What is depression? It is a time in a person’s life when he feels extremely sad and finds it difficult to think or concentrate because he thinks the circumstances of his life are hopeless.
When a person struggles with depression, it could be one of two reasons:
• He could be living with a weakened immune system.
• He could be living his life according to his environment. (Positive and negative situations)
One thing to remember when you go through a bout of depression is that even God’s choicest servants suffered depression at different times in their lives.
Elijah (I Kings 19:4).
David (Psa. 32:3-4)
Job (Job 3:1).
Solomon (Ecc. 2:20)
Charles Spurgeon: Although his friends and acquaintances remarked about his sense of humor and laughter, they understood that he struggled with bouts of depression. Here is how Spurgeon described his own depression.
“I am the subject of depression so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to. But I always get back again by this–I know that I trust Christ. I have no reliance but in Him, and if He falls, I shall fall with Him. But if He does not, I shall not. Because He lives, I shall live also, and I spring to my legs again and fight with my depressions of spirit and get the victory through it. And so may you do, and so you must, for there is no other way of escaping from it.”
Missionary David Brainard: Although Brainerd lived a holy life, he struggled with bouts of depression. In his memoirs, he states, “I constantly fought feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy, and even as a young child my constitution and natural temper were prone to melancholy and dejection of spirit”.
How do you deal with your bout of depression when it hits you?
• Avoid too much spiritual introspection. McCheyne’s advice when he struggled with depression, “For every look you look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.”
• Admit to yourself that you can never gain God’s approval through your work for Him. God doesn’t accept you because of your gifts, talents, or abilities. He accepts you on Christ’s merits and who you are “In Him”.
• Think God-centered thoughts. These are thoughts that focus on God’s principles and His guidance. These are the thoughts that will lift your depression and bring you peace and joy. When you think thoughts that focus on how you feel, you will begin to have feelings of pride, bitterness, doubt, low-self esteem, or anger.
• Encourage others. You might be depressed because you think you don’t have any friends, but if you will be a friend, it will surprise you how many friend that you do have.