Does life seem like an uphill struggle with no breaks? In this three-part series, Joseph Prince shows you how a simple shift in your thinking can greatly transform your life. Whether it’s your personal walk with God, a life of good success for you and your loved ones, or freedom from destructive lifestyles, see how believing right about God sets you on a glorious path to victory.
Caught in the suffocating grip of depression, Jeff, a brother from Canada, found life spiraling more and more out of control each day. Days would pass with him buried in compulsive introspection from which he would emerge feeling increasingly useless, hopeless, and worthless. Before he knew it, these bouts of introspection and self-condemnation brought on terrifying anxiety attacks that left him physically and emotionally battered.
Worn out by the depression and anxiety, this young man’s school grades began to suffer and his thoughts turned even darker—he began to contemplate suicide.
Desperate for a way out of his depression, Jeff turned to the Lord. But even though he read the Bible and many books on theology, listened to sermons by various preachers, and researched Bible topics online, his situation did not improve—until he discovered the gospel of grace. He shared:
It was not until I bought and read your book, Destined To Reign, that the huge boulder that was on my shoulders for almost a decade was finally lifted! I was already a Christian, but I was only set free after I discovered through your book the true meaning of grace and being saved.
It was such a simple shift in perspective that I can’t believe I didn’t know this before! It’s not our ability to obey in our thoughts, but it’s Christ’s obedience. Because my new identity is in Christ, I have no more fears as my focus is now on Him and not me! I am now even more confident and joyful than I was before the depression had even started!
What a beautiful testimony! Praise the Lord for every precious life He transforms.
Now, I would like to draw your attention to something powerful Jeff said: “It was such a simple shift in perspective that I can’t believe I didn’t know this before!” Herein lies the answer…the answer to why some people experience victory while others are still struggling with their depression, addictions, or fears. It’s a change in your perspective, or your beliefs. All it took was for Jeff to change his beliefs, and victory over a condition that was slowly draining him of life, was his. Those who are familiar with my ministry will know I always preach how it is right believing that leads to right living.
When you believe right, you will live right.
When you believe right, you will live right. Beloved, if you want to change your life for the better, then change what you believe!
BELIEVING THE TRUTH OF GRACE IS WHAT FREES YOU
Jesus said it this way: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). When Jeff got hold of the truth, and believed the truth, his life began to change. The depression lifted. Joy filled his soul. He was finally set free.
You may be wondering, “What is the truth?”
The truth here is not more principles, rules, or self- discipline and self-control techniques. It’s not seven more steps or laws to your freedom. No, the truth Jesus is talking about here is the truth of God’s grace. Jesus didn’t come to give us more rules and laws that bind. He came to give us the liberating truth of God’s abundant grace (John 1:17).
You see, a lot of people, who are struggling to break free from their bondages and change their lives, think the answer lies in applying more principles, obeying more rules, and exercising more discipline and self-control. Then, when they can’t do what is required or prescribed, they feel condemned. And when they feel condemned, their problems only worsen. It’s a double whammy that leads to a vicious downward spiral.
This was exactly what happened to Jeff. And it was only when he realized that the truth that sets one free is not more laws to be followed, but the abundance of God’s grace to be freely received that everything began to change. Jeff spoke of his discovering the true meaning of God’s grace, and how it is not about his obedience (or performance, even in his thought life), but all about Christ’s obedience demonstrated at the cross, for him.
My friend, is fear, depression, or addiction holding you captive today? Then believe that it’s not about what you have to do to deserve God’s deliverance, but what God has done for you through Christ’s finished work. Believe He loves you. Believe He will empower and deliver you through His unmerited favor when you look to Him, even when you’ve messed up, are still struggling, and feel least deserving. That’s God’s amazing grace. That’s the truth that you need to start believing that will set you on the path to freedom!
GRACE IS BELIEVED AND RECEIVED
“Pastor Prince, can God be that gracious to me? I really don’t deserve it.”
That’s why it’s called “grace”—you can’t deserve it, you can only receive it, and you do this by believing that Christ, through His perfect finished work at the cross, has qualified you to freely receive it.
The apostle Paul states, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). How do you reign in life over that depression, fear, or secret sin? How do you walk in lasting victory? Beloved, it’s through God’s grace, not by you achieving or meriting it, but by you simply receiving it in abundance.
Choose to believe in the truths of His grace.
Every day, instead of looking at your lack-luster performance, feeling condemned, and believing that God is disappointed with you, believe in the truths of His grace. Say, “Father, thank You for an abundance of Your grace in my area of weakness. I receive it freely and gladly. I thank You that You don’t condemn me and see me as a rotten sinner, but that You love me unconditionally and see me wholly righteous by the blood of Jesus. I thank You that Your grace is working powerfully in me, through me, and in my situation to give me victory and lasting freedom. Because You are for me and because of Your abundant grace upon me, I can’t help but reign in life!”
Beloved, when you swap your negative beliefs for such right beliefs about God’s grace, that destructive sin, that long-term depression, those debilitating fears, that chronic sickness, that financial lack…they’re all coming off your life. Change what you believe, change your life!
RIGHT BELIEVING COMES FIRST
Please don’t read all this and think that Pastor Prince is not interested in right living or right behavior. Like any pastor out there who loves his flock, I want the people in my congregation to live lives that glorify God. But we shouldn’t put the cart before the horse. Right believing in the truth of God’s grace must come first, then there will be right living.
A lot of people are trying to live right without really believing right first. They give themselves more rules and resolutions, and resolve to exercise more willpower and self-discipline to do the right thing. They want to please God, and I don’t for one moment doubt their sincerity. But you know, you can do all that and only have temporary results (as long as your willpower lasts), because there has been no real change in your beliefs. Unless your beliefs change, there will be no lasting change. Unless there’s inward heart transformation, there will be no God-empowered, God-sustained life transformation on the outside. God goes to the root. When you believe right in your heart and mind about His love and grace, you will have right living.
What do you believe about God today?
So if you want to break free from any bondage, first and foremost, check what you are believing and thinking about God. Right now, do you believe that God is disappointed and angry with you, and that you have to do a lot more to earn from Him your breakthrough? Or do you believe that He is a God of grace who accepts you, loves you, and is for you despite your many failures? Do you believe that the answer lies in His abundant grace and not in your smarts and self-efforts?
Beloved, believe in a God of grace today. Lean wholeheartedly on His grace—His unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor—and see Him shatter every chain and fling wide open every prison door in your life!