Depression is elusive but some descriptions might include a state of having a cloud over you, a sense of being ill at ease, a loss of happiness, or a lack of joy in life. This does not necessarily occur during a time when a lot of things are going wrong in life. Anxiety is often times related to times where the stakes are high and our control is low. With depression, it is often very difficult to point to specific reasons.
Causes of depression
The reasons for depression are different for different people. Sometimes it can be triggered by difficult events. Other times there are no circumstances that can be pointed out. Christians many times think that depression is wrong, that they should be experiencing the joy of the Lord and focus only on getting out of the depression.
Remember God is with us in the depression
Instead of just focusing on getting out of the depression, it is important to remember to allow God to walk with you through the depression and look to what you can learn from this time. Meditate on some of the following verses in Romans 8.
Romans 8:31b If God is for us, who can ever be against us.
Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love
As you meditate on these things, you may experience God in deeper ways than you could when things were going well in your life. It is important to go to God’s word, to pray and to ask for support from others. Remember that you are not alone. Other godly people, such as Charles Spurgeon, have also struggled with depression. He was an example of a person who was able to find joy in Christ, even in a life that involved a lot of pain.
Don’t put your life on hold waiting for God to heal you. Keep moving on in the presence of God. Ask God to help you get through the responsibilities of the day and to experience his presence and strength as you do. Set your mind on things above. Don’t think your life and your walk with God will not begin until you get out of it. Some day, in retrospect, you may see how God used your depression for good.
Helping the depressed
Allow those who are depressed to express their feeling to you. Don’t lecture and assume they are not spending time with God. Sometimes they are pursuing God but are not yet feeling better. Pray and walk beside them during this difficult time in their life.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Have you ever experienced depression? Describe it.
- What are some things that have helped you to deal with depression? What are some things that have not helped?
- What triggers depression in your life?
- Read Colossians 3:2. How can this verse be helpful for someone dealing with depression? What are some things in the big picture (eternity) that can bring hope in the here and now?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.