A question was posed to me regarding my faith and if I had any doubts in God's promises. Answering truthfully, I know in my mind that God can do all things and heal all things. But my heart hasn't trusted that He will choose to heal me from depression and anxiety. I have long struggled with the fact that my times of severe depression keep me from serving others as God has purposed for me to do. Depression has so often caused me to be miserable and ineffective in life. The following is a bit of God's response to me regarding my doubts.
John 15: 1-17 "I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masters business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."
Some of the things that stood out to me in this passage:
1. God (the gardener) cuts off every branch that bears no fruit. I believe that includes things like disabling depression. And he prunes the other branches so they will be more fruitful. God has been working on lots of pruning in my life this past year! And there is lots still to be done.
2. "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
3. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
4. "I have told you this so my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete." That one stood out a lot. I view joy as the opposite of depression.
This is the prayer that followed as a result of meditating on this passage of scripture:
Dear God, you know my heart. You know my desire to bear fruit, my desire to show your love to others. You know my doubts, too. Please forgive me for my lack of faith. I claim Jesus' words in my life Lord. I am clean in Jesus, with Jesus I can bear fruit, for God's glory I can ask for what I wish (healing), Jesus provides me with his complete joy, God chose me and appointed me to go and bear fruit - to love others. I praise you God for your promises. And I ask you, in Jesus' name to heal me from the disabling effects of depression. Thank you God! Amen.