Almost everyone at one time or another experiences a period of sadness. Most people get over it with a little time. But for some people, the sadness continues.If you are caught in a prolonged period of sadness, you may recognise one or more of the signs that often accompany depression: a growing distrust of God, resentment of others, difficulty making decisions, guilt, inactivity, sleeplessness or oversleeping, not eating or overeating, doubting, complaining, worrying, and hopelessness, as though you’re in an inescapable pit.
Thankfully, as desperate as everything may look, there are real reasons for hope. God loves you. And He wants to fill you with joy, peace, fulfilment and so much more.
First Step to Help
The Bible says that Jesus came that we “might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NAS). Certainly, depression is not abundant life. But you can be assured that God wants you to find His peace and joy. He will help you because you are very, very important to Him.
Are you in a position to receive God’s gift of “abundant life?” If you are not certain, ask God right now to forgive you for your sins and to come and rule in your life (Romans 10:9, 10,13; I John 1:8,9; John 1:12,13). The Bible describes what happens the moment you first give your life to God as being “born again.” Spiritually, you are a new person. But you now need to learn a new way of living. God will help you. Ask Him to fill you completely with His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). God’s Spirit will give you the power to live like God wants you to. The Holy Spirit guides, comforts, teaches, empowers and produces within a Christian the actual characteristics of God — love, joy, peace, patience and more (Galatians 5:22-23). And it is when you are living the way God wants that you will experience the full and joyful life God has for you.
When you are born again, God takes residence in your spirit. He brings with Him the promise of great joy and peace, sometimes immediately. But what if you are now a Christian and you are depressed? You are not alone. Many people of faith have experienced periods of deep depression. The Bible stories of Moses, David and so many others show us how God’s love continues, even during these times and that He eventually brings great hope.
What You Can Do
What can you do to overcome depression? It depends on why you are depressed. There are many possible reasons, but since more than one may be present in your life, read all the sections below:Physical: Some depression is caused by physical problems. Improper diet, lack of exercise, and not enough sleep can all contribute to depression. So, if you are feeling “down,” make sure you are taking care of your body.
In addition, many illnesses can cause depression (others may be caused by depression). Also, some medications can cause depression. It’s always a good idea to see your doctor for a checkup to rule out physical reasons. But remember, God can heal any physical problem, including one that causes, or is caused by, depression (Psalm 103:3; Matthew 8:16-17).
If your doctor has diagnosed a particular problem, ask your prayer partner, pastor, Christian counselor or other Christian to pray with you for God’s healing (James 5:14-16). But if you are taking medication for any problem, consult your doctor before changing or stopping it.
Losses and Other Hurts: When something you see as bad happens to you, it’s normal to feel hurt. You may have lost your job or other financial security. You may have been wronged in some way, recently or in the past. You may have a bad relationship with a friend, family member, or spouse. A loved one may have died. Or you may even be hurting about something you’ve never had, but feel you should have, such as a spouse or children. It is okay for you to hurt over a situation like this.
Tell God about your hurt. He already knows, but it is important for you to put the hurt into words and tell Him. Also tell a trusted friend or pastor, or consult a Christian counselor. Allow yourself to cry if you want to. Normal grieving, including crying, is healthy.
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