There’s a part of me that wants to believe that followers of Jesus should never have to deal with feelings of depression or despair. After all, the Creator of the Universe gave up His only Son just so we could live. He promises to heal our afflictions and rejoices in the fact that we will spend eternity with Him. He is the giver of all good things and loves us without limits or conditions. How could we ever get down on life? Having accepted Christ, we understand that the good news isn’t just good, it’s great! The reality is that we live in a broken world and generations of sin and abuse have left our minds in less than perfect working order. Add to this the fact that Satan delights in attacking us every waking moment of our lives and the unfortunate result is that we are sometimes overcome with despair.
Succumbing to depression is not the ideal God created for us. Realizing this is the first step in defeating feelings of despair. Understand that God wants so much more for you. He is the God of love and light, not condemnation and darkness. His love and holiness shine so brightly that darkness can be found nowhere near His presence. Focusing our minds on Him through prayer, uplifting music, and the encouragement of friends brings us closer into His presence. The light He radiates drives the darkness from our hearts and minds.
The problem is that depression has a sick way of making us not to want to be rid of it. We wallow in despair and even relish its intoxicating effects. In the darkest moments of my life, there was always certain music I played because I knew it would feed the despair. I’m not a psychologist and certainly can’t explain the dynamics of why people desire to dive deeper into depression, but I do have a theory. Nothing pleases Satan and his minions more than seeing a child of God become very inward focused. The devil knows as long as we are in that state, we are no threat to him. Thus, I think depression is deeply rooted in demonic attacks. The further we spiral downward, the more intense the attacks become.
No matter how down you might be, the answer is always to fill your mind with Jesus. I don’t intend to imply that medication or therapy don’t have their place. I do know that love is the ultimate healer though. There is no sickness that Jesus can’t heal; no depth of despair where He cannot reach you. The next time you find yourself feeling down or even like giving up, remind yourself how much Jesus loves you. Play some music with positive and uplifting lyrics. Force yourself to pray, even if all you can do is lie in silence groaning. Even if the Bible is typically boring to you, start reading through the gospels and see what Jesus endured on your behalf. He gave everything for you. He loves you. He wants the best for you at all times. Feel His love, bask in it, and watch the darkness slip away.