“ [Since you had to deal with your twin’s death, may I ask how you dealt with it? See, I have been through something recently, and] I’ve had some [issues] with anxiety, depression (etc).”
FIRST. A few years before my twin brother passed I was suffering from severe depression to the point of being suicidal. I did not even wash my clothes for a very long time, for I did not even care anymore about hardly anything. The depression dove me into an abyss of utter pain. At the end, the mental pain of the depression became a crippling physical type pain. It was like I had knives and swords stuck in my body and just moving would cause them to slice into me. I had suicidal thoughts. I was in a very dark place.
I received instruction from several people. A pastor I meet with, helped the depression to stop, but I was already at the bottom. Reading Martyn Lloyd Jones’ book on Spiritual Depression helped a little. However, then my friend Vincent Cheung consoled me. I was instructed to defeat it with standing on God’s promises and faith–particularly the right promises for victory. I was taught to be like David and Daniel in going over these promises and God’s Word night and day. I did this. This advice was the only counseling that helped me. That is, I did not need to read a long book on how to defeat depression. What I needed was my faith to be strong so as to overcome my trial and hardship. Jesus said that we would have trials, but to cheer up, because He has defeated the world. In the context of Jesus saying this in John 16, He commands us over and over, and over and then over again for us to pray for what we want, and prove we are His disciple by receiving the very thing we pray for. Thus, if the context defines Jesus words, and not your superstitions, then Jesus defeating the world for you, means asking in faith and receiving the exact type of victory over the trials you pray for.
The Invincible Word of God.
And so, since faith comes by hearing of the word of God (Romans 10), then what I needed was passages of Scripture that directly addressed facing hardships of life and defeating it. I remember reading some promise verses in Lloyd Jones’ book, but I need more than a few. I was like the disobedient Israelites looking over the promise land. I saw depression as a giant and I was like a grasshopper. The Jericho walls of pain were just too big. My mind was made defective by depression, and the fruit of it was the sin of unbelief in the promises of God. It is never good to disbelieve God, because God has commanded us to believe every proposition He has revealed, even the magnificent promises of good and deliverance. Yes, promises of victory of sin and sickness, of physical and spiritual. This what Jesus did day and day out in His ministry.
Did you know there is no limit to being Spiritually minded? There is no limit; there is no doing it too much. Colossians 3:2–3 (LEB), “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Therefore, those who are the most earthly good are the most Spiritually minded. David said he praised God 7 times a day (Psalm 119:164). Daniel, he prayed 3 times a day (Daniel 6:10). Looking at the unscalable wall of depression, was indeed unscalable for the old man. However, we are a new creation in Christ, and so things are different now. This new man is renewed in the knowledge of Christ (Colossians 3:10). This knowledge tells us that by faith in Christ, we can ask and receive what we ask for.
Thus, “with my God I can scale a wall,” (Psalm 18:29). In fact, I an run right through it, because God is able.
We are identified with Christ. If the wall is scalable for Him, then it is for us. We know the Father accepts Christ in perfect love, but we are now part of Christ! Is something to big for God, then it is not for us. Is making the sun stands still, too big for Jesus Christ? Then it is not to big for Joshua, who was a mere mortal like you are. Of course, you are to measure yourself by Jesus’ power and righteousness. No, wait. You are to measure yourself as more, for Jesus said you would do greater things than He did. The table bearer Phillip was spiritually transported to a different physical location, but this is something not even recorded that Jesus did.
Vincent, in his initial email to me, sent a paragraph of promise verses directed for faith to not only endure with character, but also overcome it! Faith comes by the hearing of the word of God (Rom 10). I took this and expounded on it. I made this my food night and day.
Jesus tells us there will be trouble, but to cheer up, because He has defeated the world for you (John 16:33). He tells us that if we ask anything in His name that He will do it so that the Father will be Glorified, Jesus also tells us it is the Father’s will that we bear much fruit, and in context this include asking and obtaining what we ask for,—it is a command, (John 14:13,14 and John 15:7, 8). Jesus says He has left us his peace (John 14:27).
