I am an optimistic person. When friends vent about negative things, I always try to get them to see things with the cup half full. This can be encouraging to some but annoying to others. Sometimes people just want to be sad and angry and I pop their bubble of angst with reasons whey they shouldn’t despair. Even when life is hard for me, I try my best to see how God is working things out for the good. I feel God has called me to an encourager. But there are those rare times when I see that dark fog creeping over the edge of my life. The fog of depression sneaks up on me once in a while and I’m fighting to stay positive. Circumstances become difficult and suddenly I’m running from the darkness while hope looks like a small flicker of light about to go out. Depression sucks. It really does. It sucks the life out of you.
Depression is unavoidable. For some of us it’s just a sad feeling but for others it’s a raging storm of emotions, leaving us lifeless. There are some things we can do as we trudge through this difficult time, towards the flickering light of hope. There are two very important things to do when depression attacks: Take shelter and fight. The same way you would go down to the basement during a tornado, or take shelter in a storm, there are things we can do to take shelter during depression. Just like you would defend yourself if attacked by someone, you can retaliate the feeling of hopelessness. Depression is not only a feeling, but it’s a spiritual evil. It is the enemy’s weapon of choice, catered to your weaknesses. I can’t solve your depression problems but I can encourage you to take cover and fight through it.
Take cover in the refuge of God and fight back with prayer.
Spend time in prayer and reading the word. Pray God’s word. Surround your self with worship music. Avoid things that might stir up your sadness. Sometimes we want to numb the feelings with drinking, drugs, food, or people. I think it’s important to avoid numbing ourselves. We don’t want a band-aid; we want complete healing. Clear away things that might tempt you into sin. Read scriptures which will counter act the lies the enemy is telling you. Look up scriptures which remind you of God’s promises. Dwell on the truth about who you are: you are loved and valuable. God has a plan for you. Talk to your heavenly father about how you feel and let him comfort you. Ask God if there are any things you need to change in your life and what his will is for you during this time. Let earthly things fall away, and just hold onto Christ for dear life. You do not have to fight this alone! God is fighting for you and with you.
Take cover in community and fight back by loving others.
When you first take cover in God’s presence, he will take your hand and lead you to community. Spend time with people who will be life-giving. When we feel the weight of sadness on our hearts, there’s nothing like a good laugh with friends and family. I know we want to crawl into the corner of our bedrooms and just be left alone. But when we stay in community, God can use people to speak life into you. People can pray with you and be praying for you on their own. Also, while you’re in community, find ways to encourage and love others. Taking the focus of yourself and aiming your heart towards others can be healing. In doing so, you will find that other people feel just like you do, and they need someone to relate to and encourage them. The enemy wants to debilitate us so we can’t be used by God. He wants to break us down and render us useless. But when you seek out others who need love and encouragement, you are fighting back and showing the enemy that you will not be silenced. You are a child of God and will continue to seek His kingdom regardless of how you feel. In the process this will heal your heart as well.
If you are fighting depression I pray for you right now. I pray God will meet you right where you are and give you peace. God loves you and has plans for you. You are his beautiful creation and he wants to bless you. I pray against the lies of the enemy, which are telling you there is no hope. Whatever thoughts are filling your mind that are painful, angry, sad, or sinful, I pray that you surrender them to God and allow him to heal you and give you the strength to fight back.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.