Day 12: Choose Truth Over Lies
Lie: God can’t use my life.
Truth: He equips me.
Scripture: Hebrews 13:20-22
Today Dr. Michelle Bengtson asks a question we think many have asked:
“What will they think?”
This question, and others like it, swirled around my thoughts constantly, invoking ridicule and shame.
I had been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for two decades, treating thousands of patients with conditions ranging from depression to dementia until I became deathly ill. As my illness worsened, severe depression set in.
In my darkest days, I believed the lie that because I suffered from depression as a doctor who “should’ve had all the answers,” that God could no longer use me; that depression disqualified me from His service.
I tried everything I had recommended to my depressed patients for two decades: therapy, medication, diet, sleep, and exercise. They helped but were insufficient to eradicate the depression. That’s when I heard His answer in my spirit: “Unless you address the spiritual root of disease, it’s like putting a bandaid on an infection and hoping it gets well.”
God was right! I had been addressing the physical, the cognitive, and the emotional aspects of depression, but not the physical.
Scripture says in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” In the case of depression, the thief comes to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity. God taught me that the way to combat that was with His word!
We must take every thought captive and bring it to obedience in Christ. It means we have to examine our thoughts and determine if they are coming from God or from the enemy of our soul (who is only capable of lies). If those thoughts are from our enemy, we must refute them with the truth of God’s word.
I believed that God couldn’t use me. But truthfully, God works all things for our good, and in that depression God was equipping me so as a doctor, and as a fellow sufferer, I could offer hope to others who suffered.
“Now may the God of peace… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Don’t count yourself out because of your circumstances– it’s often in the valley that God equips us to better serve Him and others.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Lord, We doubt, we worry, we often fail to understand. Meet us where we are. We want to be your hands and feet. Help us trust that you will not only use us, but you will equip us! In Jesus name, Amen
When asked her go-to verses Michelle stated, “The verses I have leaned on most are Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, and John 15:11”.
Look these verses up and write them on cards you can display in places you will view them often.
Read today’s scripture, Hebrews 13:20-21. What will God equip us with and for? Who receives the glory as God uses us?
Dr. Michelle Bengtson (Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University) is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the newly released companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study.” She has been a neuropsychologist for more than twenty years, and is now in private practice in Southlake, Texas where she evaluates, diagnoses, and treats children and adults with a variety of medical and mental health disorders. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address her patients’ issues, both for those who suffer and the ones who care for them.
Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com