The Bible says God is for us, and no one can be against us (Romans 8:31). We are told that Jesus –the author of our faith– is sanctifying us whom He has already Perfected, once and for all (Hebrews 10:14 ). that where there is forgiveness of sin, there is no more sacrifice for sin, (Hebrews 10:18). that we have been redeemed so that we will receive adoptions as sons, (Galatians 4:5).
that we have been seated at the right hand of God with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1), that we are coheirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), that we are a new creation, and that all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17), that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). that God promise us to always provide a way of escape from every temptation, (1 Corinthians 10:13), that, the law of the Spirit of Life, has freed me from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). that the Father has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, (Colossians 1:13). that greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), that God is your Helper so that you are not to be afraid ( Psalm 118:6, Hebrews 13:6).
that if you will abide in him and if his word abides in you, you will ask what you will, and it will be done for you (John 15:7), that if you have faith, you can command a mountain to throw itself into the sea, and it will obey you (Matthew 21:21), that if you ask for anything in prayer, if you believe that you receive it, you will get it (Mark 11:24), that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32), that if you ask, you will receive, and if you seek, you will find (Matthew 7:7), that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6), that we can approach the throne of grace for help in time of need before our High Priest and our Father (Hebrews 4:16), that Jesus is our Priest who already bore our sickness and pain on the cross at the definite place and definite time so that the healing is already ours, (Matthew 8:17), that the Father has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints, (Colossians 1:12), that when we ask for a fish we receive a fish and not something else because God is our Good Father ( Luke 11:11), that God will not forsake you but He will be with you for victory, ( Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5) that we should cast all our cares upon him, because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Just as Jesus is at God’s right hand, so are we now in this world, ( 1 John 4:17 ) and on and on and on.
It is both a direct promise of God and a revealing of His Divine immutable nature that He forgives all our sins, He heals all your diseases, He delivers you, and He crowns you with kindness and goodness (Psalm 103 and James 5). Therefore, as many as are the promises of God, in Jesus they are “yes”; therefore, also through Him, is the “Amen,” to the glory of God through us. (2 Corinthians 1:20.)
In about 2 years I went from severe depressed to numb, to then ok and then to a more constant state of peace and joy.
What to Emphasis when Depressed?
The issue with a mental sickness, is that you already know how bad, sinful and pathetic you are. I surely knew it. At this point to over emphases your sin is both misplaced and could be a sign you do not really believe it. The emphasis is on God’s victory. If you read God’s word and walk away feeling ok where you are at in your depressed position, then you will stay there in your unbelief.
“Watch your spiritual diet. Avoid teachings that tend to make people more depressed, often disguised as manifestos on God-centeredness, holiness, repentance, suffering “for the glory of God,” and so on. Avoid teachings that merely comfort you in your unbelief and defeat. They will not get you out of the pit. There are teachings that focus on repentance in a way and in a proportion that ironically make it into a meritorious thing. An improper emphasis on repentance is destructive, because it is in fact unbelief toward the blood of Christ. If you have repented, you are forgiven through Christ. You can march into the throne of grace without fear and without shame, not to beg like one without a covenant, but to talk and ask like one who belongs there – like a son, like a prince.
You already know that you are unworthy. This is an elementary doctrine of Christ, an entry point for this life. Now is the time to acknowledge the surpassing excellence of Christ — credited to your account by grace”
I was that bruised reed Jesus spoke about. I was that smoldering wick almost ready to go out. I am sure if the doctors would have looked at me, at my worse, they likely would have found some chemical imbalance in my head, or it could have been something else. I do not care. It does not matter. The Bible teaches the root cause is a non-relevant issue. What is important is faith in God’s word that is victorious over demons, defective bodies and broken minds. God’s victory is a whole victory. He is the God of the hills and valleys.
God did not break me.
He healed me and strengthened me.
I say this to indicate when my only close friend, my twin brother passed, I was able to deal with it, with little to no anger/depression, because God had already renewed my mind (put on the new man) with faith in His promises. I know I will see Josh again –and as 1 Thess. 4 says—this is a comfort to me. Also, I do believe Josh passed too early in his life, partly due to bad teachings that influenced him—more than he knew I think: such things as “if its God’s will.” I have decided to vindicate his honor by doubly going over such teachings to help others have the doctrine and faith to overcome the world, sickness, death, sin and all things.
