Take a deep breath … now … release it peacefully knowing that you are doing this!!
You are slowly but surely utilizing the unmatchable power of your faith to help battle the wicked enemy of depression!
You! Are! Doing! It!
I hope that in this battle you will recognize me as your “Faith Coach”. Together, we are employing a three-pronged attack that will enable you to fight for joy.
First of all, I want to remind you to see your medical doctor. Just do it! Make an appointment today and tell this trusted medical professional exactly how depression has tormented your soul and then … take his or her advice.
Secondly, let me remind you to find a certified and trained counselor. Just do it today! Talking with this counselor will sustain you both emotionally and mentally. A counselor is able to peel back the layers of one’s pain and then discover the root cause of the depression that has invaded the borders of your life.
And then … there is the overwhelming, restorative, mountain-moving, Red-Sea-parting power of your faith!
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every though captive to the obedience of Christ.” – II Corinthians 10:3-5
My sisters … my brothers … put up your dukes spiritually!
Your faith may just be the most significant component of your arsenal as you fight depression’s unwelcome onslaught! The faith that you have in Jesus Christ and the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit is well-able to dismantle depression, to wash away discouragement and to combat an overall sadness of the human soul.
Let’s review what we have learned so far …
In this faith prescription, we have already talked about the importance of reading your Bible every single day. Read your Bible when you don’t feel like it … when you don’t have time … and even when you don’t understand it. Spend time memorizing the words written on the sacred page of God’s anointed Word.
“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your Word.” – Psalm 119:28
The second healing vitamin that was distributed as a vital component of your daily fighting strategy was the injunction to worship the Lord out loud!
Sing in the shower! Listen to worship music while you are driving!
Put your hands in the air and even dance in the living room! Whistle while you work!
Out-sing your emotional pain!
Worship is not a feeling and does not depend upon your feelings. Worship is a choice … it is an act … and it might take a little bit of discipline on your part.
We are called to worship the Lord in spite of our feelings and in spite of our human pain.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” – Psalm 42:11
Giving … Service … Witness
The third area of your faith that will actually help you fight against the arch-enemy of depression is when you choose to willingly die to self and subsequently choose cheerfully to give to someone else.
The healing begins when, knowing that you need to be served, you choose to serve someone else instead.
The power is realized when you witness rather than whine.
So … my practical advice to you today is to encourage someone else.
Write a sweet e-mail to one of your friends who is currently struggling with their own set of circumstances.
Phone a high school friend whom you haven’t spoken to in years.
Send flowers to a young mom.
Take a widow or a widower out for coffee.
Bake cookies for your neighbors.
Pay for someone’s coffee in the drive-through lane.
Write your pastor a note of encouragement.
Slip a $20 bill to a young father at church.
Look beyond your own pain and choose to be a blessing to someone else.
“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
If Jesus Himself believed that it you would find a hidden blessing in giving rather than in receiving … I would take Him at His word if I were you!
You might need to force yourself to get out of bed … take a shower … and make an action-packed plan for your otherwise gloomy day.
If you are able – rake someone’s leaves.
Tell the cashier at the grocery store that she is doing a good job.
Volunteer to clean the church.
Take an elderly person to their doctor’s appointment.
Don’t allow depression to rob you of your purpose!
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today”.” – Hebrews 3:13
Find a Friend
I love the hidden treasures that I find in Scripture! As I was reading the Bible a few weeks ago, I found a rich deposit of wisdom for those of us who battle depression!
It was an a-ha moment on an otherwise gray day! I was in a dark place due to the trauma of my circumstances but I read my Bible anyway. This is what I read on that difficult day – are you ready to shout?!!
“But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” – II Corinthians 7:6
Wow … just wow!
Did you realize that we serve a God who comforts the depressed?! Isn’t that good news for us?! And – one of the ways that He comforts us is by the people that He sends across our pathway.
So, today, if you are struggling with depression, find a friend!
Think of the most joyful person you knowand ask him or her out to lunch.
Is there someone with whom you are acquainted who is a true encourager? Make a coffee date with that dear one!
I live in a new city and have left all of my precious friends over a thousand miles away … but I looked up a college friend with whom I haven’t spoken in over a decade … and we have met now for lunch two times. What an encouragement she has been to me! A true gift from the Father!
I drove nearly two hours to have lunch with another lifetime friend just because I was aching for her wisdom and her strength.
I called my college roommate who lies 5 hours away and invited myself to her home! She always makes me laugh!
And next week … I am having lunch with a woman whom I haven’t seen in over 30 years … but her faith is strong and vibrant.
I have to make myself do these things … but I know that it is part of my healing prescription … and I am in … all in!
And finally …
If you battle depression, know that I am praying for you today. Please know that I have not meant for my answers to be trite or preachy … but they have come from a heart filled with the wonder at what God can do in one person’s ordinary life.
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!