How To Defeat Depression
Depression has been something I have lived with for most of my life. Thoughts of hopelessness, despair, and a general sense of purposelessness have overwhelmed me on many occasions. Counseling and prescription drugs never helped me, nor did any other outside source I ever tried. The only relief I have ever found was through the redemptive healing of Jesus Christ in my life.
For many, depression is a regular part of your daily life. It can bring about a great swirling cloud of emotions that threaten to take over. Once depression settles in, it is very hard to get out of the thick of it. It can seem like you are living in a fog, with no way out.
The good news is, you are not alone, and you are not helplessly stuck in this bog. Depression does not have to be your normal. With the help of Jesus Christ, you can create a new normal for your life that is filled with hope and joy. Here are some simple steps to take action and take control over your depression that have worked for me.
Step One: First You Must Recognize Your Depression
Recognizing you are under attack is as simple as realizing what you are feeling. If you are feeling hopeless, despair, sorrow, out of control, or just down in the dumps, it is important to give voice to these feelings. Often times when the feelings begin to come, we try to push them down and ignore them. It seems easier to deal with life when we can ignore these hard to deal with feelings.
That is exactly what the enemy would have you do. When we suffer in silence and ignore our pain, the enemy uses it to attack us and bring us further down into the pit. As soon as we give a voice to our pain, we are bringing it into the light. (Psalm 42:5) Journaling or making a collage are two great ways to work through unprocessed emotions. I try to journal almost every day in order to have an outlet for my feelings and thoughts that try to take over my mind.
Step Two: Take Every Thought Captive
Depression is a sign from your soul that something is wrong, and it’s important not to ignore it. Often times we have pain or trauma from our past that has not been healed, and it bubbles up in the form of anxiety or depression.
We must submit all of our thoughts and feelings to the Lord, (2 Cor 10:5) and ask Him to help us and heal us. When we give our thoughts and feelings to Jesus, we allow Him to show us what is true and what the lies we have believed are. When we are clinging to lies of the enemy that feel real, we are not being grounded in God’s truth.
Write down the thoughts and feelings you are having, and then find the scripture that combats any lies you are facing. If you feel hopeless, then look for verses on hope. If you are sad, then look for verses of God’s promises to the brokenhearted. God has an answer for every problem we are facing, and if you can’t find them in scripture, than bring them straight to the throne room and hand them to Jesus. (Heb 4:16)
Step Three: Choose Joy
Once you have given a voice to your feelings and then allowed Jesus to help you process through them, then you need to step into joy. Joy is not from material things, or even from people. True joy is only from the Lord.
We must hold onto the promises scripture is filled with. You are here for a purpose, and that purpose is greater than any suffering we may endure. Connect with God’s truths and meditate on them. Even if you don’t emotionally connect with the truth, keep meditating on them.
The truth is what transforms our way of thinking and renews our mind. The truth is what sets us free from bondage (John 8:32) and releases us into our identity in Christ. We must keep bringing ourselves back around to truth.
Without the truth of who we are and why we are here, we still fall susceptible to the enemy lies. We must be firmly grounded in the truth, in order to combat the constant barrage coming from the world. It is only the truth that will set us free.
Step Four: Pray Against Attack
The devil is a prowling lion looking for someone to devour. He will use any means necessary to bring down his prey: you. If you have gone through the previous three steps and are still struggling then it is time to fight back.
Pray: Jesus Christ, the True and Living Son of God, stand between me and the attack of the enemy that wishes to consume me and be my shield. Put on my armor and be the filter in which I see things through right now. Break down any barriers that are keeping me from connecting with Your love.
I personally know the battle within that is depression. I have come from suicidal to filled with hope and joy. I do still have days where depression starts to settle in, but with the help of the Lord, these days are nowhere near as bad as they used to be, and fewer then every before.
Jesus wants nothing more than to intercede for you (Rom 8:34). Allow His love to bring you strength and healing and most importantly, joy. You are not alone in this battle. Jesus is with you, and His love is greater than any depression or struggle we will ever face. Jesus faced the cross so that He could take all of our pain in this world.