2006-01-02 / Columns

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED...

You can prevail against the giant

Dr. French O’Shields Dr. French O’Shields As you experience life in the New Year, be cautious of the giants that attack people.

One of the biggest is stalking our land and threatening each of us. He ruins lives, shatters families and reduces the workforce. He frightens, saddens and immobilizes. He destroys by convincing us we are helpless and hopeless when in combat with him.

Who is this giant?

DEPRESSION.

In Biblical times another giant stalked the land. Israel was under attack. The giant was the Philistine, Goliath. Israel’s soldiers, normally mighty in battle, paled with fear as Goliath shouted his challenge to engage in mortal combat. They resigned themselves to defeat and fled.

Only David, a young shepherd boy — too young to be a soldier — took up the challenge. An unlikely match. A young shepherd boy, seemingly unarmed against the mammoth Goliath, who had weapons and armor that normal men could not even carry.

Man provided David with conventional armor and weapons. He tried them on. They weren’t comfortable. He sensed they held little promise of victory. He took them off.

David chose instead his shepherd’s sling and small smooth stones he carefully picked from a brook. These stones God created and provided.

As they faced off in battle, the arrogant giant disdained the young shepherd boy. Israel’s soldiers — experts in warfare — thought David insane to think he stood a chance.

But look! The giant is dead! He is slain by the first stone hurled from David’s sling. To all but David the sling and stone seemed most unlikely weapons. The experts thought they would never work.

Amazing? Yes, indeed. But the real weapon was not the stone. It was David’s unwavering trust in God to give him the victory. In response to Goliath’s shouts of scorn, David confidently replied, “You are coming against me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the God of Israel. This very day the Lord will put you in my power. I will defeat you and cut off your head” (I Samuel 17:45-46, TEV). Yes, a spiritual weapon was the real weapon that slew the giant and brought the victory.

In my personal battle with depression, I discovered the weapons that work best in bringing victory are spiritual weapons. Some of the “experts” may not think so. But, I know so. I have been there. I know the terror and horror of the battle and, thanks be to God, I know the joy of victory.

From my training and personal experience I am convinced spiritual weapons (spiritual therapy) offer the only complete and lasting victory over psychological depression. This has been also confirmed by what has happened in the lives of a countless number of people who have applied the Biblical principles and spiritual exercises God taught me and I have shared in seminars and in my book.

Man does have some weapons to offer. Some are good and offer help. But even the “experts” who offer them, expect one’s depression to re-occur. Spiritual weapons, faithfully and continuously appropriated, offer complete and lasting victory.

I urge you to try God’s weapons. All you have to lose is your depression! And that is VICTORY!

(This column contains excerpts from Dr. O’Shields’ book, SLAYING THE GIANT. Dr. O’Shields is a Gaffney native and a retired Presbyterian minister.)

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