Oh Boy, the View from up here is Awesome
SECOND I still go over the same verses almost every day. Sometimes I get irritated in that I don’t want to go over them again, but I press on anyway and I find God’s promises renew my thinking. In this, I put off the old man and put on the new, who is renewed in the knowledge of the one who created me. God’s Word destroys doubt and fear. It imparts a joyful courage for the future. Immediately after Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times, (people have forfeited their souls for less) Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions… I go and prepare a place for you.(NKJV John 14:1-3).” Jesus commanded His disciple not to be troubled in his heart, right after telling him about his vile sin! But then goes on to say I am preparing a place for you in God’s weighty valuable House. That is, not only is Peter commanded not to worry about his trail of sin, but he is commanded to look forward to victory over the trail. Yes, even commanded to think it is not too great for him to dwell in Yahweh’s house, who is the Lord of angel armies! How I wish pastors would counsel like their Master!
Smith Wigglesworth in a similar note of counsel says, “We have a Jesus that heals the broken-hearted, who lets the captives go free, who saves the very worst. Dare you, dare you, spurn this glorious Gospel of God for spirit, soul and body? Dare you spurn this grace? I realize that this full Gospel has in great measure been hid, this Gospel that brings liberty, this Gospel that brings souls out of bondage, this Gospel that brings perfect health to the body, this Gospel of entire salvation. Listen again to this word of Him who left the glory to bring us this great salvation, “Verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, . . . he shall have whatsoever he saith.” Whatsoever!” (Ever Increasing Faith)
Vincent addressing his own testimony about overcoming his depression says, “ I was trapped in a dark well, looking up through a tiny hole, but Jesus Christ dragged me up and placed me on the mountain of God, and displayed before me the whole panorama of divine promises and intentions. Then he told me to join in, and to be a co-worker with God. To me, this is what it means to have his words.”
Like the people in the Samaritan village in John 4, I know this now, not because I heard it from someone else, but because God’s Word has also dragged me up. His Word heals the physical and the mental and drags them both up into victory. Christ’s imputed righteousness is the bedrock to being a child of God, and an inheritor of Abraham’ blessing. It is the solid granite layer upon which the Mountain of God’s promises stand. God drags me up upon this mountain top and displays the vista of all that is available. He says, “if my Son died for you, then All things are now freely given to you.” His Spirit causes me to cry out, “Father.” It is now part of my own DNA, my own metaphysics. He throws His hands out and says, “look! do you see all that I have given in my promises? Is it now you understand why there were so much extra baskets left over from the feeding of the four and five thousand?” God teaches me to view everything differently through His Word. Christ sees the world from up top. Jesus sees the world from the right hand of God, in perfect love and blessing of the Father. The Father tells me the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead, He uses to set me above the world. And oh boy, the view from up here is awesome! There is no panorama on earth as great as seeing realty from mount Zion, while sitting next to the Lord Jesus Christ. God opens endless opportunities through His mighty promises. While bound in the kingdom of self, it really was a dark well. But now I am a new creation, in a new location and in a new Kingdom of love.
Oh, Christian do you not know, that we see the world as Jesus does! Yet, Jesus sees the world from the right hand of God. “As Jesus is! so are we,” now in this world (1 John 4:17). Now we have the Mind of Christ.
God’s Word & Not Experience
THIRD. If I were to preach my experience I would not be a servant of Christ. If I were to truly preach out of my own strength I would be a reprobate. In fact, if you are a normal Christian from your own strength, then are not a Christian at all. You can only be a Christian, if you are so by God’s strength. “If I minister out of myself or if I preach myself, I would not be a servant of Christ. He saved me. Now I work for him. And he owns the whole world. So when I am doing the King’s business, I am bigger than any professor or president, any corporation or denomination. I will rebuke Satan himself.” Christ is my knowledge. He is my righteousness. He is my strength. As my faith looks through the promises of God I see truth, strength, joy and endless triumphs. If I speak from of the imputed righteousness of Christ and His strength, then it is not too small a thing to think I can rebuke kingdoms and ask for the rain to stop for 3 years. If I speak from myself, then not only am I a reprobate, but I do not even have the authority to correct myself, let alone anyone else.
