Depression is something that many of us go through at one time or another. Even Christians can go through times where they feel very down and can't seem to get out of it. There are usually two causes of depression: physical and spiritual.
In this article we are going to look at spiritual depression and the weapons that God has given us to fight it. If you feel that your condition is physical, then please seek professional advice. This blog post is not meant to take the place of a doctor's advice, but to give you some tools to help fight it.
First of all let's clear something up, God does not want you depressed and that is not how He created you. He created you to 'have life, and that they may have it more abundantly' John 10:10b.
What Are the Causes Of Depression?
If you weren't created to be depressed, then what causes it and what can do about it?
Scripture makes it very clear that fear brings torment and it tries to kill things like faith, hope and love in our life. Long periods of fear or fear that has been suppressed for a long time can lead you to feel depressed. Read some scriptures for fighting fear here.
When we refuse to forgive people for the things that they have done, it gives that hurt power in our lives to keep hurting us. Over time those hurts become a heavy weight that bears down on you everyday and causes depression.
Many times we don't want to forgive because the hurt was caused by abuse and it was so bad and so hurtful that people think it is easier just to keep it inside instead of having to relive it to forgive it.
If there is a sin in your life that you know that you are supposed to let go of, but are stubbornly refusing to do so, you will feel depressed because of the battle that is going on inside of you.
Many times we feel guilty because of things we have done and feel unworthy to come before God for forgiveness. Long periods of guilt can cause depression.
The devil loves it when Christians are depressed and down because then they are not doing anything for God. He will constantly whisper things in your ear and remind you of all the reasons why you should be depressed. He will encourage people to attack you to keep you down. He will try to arrange circumstances to keep you from hoping.
You Are Not the Only One
Many times we feel guilty for feeling depressed and think that we are the only ones feeling that way, which makes us feel even more depressed.
Many people in the Bible have felt depressed, including:
- King Saul
- King David
You are not alone and you are not the only one who struggles with this, and once you realize this you have overcome a major hurdle. Please know that you can fight this; you can choose to do something about this. It might be one of the hardest things you do in your life but God wants to help you feel better. Listed below are some awesome weapons that God has given you to use in the fight to lift you from the pits of despair.
The Word of God
Find Scriptures that apply to your situation and place them around your house. Read them every day out loud. In the Bible it says, 'Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God' (Romans 10:17). When you speak the Word, it builds your faith to believe that God will help you.
Pour your heart out to God and ask Him to help you. God always listens to our prayers.
If you can, try to get up at the same time every day and say a special morning prayer. Not only will getting up at a regular time help ease your depression, but starting the day with prayer will set the right mood for the rest of the day.
Find songs that worship God and encourage you. Play them all the time; sing to them. Worship has the amazing power to lift you up and the devil will not hang around long in the presence of worship.
Your Church Family
You were never meant to deal with this alone. It doesn't matter where you are from, your gender, background or any other thing like that, you need your brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for you, to keep you accountable and to love you. There is amazing strength that you receive when others are standing and fighting this battle with you.
When you forgive someone you are not freeing them from what they did. You are freeing yourself from the power that person has over you because of what they did. Forgiveness frees you to live your life unaffected by what others do and can lift the weight of those hurts off of your shoulders.
Some Other Practical Things you can Do
Not only has God given us spiritual weapons but practical things we can do as well like…
While foods high in sugar and fat are generally called 'comfort foods', they can often make you feel low and less than comforted. When you eat a lot of sugar you experience a sugar high which might help to make you feel better for a little while, but the sugar low afterwards will leave you more depressed and craving more sugar which starts the cycle all over again.
Not Getting Any Exercise
Even a short walk in the fresh air will help you feel better. Exercise is well known to increase the chemicals in your brain that cause happiness.
Don't Hang Around Negative People
The last thing you want to do when you are depressed is to hang around people who constantly say negative things. It only brings you further down. Find people who will lift you up and hang around with them.
Don't Watch the News
Very few things in the news are positive and by watching it you are only reinforcing negative things which make you more depressed.
Spiritual depression can be fought. You do not have to live with it everyday, but the choice is yours. I know right now it may seem like you can never conquer it, but God will help you if you let Him. It may take some time, but it can be done.
Just don't give up!
~ By Kim Thompson-Pinder