Refresh – Spiritual Guide for Depression

Proverbs 11:25 (TLB) tells us, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will be refreshed.” Take a moment to think about this proverb and what it means. Does “the generous will prosper” mean prosper financially? spiritually? emotionally? physically? Supply your own meaning and, as you do, have faith in God, yourself, and others and witness a miracle!
“Refreshing others” could encompass many meanings, too. To some, it could mean simply a nap or a good night’s sleep; to others, a swim in a cool stream, lake, or pool on a hot summer’s day; for yet others it could be kind words from a friend, family member, or even a stranger. The word “refresh” is subjective and varies in meaning, as each day takes on its own shape. Again, the Bible allows us to fill in the blanks with a simple message: those who refresh others, in whatever circumstances, will themselves be refreshed. How do we refresh others? you might ask. If you have twenty different friends, my guess is there are twenty different needs, thus twenty different ways to refresh your twenty friends.
Where does a person start to refresh others? By removing the focus from oneself and placing it on others. Stop taking and start giving; give a lot and don’t stop! Pray for other people, call them, send them notes of encouragement. Refresh coworkers or subordinates by going out of your way to assist them with their tasks. Help them succeed without any recognition for yourself. Do good, then disappear.
Change your outlook. It’s easier said than done, I know, but we can definitely change some things in our lives just by changing our habits. For example, you can lose weight by burning more calories than you take in, so eat less and exercise more. Though it sounds simple, we all know it takes effort, discipline, persistence, and often help. Your outlook today is the sum of all your life experiences buried deep within, so deep they’re extremely difficult to change on your own and often require help, just as the effort to lose weight does.
On the other hand, change can sometimes be quite simple, although even simple change often takes determination. Start by reading the well-known Bible verse John 3:16 (TLB): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.” Why is this verse so well known? Because it summarizes the love of God through the gift of His Son, because by having faith in Jesus we find salvation and the promise of eternal life.
Life definitely has its challenges, twist, and turns ; some we like, and some we don’t. There are really hard times and really good times. With a relationship with Jesus Christ, the good times are great, and the hard times are bearable because, remember, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28, TLB).
So look for opportunities to say thank you. Upon waking, thank God for the bed you slept in, the roof over your head, the rest you received, for running water, heat, and air conditioning, the breakfast you’re about to eat, and, most of all, for your family. Don’t take any of these for granted if you’re blessed with them.
My point is to be thankful for the seemingly simple things in life. Always start your day with thanks—thank God, thank your spouse, thank your children, thank your neighbors, thank your coworkers—and you’ll develop a heart of gratefulness and an attitude of optimism. Find the good. If you search deep enough you can find the good in everyone and everything. I know this may sound foolish—even naïve—and impossible, but try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It is an abundant joy to share and spread the love of God wherever possible throughout your day. Your life will become better as you make an effort to make the lives of others better.

Apples of Gold – Spiritual Guide for Depression

Just think what would happen if every day we woke up with the desire to look for opportunities to speak words of encouragement to the right person at the right moment. I believe with all my heart that when we look for such opportunities, God helps us find that specific person with that specific need.
In Proverbs 25:11 (NIV), the Bible says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” This scripture is one of my favorites because it gives a visual depiction of the benefits of speaking the right words to a person at the right time and the positive results those words produce.
You might ask how I can be so sure and so passionate about this divine appointment. I’m sure and passionate about it because I’ve been on the receiving end of those encouraging words. I remember a friend of mine not too long ago who said, as we discussed one of my prayers, “It’s not a matter of if God is going to answer your prayer, it’s a matter of when He is going to answer it. His timing is perfect.” My friend and I agreed that we thought the “when” was God’s will. My friend gave me a reassuring hug, and I can tell you his words of encouragement definitely were “fitly spoken like apples of gold in pictures of silver” I went on my way with a renewed confidence that my travails were only a bump in the road and that everything was going to work out.
Why make such an effort to boost someone else’s self-esteem? Studies show that one reason people are so unhappy is that they live a self-serving life, always asking what’s in it for them. When we look for ways to help others, our focus changes, spreading outward, and so in being a blessing to others, we will also be blessed, and our own problems become smaller as we help and care for those in need. Reaching out can be as simple as saying, “It’s not a matter of if God is going to show up – it’s a matter of when He is going to show up.”
It’s amazing how words spoken to the right person at the right time are similar to the stars aligning just so, as in those once-in-a-millennium times when a planet that is normally not visible to us presents itself because the heavens themselves are in the right place at the right time. It’s a special moment or opportunity that, if missed, may never come again, as special as the difference you can make in a person’s life by acting at the right moment – also a moment that, if missed, may never come again. When you really think about how unique the moment is and how it will forever be lost to you and the other person if missed, you begin to truly appreciate how “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” You see?