God heals broken reeds and He rekindles smoldering wicks. I know this NOT because of my own experiences tell me. Rather, because God’s word says so! I do not need experience to know promise x, or promise u, or promise h will hold, for All the promises are yes and “so be it,” in Christ. I do not see by my eyes, but by faith in God’s Word. Vincent Cheung, in his own faith in God’s word, encouraged me saying, “You can do this too. You need to talk to yourself, rebuke yourself, encourage yourself, with the word of God. He said, “In this world, you will have trouble,” and some perverts only preach this far. But he continued, “Cheer up! I have overcome the world!” He has given you his joy. You can be happy by the power of Christ, when you are facing trouble, and when you are not facing trouble. This is true piety.”[ibid]
As Jesus said to Peter, “And you, when* once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” You can do this to. You can rebuke yourself, correct and encourage yourself. And when you have been rekindled by God’s promises, you can help rekindle others. You do this by not preaching yourself or experience but by preaching Christ. That is, by pointing others to God’s Word. It is a revelation that is true and that will not fail. The preacher of Hebrews did not preach himself in his epistle; rather, when his audience needed a reason for how they will overcome covetousness and adultery, he preached the promises of God to them. He took promises (ch.13) given to Joshua and King David and gave(moralized) these same promises for the audience to place their faith in; that is, to obtain victory by faith in His promises. You can do this too.
It is good to have a church to help you. It is good to have a pastor or deacon who can console you in the truth to overcome depression and anxiety. However, what happens if you must move? What if this person or persons who seem so important to your help are no longer there? Do not depend on a person. They will not always be there for you. What if you are like Peter in a prison, all by yourself? The secret to joy and peace, and the secret to endless ontological power is faith in God’s Word. You can take God’s revelation with you anywhere. God’s Word will not leave you, nor will it diminish. Because God does not change, His promises do not change. Rich or poor, black or white, smart or dumb it does not matter. Faith in God’s promises will always give you direct and instant access to God. This access is not that God will “give you an answer.” This bold access to the throne room of God means—as Jesus says in John 13-16, that God will give you (not an answer) but the very thing you ask for. This is what it means to be child of God, who is a co-heir with Christ, who have been raised with Christ and seated with Him at God’s right hand.
Do not appeal to human speculations of what God’s will is, by divining one’s current experiences. To do so, is logically invalid (i.e. superstitious). It is not resting on Scripture as one’s epistemology. Elijah prayed for rain 7 times. During the failed 6th prayer could not Elijah have said, “because God has not answered me 6 times in a row, then it concludes that rain is not His will?” How many saints in the Bible, if they did that would have failed and never been recorded! To do so is a false form of humility. It tramples on God’s sovereignty as a cheap thing, by using it as a stepping stone to glory the kingdom of self, and its starting point, and its experience and its observations. Also, to do so is to make one’s “own speculation” from inductive experience on equal grounds with Scripture–as a first principle for knowledge. This proceeds from a stupid mind and a heart of witchcraft. Why bother criticizing the Pope as a dual epistemology with Scripture if one makes their own speculative experience greater than God’s Word? Why even bother asking a witch to divine your life, or star charts, if you use own inductive speculations to find out God’s secret decrees?
Crossing over Jordan with a Sword in Your Hand.
The first stage was liberation from their masters in Egypt. The second stage was eviction of their enemies from Canaan. They would not be escaping, but they would be attacking. Under Joshua’s leadership, the people would have to fight. It was not to liberate their friends, but to exterminate their enemies. They would not be fighting for survival, but for prosperity. In fact, this was the reason they were taken out of Egypt in the first place (Exodus 3:8). Freedom was never the final end. They would take possession of God’s promises, of the “milk and honey.”
The Christian experience mirrors Israel’s history. If crossing the Red Sea was like baptism into Christ for freedom (1 Corinthians 10:2), then the distinct and subsequent experience of crossing the Jordan could be taken as baptism with the Holy Spirit for power (Acts 8:14-16, 19:1-2). Centuries later, John the Baptist announced at the Jordan, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8). This is no longer about salvation in terms of the forgiveness of sin. The blood of the lamb was applied back in Egypt. And it is no longer about maintaining a self-sufficient life, or the sanctification of the individual. They lived in this sufficient condition for forty years in the wilderness. Salvation in this sense was never intended as the final end.
