Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P583 (10-29-20)
Depression is one of the most common struggles people face. All of us face depression from time to time, and sometimes it grabs a hold of you and essentially cripples you from living free as God intended, full of joy and a peace that surpasses understanding. When you recognize that it is primarily a thinking problem rather than a disease or sickness, then you are on the starting point of walking free. You can start replacing the error in your thinking with truth.
With depression, we often are triggered by an emotional pain, an insult or a rejection from someone. Then you dwell on those thoughts in your head, but instead of relying on truth, you rely on feelings. Then instead of going to God for the answer in His word, you resort to other substitutes that make the flesh feel good. Oftentimes those things we gravitate to are only temporary and fleeting and are not real solutions, but often make the problem worse and fuel our depression. A prime example of that would be drinking a little more alcohol or taking up that cigarette, which are really harmful to your body. And those things can enslave you to more serious addiction problems. Even eating an extra bowl of ice cream to temporarily pacify your hurt feelings can lead to overweight problems and add to your depression. Those are examples of a misplaced dependency.
Two of the most common errors in thinking is misplaced dependency and unrealistic expectations. In unrealistic expectations, you are either dwelling on your past, and projecting that is who you are or presuming upon the bleak future you will have based on past experiences. In unrealistic expectations, you have the concept that since I am a Christian then I should expect people to like me or that I will never lose my job or should not be having these trials and tribulations. But we forget that we are in a fallen world tainted by sin and have neither heard or have forgotten what Jesus said. In other words, you can expect insult, injury and rejection from other people, and at times you will be the one doing that to someone else. By knowing truth, Jesus said, that truth will set you free. So the key to overcoming depression is replacing error with truth.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” He said that whoever desires to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. In other words, we have unrealistic expectations from God when we think that down here we are going to have a rose garden. What He did promise us, though, is that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness, He will never leave us or forsake us, and that He will cause all things to happen for the good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The key is grasping the unconditional love and acceptance of God and knowing His provision for you.
One verse that encourages me personally is that He has promised that He will not allow any temptation beyond what I am able to endure and with the temptation He will provide a way out. When I realize that I am a child of the living God, He knows exactly where I am in my current journey with Christ. A mere babe in Christ would not be expected to face the same kinds of trials and tribulations as someone who has undergone some spiritual maturity. You certainly would not expect your newborn infant to take out the garbage. So we must realize God’s tender loving care and go to Him for help in time of need. We can boldly go to the throne of grace for help in time of need.
So listen now as Bob shares truth to help callers struggling with depression. For those struggling in depression, Bob George Ministries offers an excellent resource to help you, titled Victory Over Depression.
Listen also as Bob leads someone to Christ who did not realize that salvation is receiving life. He was depressed because he could not live a life he did not have. He understood the death of Jesus on a cross to take his sins away, but He did not know the second half of the gospel concerning the meaning of the resurrection. Until Christ is living in you, then you really have not entered into the new life in Christ Jesus. Christ in you is your life, your only hope of glory.
When you realize that salvation is receiving the living Christ in you, then you are like a newborn sheep that recognizes the voice of the good Shepherd. When you hear the voice of the good Shepherd, then you know whose instructions to follow when there is a wolf in your midst. When you know His voice, you will not listen to any other voice, such as the voice from the god of this world, or Satan, that has men bound and deceived.
A common problem people can get bound up in is legalism. By default, that is typical among lost people because they do not know the truth, and everything to them is a relative comparison to other people in regards to obedience to the law. But a born again person, who has Christ living in him, can get caught up in this also, and are, therefore, unable to walk free in the new life God has given. We, as children of God, do not live by a law, a principle, or a tradition. Those things do not give you any grace to live. Grace is Jesus. He is the only one who is the source of all that you need. He is the vine who produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, and patience and all those things listed in Galatians 5:22-23. You are the branch, and by resting in Him, being led internally by Him, who is your Father and best friend, your Counselor, you are led internally from within and bear the fruit that He produces. You can read this vine and branch illustration of living this new life in Christ Jesus in John 15.
Anne from Pittsburgh, PA
Anne: I finished Classic Christianity and Growing in Grace. You dramatically changed my bible from a club into a loving arm. I am so grateful for that. I asked Jesus in my heart when I was twelve. This is the first time at thirty two I feel the new life.
Anne: I had two quick questions. I have been through the route of misplaced dependency, drugs and alcohol. You opened my eyes to understand the thinking errors rather than trusting these feelings. But I still struggle with depression issues. I know I am in a thinking error after I am in depression. At that point, I do not want to read the bible and I just get into a pity party. How do I stop that stuff or recognize it earlier? It is much less than it used to be. Is this part of the process or am I still a baby in this growth area?
