“Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5). Perhaps you battle depression, and you see no hope. But there is hope! In the midst of his hardest time, David held on to that hope. He put his hope in God. “I will remember the deeds of the Lord,” the psalmist wrote. “Yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).
When life overwhelms your spirit and robs your joy, you sink into depression. You might try to call it something else because a Christian is not suppose to be depressed. That is just a lie. Anyone can be depressed. But as a Christian you have great promise of recovery, and His name is Jesus Christ. Admit you are depressed, and confess it to God. The psalmist remembered the days when the Lord blessed him, and days were not so hard. He wrote “To this I will appeal; the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand” (Psalm 77:10). Seek God, and His help. Admit your struggle to someone you trust. Pray privately and then pray with others for His help. “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).
“You are the God who performs miracles,” the psalmist wrote. “You display your power among the peoples” (Psalm 77:14). When hiding from Saul who wanted to kill him, David felt alone and depressed. But he learned that encouragement made all the difference. He learned to encourage himself. It is hard when you are so down to find hope, but try to concentrate on who God is instead of who you are. Seek someone with the gift of encouragement to help build your hope. Grasp their encouragement with the little strength you possess, and tell the Lord again and again that you need His strength.
“Loneliness breeds depression,” Brother Bill taught on Sunday. Depression isolates. Fight isolation. Make yourself do something for someone else. Give yourself away, and minister to another. “I don't feel like it,” you might say. “There is nothing left in me.” That is your depression. It is your feeling of isolation and depression that holds you in bondage. Feelings cannot be trusted. God can be trusted. His Word is truth. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17). “By faith do what you need to do, and feelings will come,” Brother Bill said. Persevere and keep believing and acting on your belief. Little by little you will experience freedom from your heaviness and depression. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36).
Remember when life was better. You can learn to encourage yourself just as David encouraged himself to rediscover his joy. Joy is not a feeling based on your emotion. Joy is God's strength to raise you up, and carry you through the days of your life. Take care of any physical reason for your depression, and then address the emotional and the spiritual with His help. Place your trust and hope in God, and don't give up. With perseverance you will receive what He has promised.