(If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-8255 for assistance. You are not alone, and there are people who want to help you. Depression hotline: 630-482-9696 and you can call 888.Need.Him (888.633.3446) to discuss a personal relationship with Christ!)
Occasionally I struggle with depression – albeit a fairly mild form, it can nonetheless be debilitating. It usually sneaks up on me, I don’t realize it’s trying to take hold again, and when I do finally recognize it for what it is, I am often left wondering why I am struggling with it again. Sometimes I even question my faith in God and my hope in Christ – Christians shouldn’t battle with depression, right?
Many people battle with depression, but I believe we all have an opportunity for victory. I believe we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13) and “7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7 – KJV). I believe God wants us to claim victory, and I believe there are a few things we can do.
First and foremost: Familiarize yourself with the TRUTH from scripture. Read it, memorize it, meditate on it, and soak yourself in it.
Second: Know the to do list, write down the tasks you need to accomplish, and motivation or not, start working on them. If you find yourself getting distracted, go back to your list and remember what you are trying to finish. A completed project can provide a great sense of accomplishment, even if it’s just the dishes. (As far as a “do something with my hands” kind of thing, this is the best one for me. It’s also the hardest. When I’m struggling I just want to sleep – all day, all night, all day, all night. I don’t want to get up for anything. Even going to the bathroom is annoying to me. Yet, as I look as the tasks I know I need to do, and I do them, I find victory in staying out of bed and denying depression the stronghold it is trying to take over me.)
Third: Help others. Seriously, get out of your house, get out of yourself, go help someone else. Serve food to the hungry, call and talk to someone who may be lonely, go visit the nursing home, help re-stock shelves at the food pantry, help your church with something. This is huge too – because depression is focusing solely on me, and if I take the focus off me, I often find victory.
Last, but not least: SUNSHINE. Get outside, get some sunshine – but don’t just sit. Walk around your yard, walk around your house, stretch. Combine sunshine and light exercise. This really does help.
These may not be a cure-all, and I am not trying to say depression isn’t real. I am confident that depression is beatable, we can claim victory of this robber – depression is a thief, come to steal, kill and destroy – a weapon of the enemy. But God gives us victory through Christ!
Do you struggle with depression? How do you claim your victory?