Depressed? Find Rest In God
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From a Christian perspective,
God loves you and He wants to fill you with great happiness, harmony, accomplishment and so much more. If you are caught in a prolonged period of sadness, as desperate as everything may appear, there are real reasons for hope! Please keep in mind that almost everyone at one time or another experiences a period of sadness, and most people get over it with a little time. You are not alone, because for some people the sadness continues for a while. The first step to help is to learn to recognize one or more of the signs that often accompany depression. Depression is probably not part of the bountiful life you were looking for, but God wants you to find His peace and joy and He will help you because you are very, very important to Him. Rest assured!
Are you feeling guilt? Inactive? Sleeplessness or oversleeping?
Overeating or not eating? Doubting, complaining or even worrying?
Maybe you are even experiencing a growing distrust of God?
So, what can I do to overcome depression?
Well, it depends on why you are depressed. There are many possible reasons, and more than one may be present in your life at a time. Sometimes depression can be caused by physical problems, such as improper diet, lack of exercise, and not enough sleep. So if you are feeling depressed, try to care of your body. Many illnesses and some medications can also cause depression, so it's always a good idea to see your doctor for a checkup to rule out physical reasons.
It's normal to feel hurt when something you see as bad happens to you. Maybe you have lost your job or other financial security. Perhaps you may have been wronged in some way, recently or in the past. You may have a bad relationship with a friend, family member, or spouse. A loved one may have died or you may even be hurting about something you've never had, but feel you should have, such as a spouse or children.
Tell God about your pain. He already knows, but it is important for you to put the hurt into words and tell Him. Also speak with a trusted friend or pastor, or consult a therapist. Normal grieving including crying is healthy, so allow yourself to cry if you want to! Remember that it is okay for you to hurt over a situation.
Stop repeating negative things to yourself over and over, like "I'm no good," or "I can't do anything right," or "This situation will never change". Instead, find out and repeat to yourself the wonderful things God says about you and use this to contradict your negative thoughts.
Fill your thoughts with such truths as: "For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power" (Philippians 4:13); "It is he who will supply all (my) needs from his riches in glory, because of what Christ Jesus has done for (me)" (Philippians 4:19); "For the Holy Spirit, God's gift, does not want (me) to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them" (II Timothy 1:7). "Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us" (Romans 8:37); "He personally carried the load our sins in his own body when he died on the cross, so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!" (I Peter 2:24).
Being an active member in a church can be a good way to begin to grow spiritually and learn more about your faith. Ask God to show you specific thoughts and actions He wants you to change, and forgive others who have wronged you. Thank God for His love and ask Him for healing and a renewed joy in life. Thank God for the small things each day, and by doing so it will help put you back on track with the larger things. It may be something so simple as getting up early enough to get to work on time without rushing. If your depression continues, seek help from your pastor or doctor. Finding and solving the root causes of depression do not always happen quickly, but there are answers for you.
Don't forget that if you are are depressed, you are not alone. Many people of faith have experienced periods of deep depression. The Bible stories of Moses, David and so many others show us how God's love continues even during these times, and that He eventually brings great hope. Take comfort in the fact that even the saints struggled through short and long periods of mental suffering as described in the Bible.
- Jeff Stein
The Christian Broadcasting Network. (n.d.). Retrieved January 6, 2015, from http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/CBNTeachingSheets/Depression.aspx
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