30 Jul Depression: Six Steps to Defeat it with God’s Word
Does a fear of the future and feelings of hopelessness sap your energy? Are you consumed by grief and associated depressive emotions? Do anxious thoughts keep you awake, night after night and steal your peace and joy? Or, equally worse, are you tired all the time, or sleep excessively without feeling rested? In a world flung to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic, such experiences are not unusual.
As the crisis continues to take its toll on countless lives, it has also thrown into chao socio-economic balances worldwide – fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus in Jn.10:10, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’
The Causes of Depression
Unfortunately, even Catholics who claim to know the Lord seem paralysed with fear in the face of the uncertainty this pandemic brings. Could it be that despite having knowledge of the word of God, they fail to take hold of the power of God in their lives? So, how do you discover the power of God, to overcome depression and cope in times of crises? Find refuge and strength in His Word and ways.
The sources of depression are manifold, and not confined to the following list. They can range from:
- Death or separation from loved ones
- Genetic predisposition
- Major life events with negative consequences such as traumatic childhood experiences, divorce, betrayal, etc.
- Personal problems stemming from financial issues, illnesses, etc.
- Substance abuse: drugs, alcohol, smoking/vaping, etc.
Yet, there is only one source of healing, Jesus Christ. “For I shall restore you to health and heal your wounds,” he says in Jeremiah 30:17. No matter the season of suffering you may be in, be assured of this: God has not abandoned you. Yahweh, the God of hope can restore even the most hopeless situation. All you need to do is to take him at his word.
Put into practice these five powerful ways that take hold of God’s grace to conquer and triumph over depression.
1. Know that God is with you in Trouble
Our God is an omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing) God, who is ever-present, especially in times of trouble. As Psalm 34:15 says, ‘The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.’ Verse 18 of this psalm adds that, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’
God knows what you are going through and is with you through your trials and tribulations. Feel blessed in the knowledge that you are not alone. The creator of the universe is in control of the outcome of your suffering, and will work it out for good, if you trust Him to do so.
2. Give Him your Burden
He grieves with you and wants to comfort you in your affliction – whether it is physical or emotional: sickness, bereavement, relationship issues, abuse, rejection, failure, betrayal or any other calamity. Do what Peter advises in 1 Pt. 5:7 ‘Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you.’
Like the psalmist in Psalm 23, you must be confident that, ‘Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, LORD, for you are with me.’ Friend, the onus is on you to surrender your pain to Jesus.
3. Talk to Jesus through your Trials
Acknowledge that you need help. Do this by speaking to trusted family and friends; get medical help if needed. Simultaneously, you should talk to Jesus. Ask him to heal the source of the depression in your life. When he lived among men, our Saviour offered up prayer and supplication to the One who was able to save him.
Likewise, you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions; instead, surrender them to Jesus. He wants you to articulate your pain, so that you experience emotional and spiritual release from your suffering, as you entrust it in faith to Him. In Mk. 10:51 Jesus knew the blind man needed healing. Yet he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘Rabbuni, let me see again.’
4. Lean on his Compassion and Mercy
Numerous instances in the Bible highlight the unending compassion and mercy of our God. Ps. 103:8 states that ‘Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love.’ In Mk. 1:40, when a person suffering from leprosy, begged Jesus saying, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!”
Again in Mt. 15:32, ‘When the people followed Jesus for three days without anything to eat, He called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion for these people;…I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” And what did our Lord do? He fed the multitude, performing the ‘miracle of the five loaves and two fish.’ This miracle was the foreshadow of the eternal offering of His body and blood on the cross for our sins. Will not a God who gave himself up for us be concerned about our every need?
5. Surrender your Mind to God
Depression finds its roots in the mind. To experience healing from it, we must surrender our minds to Jesus, so that he can transform and renew it. St. Paul exhorts us to ‘put on the mind of Christ’ in Phil. 2:5. In a simple and honest surrender of our minds to Jesus, we can approach Him saying, ‘Lord, help me. I surrender this pain/pride/betrayal/physical illness to you.’
Robin Williams, the affable comedian who passed away in 2014 said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” But why should we, the children of God, feel worthless? When, through Jesus we have been made worthy by the victory he won for us on the cross, over death and depression.
6. Listen to the Word of God
The Word of God is truly Good News. It brings healing and breaks the power of depression over your life. Hebrews 4:12 says, ‘The word of God is something alive and active,’ However, we need to do our part by crying out to Jesus, the Word made flesh; like the people did according to Ps. 107:19-20, ‘They cried out to Yahweh in their distress; he rescued them from their plight, he sent out his word and cured them, and rescued their life from the abyss.’
As you continue to abide in the Word of God, you will experience restoration and healing for your troubled mind, wholeness from brokeness, and respite from restlessness. Carry on in faith, as you find encouragement in the immense power of God’s Word to destroy the stronghold of depression over your life.
Need further encouragement to strengthen your faith? Check out these Divine UK teachings to experience God’s restorative power to transform and renew you in this broken world.
Br. Jude Antoine
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Email : [email protected]