As God delivered the Israelites from Egypt(baptized them in the red sea), God has delivered me from sin and death—all by Himself with no help from me. However, just as with Joshua and the Israelites I was also Baptized in the Jordan river; and upon doing so God placed a sword in my hand and told me to take the land–He told me to overcome depression by His mighty and invincible Word! Hebrews said Joshua entered because of faith. Only faith in God would overcome the insurmountable troubles ahead of him. That is, by faith Joshua would overcome; without it he would fail just like the millions of dead corpses of the Israelites laying in the desert proved. Joshua did not look at the high walls and strong people as a burden—the only real burden was dealing with 40 years of the unbelief that surrounded him—rather, with a shout of triumph in the promise of his God, he overcame all things.
NLT 1 Corinthians 10:13, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”
When I realize that I did not find the escape from sin today, the issue is my unbelief in the promise of God. “There is always a way to escape temptation. There is always a way to avoid sin. However, I would not say to a preacher, “If God promises to change us, and if he promises to always provide a way out when we are tempted, then why do you still sin sometimes? The doctrine must be false!””
When I fall into temptation it is not that the promise of God failed; rather, it is my faith. It is not a burden for me to realize this! Some spiritually defective thinking might ask, “How then, is faith not a burden?”
Hebrews 12:1–2 (LEB), “Therefore, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith.” My faith is not perfect; however, the Perfect One and the author of my faith, is with me to mature and strengthen my faith. I rebuke myself and in the promises of God—take my stand—knowing Jesus will improve and mature my faith. I do not see burdens; I see hope. I see many triumphs and victories through the imputed righteous of Jesus credited to my account by grace, even in healing, miracles overcoming depressions, and defeating temptations. I see a promise land–filled with enemies, that will fall by my sword of truth and shield of faith. I see joy in overcoming all things. When the battle seems to grind to a halt—when Moses’ hands fell—I see peace, knowing the Victory is still mine through faith, for the “Author of my faith” will strengthen the feeble hands that hang low.
Hannah a Hero of Faith.
FOURTH. Hannah knew what to do when she dealt with the pain of not having a child -(which God caused, ontologically it was “His Will”). She asked for a miracle and received one – a gift. She did not like the pain and wanted it to go away. God gave her a son, as a reward for her faith. The pain stopped. God has commanded us to believe in His promises. Christian ethics is obeying God’s commands. Christian ethics is not an inductive conclusion taken from some speculations of what one thinks God’s causality is doing at a given moment.
Hanna was a hero of faith and ethics. After speaking of God’s sovereignty (“God kills and makes alive“) she proclaims that for the humble who believe in Him: (1 Sam. 2:9,8) “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.”
Hannah, therefore, was a faithful steward of the promises of God by believing in them – and giving glory to God as a “GOOD” Father by receiving the very thing she asked from Him—a fish for a fish, bread for bread, an egg for an egg, and a son for a son.
Matthew 12:20 (NIV)
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
Some of the basic counsel I received there I put into practice, and now I encourage you to do the same. In fact, the basic scriptural promise list that Vincent wrote me to think over, I expounded it and have read these verses to myself almost every day for years.
Some other essays from Vincent that have helped me and to which some of his explanations bleed out in this testimony since I put them to daily practice for years are (1) The Edge of Glory, (2) “Energized by righteousness, peace, and joy…”, (3) Faith Override, (4) All Things are Yours.
 I can use my headphones at work, and so, for years I have listened to the 4 gospels of Jesus Christ so many times that I cannot count. Not only was this the heart of Jesus’ ministry, but He commanded that we follow in this same ministry. Do people suppose to willfully disobey God’s commands and not expect to reap what they sew?
 Vincent Cheung, Depression: P is for Pervert. Found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.
The Reformed might criticize the charismatics for over-emphasizing things like health and wealth, but they are not better than the people they criticize, for they over-emphasize sin and forgiveness while negating the other half of the core gospel.
 See my essay on the Logic and Scripture: Romans 9:11-18, Why Is Pharaoh Punished.
 Vincent Cheung. Two Views on God’s Word. (https://www.vincentcheung.com/2016/06/15/two-views-on-gods-word). Also found in Sermonettes Vol. 9. Chapter 18. 2016.
 Vincent Cheung, Depression: P is for Pervert. Found in Sermonettes Vol. 8, chapter 7. 2015.
 LEB Luke 22:31