are you at? My heart is sad. God you have you abandoned me. Can you hear me? My enemy’s going to defeat me. God did not speak. What happened? How do you go from acknowledging all your problems to saying, God, I trust you. You love me. My heart’s happy. Because he changed from what he felt to what he knew. He changed from acknowledging how he felt to accepting God’s help. God didn’t speak, David changed to saying, Hey, I’m going to accept your promise. I’m gonna accept your presence. I’m going to claim your promise and I’m going to tell you every single day God has promises. He’s in your presence, and even though we can acknowledge our problems, God said, I want you to accept my help. And there’s people here today, that came in that you need to acknowledge your problems, but God says, I want you to know, I want you to trust in my love. I want you to have a happy heart. I want to save you. I want to deliver you. I want you to have victory. I want you have a health. I want you to have happiness. Verse six says, I’m going to sing to my Lord. You know, because he has taken care of me. Golly, isn’t that wonderful?
James Greer: 24:04 He was honest and comfortable enough to tell God how he felt, but he was smart enough and wise enough to turn his crying into claiming God’s promises. He went, he went from crying to claiming, to praising, to thanking God. You ready? Many people are waiting on God. Truth is, in most cases, God’s waiting on us. See, I don’t know what you’re waiting on. God’s waiting on you.
James Greer: 24:28 You can come and acknowledge your problem, but would you accept his help? I know that you could have a gene of being a pessimist. It’s true. I know now it’s a scientific fact. Negativity automatically goes to your thought. You have something that’s called a filter that if you’re not careful, you filter out all the good. You have another, this called a, you go the worst scenario and, but all the help was the same. It comes to having the right self-talk. I’m going to give you one example of a self-talk and I’m going to give an invitation and you need to have a self-talk today.
James Greer: 25:27 In Matthew 20 there was a woman had suffered an issue of blood for 12 years. She came behind Jesus to touch the edge of his garment, but she said to herself, she has suffered how many years? 12. Today she sees Jesus. She decided to talk to herself. She said to herself, if I could only touch the cloak of Jesus, I’d get well, and I say, if you could only touch the glory of God it could change your life. Jesus turned around. He saw her, she touched him. courageous, my daughter. Your faith has made you will that very moment she was healed. How long has she suffered her bleeding? 12 years. What changed her suffering and her anxiety and her bleeding. An internal conversation that led to the right action that changed her life for eternity, for that present, for the rest of her life. I think that Jesus wants to touch. He wants to touch you, but I noticed something in that story. I’ve preached on it many, many times. Jesus knew what was going on in the crowd. Jesus, could have gone over and touched her.
James Greer: 27:06 Jesus, you’re ready. Jesus moved only after we move. She had to move first and I believe everybody in here has something that Jesus is waiting until you move. And then when you move, he’ll move. I don’t know what it is in your life. I don’t know if it’s anxiety. I don’t know if it’s pressure. I don’t know if it’s depression. I don’t know if it’s sickness. I don’t know if it’s financial. I don’t know if it’s marriage. I do know one thing. There’s no way in you know what, I’d go out of here and not make the move. Stand. Let me pray for you.
James Greer: 28:11 God. We’re here today. You’re here. God, you’re waiting for us to make our move. God, I want to be the first one to move. I want to move towards you. God, I want more of you. I want you to touch my life like never before. I want to have more power, more courage, more faith. God, I want it for our church. God, I want you to touch lives today. I want you to bring courageousness. I want you to cast out anxiety and depression and fear and doubt. God. I want you to heal emotionally, financially, spiritually. I want you to heal marriages. God, I want you to open the right doors for people’s lives. I don’t want anybody to go home the same way they came. God, whether it’s to join the church get saved, follow through in baptism. God, whatever you laid up on the heart, God, let us make the first move where you can touch us and we’ll go home different. We’ll give you the honor and the glory. It’s in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.