Standing behind the keyboard, the Holy Spirit had me pause. My daughter needed to testify before the women at the women’s conference about how facing depression in her life had brought her healing. I knew she had overcome depression in her life after a 6-year long battle, but it was not until now that she needed to share about it publicly. As she shared how God helped her to overcome, women across the room began to weep. It was a mighty movement of God. Shortly afterward, I went to the bathroom and heard women speaking . . . if God can do it for her, He can do it for me!
We give depression power when we think we cannot overcome it. There is no struggle on this earth that we cannot overcome through Christ. Paul shared this truth in a verse that has become precious to me. Paul speaks of being able to be content in any financial situation, but before these verses, he tells us to rejoice. We can choose to be filled with joy at any time because the LORD is “at hand”; meaning near, available. Through prayer, thanksgiving, thinking on things that are uplifting, and through Christ’s strength, we can overcome anxiety, depression, discontentment, or any emotion.
Facing Depression—Through Prayer and Thanksgiving
Philippians 4:4-13, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The LORD is at hand. We face depression with the LORD, who is with us. James 5:8 says that we are to establish our hearts, 8″You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Our hearts are deceptive (Jer. 17:5), but we can let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (Col. 3:15). We have a choice, but we can feel discouraged and give into that discouragement instead of the peace God has for us. When we rejoice anyway, as Paul prescribes – authentically rejoice because of God’s promises, our reality shifts supernaturally to a place of freedom where we rise above our emotions. This place of freedom above strong emotions such as depression comes as we make up our mind to pray and thank God anyway. Establishing our hearts in Christ instead of ever-changing emotions happens, too, when we choose to remove the focus off of self and onto Christ and others:
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, “And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone else, just as our love for you overflows, 13 so that He may establish your hearts in blamelessness and holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. Amen.”
Facing Depression—Through Choosing What We Think On—Praiseworthy Things
Philippians 4: 8-9, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[e] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
It can be hard to deal with depression, but Scripture would not tell us to take captive thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) if we could not. We have to face depression in order to dismiss it. Speaking truth to the lies in our mind helps us to rise above our emotions. Because we can be prone to believe lies, we don’t realize we hold the secret to overcoming depression. Through Christ we can do all things.
Facing Depression—Through Christ
Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Ultimately we have to believe that we have a choice and that God is able to help us overcome. Do you want the victory, friends?
Talking with my daughter about depression before she had overcome it, she asked me why God would allow it in. She had struggled for 6 years trying to overcome. I told her I did not know why she had that burden but that I knew she could defeat it. God would use it for her good. Sometimes instead of asking why, we need to ask how and look for God’s deliverance. I believed she was about to beat it. And she did. She overcame by the blood of Christ and by His precious word. She saturated her mind in God’s word and chose to believe God over her thoughts. And she chose to face depression, rather than to hide from it. My baby girl won. You can, too. And friends, As I, too, have faced depression, I have seen the victory God holds in store for us. Do you believe God can help you? I do.
Years later now, depression is not a once and done battle. Next week we will talk about how to do battle with persistent depression.
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