Service to Others: Helping Depression
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Are you aware that depression is everywhere in our society?
What is the answer? Is it therapy? Medication? Religion? Some people believe that God is a solution to depression, sometimes in combination with medical professionals and medication. Perhaps God is able to work in our surroundings and in our hearts, and therefore His involvement goes straight to the core of our issues. If you are suffering from depression, please keep in mind that there is no shame in receiving any kind of help. Use every tool in your utility-belt be it medicine, professionals, friends or whatever. Use everything available, even the power of God.
Depression is the feeling of hopelessness, and the simple cure for hopelessness is hope. God is the composer and father of hope, so He can be an antidepressant. Again, use every resource in your tool-box to get your head above water so that you can catch your breath. Have faith that God does not want you to just manage your depression, but that He wants you to be totally free from depression.
Healing Through Service To Others
A good strategy to get your attention off of your own problems is to help and serve others. Sometimes we get in such a rut that we can’t see anything else, or find the way out. Helping others works to break this cycle because it opens our vision. It gives us perspective and it shows us that our problems are not unbeatable. By helping to heal other’s wounds, ours heal much quicker. The love and compassion we show to others in our time of pain comes back to in the form of healing and joy. Helping others reveals our true self worth and it shows us that we do have value- we can make a difference!
Through helping others we also find that that we aren’t the only ones with problems. We know this intellectually, but seeing it first hand is where the real healing comes into play. Sometimes we feel like we have been singled out for pain, but pain comes to all. We receive healing when we work to heal others. The feeling we get from easing someone else’s pain and stress is sometimes called “helper’s high”, and it can give us a huge mood boost.
Helping the poor and helpless can be a door to recovery. It's built into us that we find someone who cannot repay us for our gifts, and it is hardwired into our souls to give them something that everyone can give – love and acceptance. If we can afford to give more, we must give it. When we give during our own times of need, we are also sheltering and helping ourselves. As we help others, the light of God’s hope and a sense of His joy will flow into our life, and our recovery will come faster than we think. The Bible is telling us that as we labor to heal others, our scars will heal. It is a promise from God, so believe it, and perhaps it will reveal itself in your life as well!
Take a Risk and Love Someone.
Not everyone will accept your help, but trust that God will protect you. Trust that He promises to guard our hearts, so keep going and don’t stop loving them. Do exactly what you would want others to do for you. Stop blaming others for your current life situation, because a lack of mercy and forgiveness will destroy your heart. It does no harm to the other person to forgive, so let go, start loving others, and watch God show up. Imagine how that could change your life. Allow yourself to imagine it and then go out and do it!
Once you decide to satisfy others, God will satisfy you. Light will pour back into your life and darkness will be dispelled. Your depression will disappear as does a shadow in the midday sun. It is possible, so believe it, and act on it. Continue and God will walk with you and be your personal guide. He will satisfy your heart's desires. He will strengthen you and water you. You will become a fountain for all those around you and the water you draw for them will nourish you.
A large aspect of feeling hopeless, is feeling hopeless. In the darkness of despair, it's easy to lose sight of our capabilities. By finding our purpose in God, we can regain our hope. We were created with intrinsic value, and we reveal our value when we value others. We value others by serving them and in helping others, which leads to the revelation of God's light. Our purpose is found in finding our appointed service in God.
Serving others may not be the only answer, but it is part of the answer, and maybe it's the part that will activate our big answer. Through the act of giving to others, God's love can give the answer to us.
- Jeff Stein
Helping Others Is God's Prescription for Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved January 8, 2015, from http://hopefaithprayer.com/hope/helping-others-gods-prescription-depression/