Depression is very real. It can cause us to feel isolated, alone, and hopeless…like everything around us is falling apart.
Satan uses depression to steal a person’s spiritual power and freedom—he seeks to fill our minds with darkness and gloom and bring us down emotionally. However, God wants to help us live free from depression. He wants to fill us with His joy, hope and expectation of good things for our lives.
An important part of battling depression is winning the war over our feelings. We will always have feelings…they will never go away. However, we can make our feelings line up with our decisions.
When depression attacks, what we feel like doing is giving up. However, the way we respond to depression makes all the difference.
First Peter 5:8-9 says to resist the devil at his onset. It’s so important to resist the feeling of depression immediately, because the longer we allow it to remain, the harder it is to resist!
All of us will deal with disappointments from time to time—that’s a part of life. However, if we let it, our disappointment can lead to discouragement…and discouragement can lead to depression.
I’ve said this for years: If you don't let the devil impress you with what he does, then he can't oppress you; and if he can't oppress you, then he can't depress you. One of the most important things we can do is resist the devil at his onset!
A Biblical Prescription for Depression
I realize that depression may be the result of a physical or chemical imbalance, and I don’t want to discount these causes. However, for a great number of people, depression is a spiritual issue…and the Bible gives us great instructions on how to fight it.
Philippians 4:4 says, Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
Praising the Lord in the midst of our pain is the greatest thing we can do. Why? Because when we choose to fix our attention on God and rejoice in the good things He has done, we make Him bigger than our problems.
I love Psalm 16:11. It says, In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. When we worship God, we invite His presence into our lives. He replaces our discouragement and sadness with His joy and peace…giving us hope and breathing new life into our situation.
The mind is also a major key to overcoming depression. Did you know that what you think about has the power to affect every area of your life? That’s why it’s so important to renew your mind with the promises found in God’s Word.
The more time you spend reading and thinking about His Word, the more it gets inside of you and begins to change you from the inside out. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word “is alive and powerful” (NLT). It has the ability to change the way you see yourself and even your future. As you fill your mind with what God says about you and claim His promises as your own, it will bring hope and build your faith.
We can't control all of our circumstances, and we will never be completely free from experiencing pain or disappointment, but we don't have to let what happens today ruin tomorrow.
We have a choice. We can actually turn things around by making a decision to let go of the situations that caused discouragement and depression, and move toward the good things God has planned for our future.
Depression doesn’t have to rule your life. No matter what you’re going through, God is ready and willing to help you take your pain…and turn it into something great.
We do not need to strive for power or hope to have power someday; we have power now! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (see Rom. 8:11) and we can be quickened (filled with life) by that power. This is not a onetime filling that slowly drains out of us as the days go by, but we can be filled day by day and even moment by moment. We can constantly and continually experience God’s presence and power in our lives. When we belong to Him, there is never a time when His power is not accessible to us.