Tag Archive | 1 John 4:4

Oppression or Depression?

stronghold pic ps. 9:9

I was sharing with a friend not long ago, about the heaviness of spirit that seemed to plague most of my waking hours. It was a struggle for me to make sense of what was feeling like depression.


   In Depression – My Story, Nov 17, 2017, I define depression and how  I had been instructed to defeat it. I learned depression (a type of bondage) could not take root as long as I planted my thoughts securely in God’s Word.

   Yet, here I was again, feeling defeated and discouraged. In spite of the fact that I knew how to fight the negative thoughts and was aware of the resources from God’s Word to extinguish them. 

   My friend listened to me, then offered this insight. What I thought was depression, was more likely oppression. Satan was exercising his power to plant thoughts (fiery darts) that would weigh heavy on my mind. Thoughts that would produce emotions of discouragement and defeat. 

   The fact that I did not get caught up in a downward spiral was a clear indication for me that this was oppression, not depression. With depression, I was inclined to believe the negative thinking and the downward spiral was set in motion. 

   But with oppression, I did not believe the fiery darts to be true. I kept fighting back with God’s Truth thoughts. Though I became emotionally drained by the struggle, God’s Word kept me afloat. My focus during those days was the following:

 1 John 4:4, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

   Once the confusion was eliminated, I could see clearly what I was fighting against. I knew who was behind the oppression and I knew how to counter attack. I discovered anew, that the power of God’s Word always prevails in setting free the oppressed. (based on Luke 4:18)



Fear leads to panic! Prayer leads to calmness! We have a choice to make!

Dear Readers,

Could we just ponder this post for another week? In light of all that’s going on in our country just now, perhaps it would do us well to pause here to rearm ourselves.

Every time we turn on the tv, browse the internet, or listen to the radio, the poisonous venom of fear attempts to snake its way into our minds. Fear mongers roam the earth seeking whom they may devour. From the looks of it, the fear mongers are progressing with increasing speed in taking victims hostage. 

You know what concerns me in all this? That Christians are suffering from a dangerous loss of memory!


 that ‘the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.'(1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV)

 about His all-consuming power, ‘who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—let not the rebellious exalt themselves.’Psalm 66:7

 that ‘the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world’. 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

Beware the Spirit of Fear running rampant in our world!

The Spirit of Fear is armed and powerful. It’s agents such as terrorists, deadly diseases, weak and dysfunctional leadership, and vulnerable borders (to name the most obvious at present) stage a formidable force. Believe me, this is powerful fodder on which fiery darts feed. So, what’s a Christian to do?

Remember these Truth thoughts?

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

Focusing on fear leads to panic.

Focusing on what God has given us–power, love, and a sound mind–gives us the power to resist fear and equips us to utterly defeat and destroy its agents. Reminding us that our God, is greater than any, ABSOLUTELY ANY, of our fears. 

Remember the following next time the headlines tempt you to fear:

Lord, so the headlines would like us all to lose our heads,
to be fear-driven instead of faith-still,
to panic instead of pray,
to be scared silly instead of courageously calm.
And no matter what’s swirling around us,
Your words come like the relief of a gentle, steadying refrain:
“Don’t fear… Don’t panic. God, *your God*, is right there with you” Deu.20:1MSG
And there’s this peace that is transferrable… from Your hand to our hearts…

And all the brave & trusting smiled & whispered their quiet Amen.

Ann Voskamp

Bad News vs Good News!

You’d think that once a person had written a book about fiery darts (negative thinking) then those troublesome fiery darts wouldn’t be such a problem anymore.  N-O-T !  One thing I did conclude early on was that the fiery darts didn’t let up, if anything they increased! ugh!  The big difference was this:  They don’t rule my thinking like they use to!  And for me, that’s a really big deal.

My struggle of late is that the fiery darts are coming so fast, coming in such abundance, and are so unrelenting (bombarding my mind 24-7) that my spiritual strength is being sorely tested.

That’s the bad news!

But here’s the good news!

The simple truth (simple but HUGE) and one that I fall on my face before God in gratitude for is that because of what God has taught me about the attack of fiery darts, I DO NOT despair.  And I promise you, before God enrolled me in Fiery Darts 101, problems like I encounter today would have sent me spiraling into depression.  Let me share a scripture verse that puts it succinctly:

2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’

I know that sounds a little heavy but those of you who wrestle with negative thinking that takes over your thinking, influences your attitudes, and spawns negative behavior, KNOW that the above verse speaks a powerful truth.  You know–the kind of truth that sets you free!

John 8:32

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set your free.”

Yes, one does get weary.  Yes, Satan gets more cleaver with every attack.  Yes, the fiery darts can fuel thoughts of despair and hopelessness.  BUT ask yourself the following question,

“Do I want to spend the rest of my life successfully warding off fiery darts, or do I want to remain a victim of them?”(p. 45 from my book)

May I share the final paragraph in Section I of my book? For I do believe you will be challenged and encouraged by it.

  When I am engaged in fighting off these fiery darts it’s not Satan who determines the outcome of the battle.  Remember Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against us will prevail.”(NIV)   The Enemy has already been defeated, and though we may struggle in the battle, the final word from Micah 7:8 is that “we will rise.” I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat.  And know that refusing to choose is a choice to fall and suffer defeat.  Victory is yours as Deuteronomy 20:4 reminds us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (NIV)  It is your choice! We know that Satan’s plans are to destroy us, but take heart for God has plans for us as well.  Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”(NIV)   (p. 45, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice)

Know, my dear readers, while those fiery darts are a powerful force, we have someone fighting for us that can turn the tide in our favor.

1 John 4:4

“…greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

Yes, the attacks are fierce, and at times almost overwhelming.  But hang in there.  Fight back with the Greater Power.  Hide behind your Shield of Faith.  Don’t give up.  Even though you have thoughts that God has looked the other way and your hope is daily dwindling that God is going to intervene, remember–expose those thoughts for the fiery darts they are.  That simple exercise will keep you hanging on and eventually you will see God move.  And when that happens (and IT WILL HAPPEN), I would love for you to share your story with me.

So that God can be glorified and others will be encouraged!