Help for the Depressed

“But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6).

As we continue on the theme of God’s light dispelling darkness, let’s consider another form of darkness: depression. Many people struggle with depression and when unchecked, it can lead to dark thoughts leading to even suicide. Even the Apostle Paul was smitten at times with despondency:

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

God came to this earth to cure all maladies, including depression. But He does not usually do it overnight and He does want us to cooperate with what He’s doing in our lives.

How can we gain victory over depression?

1. Fight.
This sounds like an odd solution, but Christians cannot afford to be held captive by their moods. When we do that, the evil one gets the upper hand. We do not live the Christian life passively. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We must prepare to wage battle with depression as we would with any other condition that brings us down.

2. Pray.
We need to pray very specifically that God would come to our aid and grant strength to overcome depression. Christians need to bring everything before God’s throne, including feelings of despondency. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

3. Think.
Just as God calls us to actively wage battle against sin, so we need to actively think as God would have us to. What do we think about? The apostle Paul provides the answer:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Here is something to think about. God is in control. We may feel out of control, but do not read that into God. He remains fully engaged in your life, and will not allow you to sink into the abyss. Trust in Him with all your heart, and He will come to your side to comfort, guide and bless you.

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