Bob: We are all babes in Christ and we are all in the process of continually growing. But what you talked about, of a recent awareness of Christ’ life in you. Quite frankly, you do not even come alive until you realize that. There is a certain amount of growth, but you stagnated. But you are in a marvelous process, right now. The beginning steps of depression. Depression is like a cake. It is made up of ingredients. We just want to look at it like just cake. So we call it depression and nobody knows what that means, so it is a word we have to define.
Bob: But depression is made up of ingredients. Self pity is an ingredient, a part of depression. But that is not where it gets stopped. All depression will start initially from my concept of reality, misplaced dependency upon people, unrealistic expectation toward people. When I have either one of those and then I run into any kind of an insult or injury or rejection in my life, then I am going to perceive those injuries or rejections in light of my misplaced dependency.
Bob: In other words, the depth of how I respond to that is going to be in direct proportion to my misplaced dependency. As an example, if I understand who I am in Christ and I understand my identity is in my relationship with Christ Jesus. Who I am is who Jesus called me and that is a child of the living God. I know that I am totally loved by Jesus Christ. I know that, in this world, my dealing with people, I am going to have tribulation because he said that. He said you are going to have it. So it should not shock me when I do. The only reason it does not shock me any more is because the Lord says I am going to have it. So why am I going to be shocked when I do have it. But if I have unrealistic expectations that because I am a Christian that I will never be rejected, insulted or injured again, then I will live in constant disappointment. That disappointment then leads to fear, anger, self pity, depression, and despondency. It is a downward spiral.
Bob: So what you are in the process of doing is renewing your mind on truth and that truth is what sets you free, and instead of dealing with how you are responding it is continuing to allow Christ to renew your mind.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Bob: That is taking place now. The more your mind is renewed, for you are going to know about what truth is, the more your attitude of your mind is going to be changed and the more that is changed, the less you are going to find yourself being disappointed over life and therefore expressed in life. It is a process that you are going through, Anne. Have patience that God is continuing to renew your mind. He is not through with you yet.
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Bob: He says, “I will complete work I began in you”. He is in the process of doing that, and all of us, Anne, can get depressed. I know the solution to it, but I do not always grab onto it. I can sit myself sometimes and find myself in just an unbelievable pity party. The one thing I noticed about pity parties, is I normally invite somebody to come to it and nobody wants to come to my party and that makes you more pitiful. That is just the way we are. Then the Lord says, “Bob, what in the world are you thinking?” I am sitting there saying, “Nothing Lord.” “Come on Bob, let us get your mind renewed.” Then He starts renewing my mind with truth. What in the world was I doing? You are having a pity party. “That is no big deal. You return to Me and let Me teach you truth and let Me remind you of some truth and it will set you free. ”
Bob: You will get into problems sometimes, Anne. You will be thinking, “Boy, I have got this big problem.” I have people, sometimes, that will say, “I do not bother God with my little problems. I just go to God for my big problems.” Can you imagine God thinking you had a big problem? Can you imagine sitting up there saying, “Oh, that is a big one.”
Bob: But, we are dumb sheep. That is what Jesus called us, and they are pretty dumb and we are too. He has to continually renew our mind with truth. Sometimes, you think you really have a problem. “Bob, who are you trusting for your eternal life?” “You, Lord.” You alone. Absolutely. Eternal life is a very big thing. I cannot think of anything bigger than that. “If you are trusting me for something as big as eternal life, don’t you think you can trust me with this little problem you have?” “My, Yes Lord.” So it is a continual renewing. Anne, we will be in that process for the rest of our lives. The beauty of that is the more you learn truth that sets you free the less of that dumb thinking that we do.
Anne: I think of hangover legalists have, of being perfect. That has never happened in my life. I think that was the beginning of depression early in my life. The flesh will never be perfect. I will never achieve that level that I set for myself. It just will not happen.
Bob: Absolutely. The truth will set you free. Paul said, “I have no confidence in the flesh. As far as flesh is concerned, the things I want to do, I do not do, and the things I don’t want to do, I do anyway. ”
Bob: The first time I heard that, I thought someone was peeking on me.
Anne: Yes, like someone peeking through a window.
Bob: If you make yourself available to Him, He makes Himself totally available to you to continue doing that. A couple of recommendations. Anne, do you have our depression tape series?
Bob: Let me send that to you and let that embed in your heart.
Anne: Thank you.
Bob: Also, Anne, if you get a chance, we are going to be out in Sandy Cove, which is there in Maryland. We are out there for a week long training.
Anne: I got the pamphlet.
