Depression is an issue that impacts everyone. Christians and unbelievers alike suffer from fear, anxiety, and overwhelming stress. If you are not depressed than you know somebody who is or has been. In any event, depression is not fun. In time past the Church have in many ways sidestepped the issue and was dismissive of it.
For most Christians, even admitting that they suffer from depression is something you just don’t do because others see you as a defeated, demon possessed Christian. But no matter where you are in your struggle, you can always find solace in Jesus, Hope and courage from scripture and practical advice and counseling to lift you out of your gloomy days of depression. Or at least help you walk through it. Allow me to share a few:
He’s got gold in mind
Job 23:1; 9, 10
My hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that
I might come even to his seat! on the left hand
when he is working, I do not behold him; he
turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has
tried me, I shall come out as gold.
The first thing you need to understand is that God understands
You may not see him, find him, understand what you are going through or how to come out of it. You may not even know of what good or use you will be, after all is said and done. But:
- He knows what You are going through
- He know where You are
- He has a plan, a purpose for you in this thing
- He’s bringing out GOLD in you
He’s there in the every day and the mundane
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy
food and drink and to find satisfaction in work.
Then I realized that these pleasures are from the
hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything
apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge,
and joy to those who please him.
Depression says all is vanity Depression says there is no purpose in life. Depression says everything is meaningless.
The second thing you need to understand is that he is with you every day and in everything. Even and in the menial mundane things.
- God says, not everything is vanity
- God says, there is purpose for your life
- God says you can find satisfaction, purpose, and meaning in your work. No matter how menial you might think it is. He says, you can actually find enjoyment in the things that are important: work, family, friends
- He has given us everything for our enjoyment – 1 Timothy 6:17
Out of the mouths of infants
Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants
You have established strength because of Your foes,
that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.
[Matt. 21:15, 16.]
The third thing you need to understand is that no matter how small you feel, He has chosen the weak things to nullify the strong.
Sometimes on your gloomy days you feel:
- Like nothing
In these times God reminds us about the power of small things. How big things come in small packages. Hence, the illustration of infants. If God can silence the might and power of the enemy and the avenger, by mere infants, how much more can he do through you? It doesn’t matter how strong you are, it matters how strong He is. For his power is made perfect in your weakness.
Psalm 77:8, 9
Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises
at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
When I focus on my troubles
- My soul refuses to be comforted
- my spirit faints
- I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
The fourth thing you need to understand is when you focus on Him – possibilities are endless. You gain heavenly perspective in your earthly dilemmas.The Psalmist says, “I will bring to remembrance your great deeds. I will remember the deeds of the Lord . I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds.” What he’s saying is – I’ve seen you do this before, so I will remain confident that you who brought me in will be faithful to bring me out:
- When the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled
- Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters
- yet your footprints were unseen… I may not see you, but I know you are at work
- You led your people like a flock – I am confident you will do the same for me!
Find the answer in the sanctuary
Psalm 73:16, 17
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I
went into the sanctuary of God.
The fifth thing you need to understand is the power of coming into his house for:
- inspiration/ instruction/ revelation/ Meditation/ Prayer/ worship/ fellowship
To carry a weight of inner conflict and depression is painful and burdensome. Walking around with a cloud of gloom and doom is not the will of the father for anyone. When God’s people gather for worship and an opportunity to pray for one another and listen to God’s word, He usually shows up. In his house we can find the power to break free from depression.
A Multitude of Counselors
Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
abundance of counselors there is safety.
The sixth thing you need to understand is that it is okay to seek help. Because depression causes and cures can be very mysterious.
It is okay to seek counseling from your pastor or from a profession Christian counselor. It is also good to find support in closed friends and loved ones. I would counsel you to see a doctor and get some extra help in addition to everything said in this post. For some, seeing a Christian counselor, meeting in support groups and relying on friends and loved ones is just not enough. Finding the courage to seek help will speak out and find help is very critical.
Nothing else and no one else can help the way Jesus can
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is
and my burden is light."
The seventh thing you need to understand is that Jesus bring something to the table that no one else can.
In your search to overcome depression and find fulfillment and meaning, the greatest remedy you will ever find is in Jesus and pursuing a relationship with him. The things of this world will not do. Money, cars, fame, fortune, self effort and self-help will not do. Even with the best counselors and the greatest medical cure, Jesus bring not only temporal, but also eternal healing and satisfaction.
To medicate or not to medicate
And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have
need of a physician, but those who are sick.
The Lord's play
on words here speaks of Himself
as a healer and his
acknowledgment of medicine and doctors.
The eighth thing you need to understand is that depression has the power to create another world on which you will be tempted to rely on.
According to Ed Welch, depression is always a spiritual matter. It is something we must always go to The Lord for power, mercy, and grace.” Therefore, it is okay to medicate depression, but we should never allow antidepressants to take the place of God’s power and grace. We must never lose sight of his constant grace. But always use wisdom to balance the two.
A Journey, not a quick fix
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall
into fear, but you have received the Spirit of
sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
"From the end of the earth I call to you when my
is overwhelmed with anxiety, Lead me to the
is higher than I."
Philippians 4:6, 7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
be made known to God. And the peace of God,
surpasses all understanding, will guard your
minds in Christ Jesus."
The ninth thing we need to understand is that prayer and meditation work, but they are not quick fixes, they are part of the healing process.
We must never wait for our lives to be perfect before we think about living it to its fullest. There are thousands of godly men and women of God who struggled with depression all their lives yet went on to do great things for God. So seek God, spend time in prayer and his word. Learn how to overcome and find joy every day even in the midst of depression.
The following are habits that just don’t help. Seek God’s help and power to stop doing them:
- Stop “Walking with the Dead” before you go to sleep. Yes, I talking about TV shows and movies like that
- Stop getting wasted just to numb your pain – Yes I am talking about drugs and alcohol
- Stop going to la la land to escape your sorrows – Yes, I am talking about day dreaming and fantasy
- Stop doing nothing – Yes, I am talking about just sitting around doing nothing. Try some exercise
These things just don’t help. Invest your time in prayer, worship, meditation and community.
Momentary struggles vs. Eternal Glory
2 Corinthians 4:17, 18
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing
for us an
eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look
not to the things that are seen but to the
unseen. For the things that are seen are
things that are unseen are eternal."
The tenth thing you need to understand is that one of these days, you are going to look back on all you afflictions and say, “wow, that was nothing.”
Every pain, depression and dark suffering you’ve ever been through, you are going to look back and they will all be dim in the light of His glory. In the main time fix your eyes on him, put your trust in Him and walk with Him.