Depression: Cling to Jesus!
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11).
“The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” Charles H. Spurgeon
- It’s time to meet with your Jesus! Oh, how He loves you and me! Pray today for God to speak to your heart, and help you to feel His love- the wide and long and high and deep love of Jesus! Ask Jesus to heal your heart and to do miracles in the broken places in your life.
- Be sure to call your prayer partner this week! Having a godly prayer partner for the good times and the bad will change your life!
- Ponder these two beautiful verses from God’s Word this morning:
“For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again”
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. “
- Write both of these powerful Scriptures in your journal.
Cling to Jesus!
Depression is a mysterious disease which deals ruthlessly with its helpless victims. There are many different types of depression, but most of the people I know either have physiological, circumstantial, or clinical depression, none of which are easy to live with. Many endure this disease secretly and simply try to do their best to “feel better soon.”
The sad thing is that many Christians feel that if we just tell ourselves to be happy, then happiness is ours for the taking and we will be cured.
We also hear the message that we must be sub-par Christ followers because we struggle with depression. This message can make us feel like we are the only ones who can’t seem to “feel better” and there must be something wrong with us because we go through seasons of sadness.
I believe this is flawed Christianity.
In fact, down through the ages, there have been many wonderful, and powerful Christians who have struggled with depression. My personal favorite is Charles H. Spurgeon who lived in the mid-1800’s. He struggled physically with a very painful disease called “Gout,” and mentally and emotionally he suffered from depression.
Even throughout his suffering, he still preached powerful sermons which transformed lives for the kingdom of God in his day. I believe that one of the reasons he was so impactful was because he was not only transparent about his struggles, but he placed his trust completely in his Lord, Jesus Christ, as you can see from this excerpt from one of his sermons:
“I am the subject of depression so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to. But I always get back again by this—I know that I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in him, and if he falls, I shall fall with him. But if he does not, I shall not. Because he lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and get the victory through it. And so may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it.”
There is much encouragement to be found in this quote. He struggled with depression, but still managed to speak to an estimated 10 million people in his lifetime.
His secret: he leaned into Jesus, not away from Him.
This is what we must do as well. Jesus came to heal all of our brokenness!
When we are depressed, we must lean into Jesus and His word, and the body of Christ. Memorize Bible verses that are encouraging to you. Put them on your bathroom mirror, record them on your phone’s recording device, and write them on sticky notes. Say them out loud when you feel depressed. This will increase your faith! (Romans 10:17)
We need the truth of the Word of God when Satan comes to us and tempts us to feel that all is lost. Sometimes, things can get dark, and we can even have thoughts of suicide. When you hear your thoughts saying things like, “It’s over,” “It’s no use,” “They would be better off without me,” “It can’t be fixed,” or “My life is hopeless,” know that is the devil talking to you.
Suicide is the ultimate temptation. If Satan can tempt someone to take their life, he has won, and all of the possibilities of a life serving Jesus and making a difference for Him on this earth are over.
I tried to take my life at the tender age of 14 due to some painful childhood experiences. Thankfully, I told my teacher, and they took me to the hospital and treated me for the pill overdose. I look back on that time and now think, “Oh the beautiful things I would have missed had I succeeded in taking my life!”
I would have missed coming to know my Savior, Jesus, and my beautiful life with Him. There would be no love of my life, my husband, Randy. There would be no precious children, Christie, and Jack, and now my wonderful son-in-love, Alex. I would have missed my beloved friends, years of ministry and now the Help Club for Moms. Oh, I would have missed so much!
If a person ends their life, they miss ALL of the great things which God has in store for them, and the potential to be used to make a difference in this life for God!
Satan says, “End your life,” Jesus says, “Lose your life in Me.” (Matthew 10:39)
The Bible says Satan is a liar, (John 8:44) but Jesus speaks the truth, He IS truth. (John 8:32 and John 14:6)
Listen to the Truth. Listen to Jesus.
If you are in a season of depression or discouragement, please know things WILL get better! There is ALWAYS hope with God. Remember, you are placing your trust in the One who made the earth, the sun, and the stars. He is able and all powerful. You may be in the furnace right now, but Jesus is in there with you!
Jesus will heal you! Sometimes we receive miraculous healing from God, sometimes we struggle, sometimes we get medicine to help, and sometimes it’s situational and heals over time. Time does help to heal wounds but get help when necessary. Pray for healing (James 5:14-15).
While you are waiting for your healing, lean into God. Rely on the Word of God to sustain you. It will! Pray like crazy. Lean into your husband and the body of Christ. Pray with a trusted friend. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Get your feelings out in the open. Don’t hold it in. If you don’t have a friend you can lean into, pray and ask God to bring you to someone to be His hands and feet to you. Don’t walk this road alone!
Think true thoughts about your life as much as possible! Don’t listen to Satan’s lies! Read Bible scriptures which bring you hope out loud!
Such as: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) or “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Surrender to God! Don’t hold onto things which aren’t God’s will for your life! Let it go! Every day, wake up and tell God that you give whatever troubling situation that you are struggling with to Him! Then go on with your day. “Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7 GWT
Life can be tough sometimes, but keeping your focus on God as much as possible during a depressing season will help you to stay strong. Lean into Jesus! He is faithful! (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Questions to Ponder
- When you are down or depressed what helps you “lean in” to God?
- How do your friends help you best when you are feeling down or struggling with depression?
- It’s natural to be reluctant to tell anyone about your depression, but who is the one person you would tell? Prayerfully, consider telling them.
Let God use you when you are depressed. Find someone to minister to today. Bring a meal to a friend who is sick. Send a note to a friend who is hurting. Meet to pray with a friend who is having issues with her children. Brokenness is a vital part of being able to minister to others.
Charles Spurgeon missed 1 out of every 3 Sundays dues to sickness and depression. God still used him greatly!
No one is perfect. None of us has it together. We all are broken and in need of a Savior. When you’re broken, you’re like a stained glass window which lets the light in through the broken pieces. You are beautiful!
Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.
If there was one thing Deb would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is dearly near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!