Bob: Maybe you can get out there as well. Meanwhile, let us send you the depression tape series and see if that is not of help. And if you have questions, just let us know.
Anne: Another question, about women and makeup. Someone in our church says makeup is something women should stay away from. That seems like legalism stuff to me.
Bob: It sure is.
Anne: Okay. This is all new.
Bob: You are in some place that is into legalism. That is exactly right. That is all dealing with outward appearance without any concern what is going on inside the heart.
Anne: I think God wants me to be modest but I do not think he cares about this other stuff.
Bob: Yes. You are sure welcome, Anne.
Anne: There are a lot of people in Pittsburg who listen to you. I recommend your literature. You have transformed my life to get back to the bible where I needed to be all along.
Bob: Anne, you are discerning in the things you are talking about. I interviewed a pastor who has gone through suicide attempts. How do you think the condition you were in was attributed to legalism you grew up in? He said a hundred percent.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life
Bob: And so you avoid that legalism like crazy. Paul said in Galatians 5.
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Bob: You take that advice and enjoy your freedom He gave in Christ. Good talking to you.
Anne: Good talking to you, Bob
Bob: Bye. Bye.
Sean from CO
Sean: Boy, I hope you can help me out with this one. I have been a believer for twelve years. It just goes up and down. More down than up, and I feel some of the times like God is not even there. I do not know how to explain it more than that. It is just very frustrating.
Bob: It is a roller coaster experience.
Sean: It is a Coney Island roller coaster. It is very frustrating. I want to be able to do it right and I just do not seem to be able to. I have been trying to call you for so long.
Bob: Sean, the thing of it is, it is like so many times people will say, “I am almost to the end of the rope.” I say, “Great, that literally at the end of the rope is where you find the Lord.” Like you said, “I am trying to do it.” You cannot do it right. Flesh and blood where I try is in the flesh. I cannot please God. There is nothing in my flesh and blood that is ever going to go into the kingdom of God. My desires of my flesh are contrary to His desires. It is only as we see what Jesus was talking about, “I am the vine and you are a branch. A branch cannot live the Christian life, can it? A branch cannot live a vine life. A branch is a branch. A vine is a vine. So the only way that a branch is going to live a branch life is through abiding in a total trust relationship on the life of the vine to do in and through you as a branch that what only the life of vine can do. That will enable you to bear fruit but you cannot produce fruit. It would be like a branch saying, “I have been trying to be this good branch and trying to but cannot. Of course you cannot, branch. God never thought you could and never thought you would. What He wants you to do is abide in Him who is alive, now living in you, who is your only hope of glory. It is like saying to branch, the life of the vine in you is your only hope of producing fruit, bearing fruit. It is your only hope of ever seeing love, joy, and peace coming out of you. Your only hope of glory is abiding in the life of the vine. You cannot but He can. Faithful is He who called you who will also do it. Who called you? Christ. Who will do it? Christ.
Bob: When you came to the Lord, Sean, what at that time and what today is your understanding of the gospel?
Sean: It is hard to say. I know the bible and the verses. I have a lot of head knowledge. But it seems to talk about a personal relationship and I seem to struggle mightily to find that personal relationship, to know the Lord is really there, not because Bob George says it or whoever.
Bob: I get back to the question. What is your understanding of the gospel, for it is the gospel that saves. What was your understanding of the gospel?
Sean: Maybe I do not understand?
Bob: What is the gospel of Christ?
Sean: He came and died for our sins. If we believe in Him, we will be forgiven and have eternal life.
Bob: Okay. Now, you see right there is so common, Sean. What we are talking about is so common. People say, “Christ came. Eternal life is because my sins are forgiven. I am going to have eternal life someday, like you are only ever going to have it when I die. In the meanwhile, I have to grunt it out down here.”
Bob: You got a half gospel, Sean. Christ died for your sins, and not only yours, but the sins of the whole world. When he went to a cross, he died for all men’s sins, to take them away, never to see them again. He did that so that he could offer you and me, not a life in the sweet bye and bye, but a life right now, today, and that is if the wages of sin is death, then the gift of God is life. If you and I are dead spiritually, which indeed all men are born into this world dead spiritually, then the only thing we need is life. He rose for forgiveness because if sin had not been totally dealt with, not only paid for, but taken away, eternal life could not be given. Jesus did not come to cover sin. That was atonement. He came to take it away. There is a world of difference there. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” He took it away so raised from the dead, he could give you what you and I do not have, which is life.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Bob: When we come to Christ, we do not just come to Christ for forgiveness. You come to Christ for His life, and it says in Him, in his life, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
Sean: I would just like to have a life. I see like there is no joy and no happiness. I go in frustration.
Bob: It was no different than on the day of atonement. A Jew would have gone on the day of atonement.
Sean: I am Jewish, too.
Bob: A Jew walked away from that experience the same man who went to the day of atonement. The same guy that went there would be in the same condition he left. When you come to Christ, you come to Him for life. You come to Him empty and you leave that experience full of His life, as a new creature.
Bob: I think, Sean, what has happened is you had a half gospel. What God wants you to do is bring you into the fullness of the gospel, the fullness of truth, which is the second half of the gospel. Not only did He die for your sins then but He did so so He could live in you now. So if you feel like you are bouncing prayers off the wall and feeling empty, it could be that God has not taken up residence in your life. So you can solve that problem by asking Him to come in, not to forgive you, for He has already done that, but to give you life. Life is the only cure to the wages of sin, which is death. You can have His life living in you so that you can quit trying to live when you cannot live and let Him live it.
Sean: Would you pray with me?
Bob: I will. Why don’t we just pray right now, Sean, and what you are going to do is merely invite the living Christ to come into your heart as your living Savior.
Bob: We rejoice with you, brother.
Cathy from Staten Island
Cathy: From a Christian point of view, what do you think about cosmetic surgery?
Bob: Cathy, that to me would come under the spiritual admonition to not be involved in disputable matters. I think there is nothing the scripture talks about in that regard. I believe it is not cosmetic surgery is the issue. I think a preoccupation with self is certainly an issue. And it is one that has to be dealt with because when you are preoccupied with yourself, you certainly cannot be preoccupied with the Lord. I think there is so much emphasis today, especially on women, through demands of advertising, which is all pointed to women looking a certain way and being a certain weight and that becomes a standard that everyone is supposed to adhere to. That is just the things of the world. That has nothing to do at all with God at all.
Cathy: Can I just ask you something? If a person has a big nose and a person would feel better to have it smaller.
Bob: I do not have one, so I would not answer that, but I guess if I did, if I wanted to make it smaller, I would get it made smaller. But again, like what is talked about in 1 Peter, your beauty should not come from outward adornment but from the inner self.
1 Peter 3:3-4
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Bob: But again, we have freedom in Christ. It is not something that you can go to the bible on. You have freedom to do all kinds of things.
1 Corinthians 10:23
23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but not everything is constructive.
Bob: Everything is permissible, but not all things are profitable. So if it is profitable and you feel it is a profitable thing, you certainly cannot go to the bible and find something is against it or for it. So then, you are left with your own personal choice. I would check out any of those types of things. Are there side effects that could be? Check and see if it is worth it. Is that what you are talking about?
Bob: Yes. If that would make you feel better, then go do it. There is nothing, to not do that at all. I have seen people that thought they had a big nose and really did not have a big nose. Again, all of that is much deeper than just going to surgery. How old are you, Cathy?
Cathy: I will be 43.
Bob: How have you been living with this all your life? Has it been a problem for you? Or is it just all of a sudden you realize you have a big nose?
Cathy: No, I had it. I have been thinking about it for awhile.
Bob: Are you married?
Bob: What does your husband think about it?
Cathy: It does not bother him.
Bob: Then why should it bother you. That would be my response. If it does not bother him, why should it bother you? I think, Cathy, we place so much importance on those things. You have a good husband and a family that loves you the way you are, that is the way you are. Sometimes that is a nationality. A certain nationality has larger noses. That is good. That is not something you go around and try to change. If your husband is not unhappy and you are not unhappy, do not let magazines and publicity make you think you will be happy if you got a smaller nose.
Bob: I had a girl come into our office one time for counseling. She was a beautiful appearing young lady, and she said, “You know what? I have had three or four plastic surgeries done and I cannot stand myself. In other words, inside, even though I had all that done, I am mad for changing myself.” You look at Michael Jackson, that is an example of someone who has been through plastic surgery and, quite frankly, I thought he was the cutest child I could ever see in my life. But today, what he has done with his nose, I think he would wish he got his old one back. People can nit-pick on things. My wife used to paint. The art professor went by her painting and said, “Amy, that is absolutely gorgeous but you will probably mess it up picking on it.” We do that with ourselves. We just get preoccupied with ourselves. If it is not a big deal, you just take that to the Lord and make an intelligent decision on that, but I would not go through that mess if it was not worth it.
Cathy: You were quoting scripture before from this lady about this freedom in Christ. Is that found in Galatians 5?
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Cathy: You will really be blessed for you give really good bible answers.
Bob: Thank you, Cathy.
Cathy: You really do.
Bob: We certainly love you.
Cathy: I love you, too.
Bob: You just accept yourself as God made you.
Cathy: Okay. Thank you.
Bob: Okay. Bye. Bye now.