“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time. “ – Proverbs 17:17
Each day more and more Christians are battling feelings of depression. Not just sadness when a circumstance goes south or a disappointment creeps up, but a sincere, deep feeling of meaninglessness and a lack of purpose.
In light of the recent news of the suicide of Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor Jarrid Wilson, it’s important to understand and seek help when you are experiencing signs of depression. Below are 4 ways you can be encouraged through the Scripture as you struggle with your depression.
Encouragement #1: The Lord’s Provision Through Friends and Family
Today’s Bible Quote is direct and to the point as well as encouraging. God has provided friendships and family relationships for our benefit specifically during rough patches in life.
Take some time to think about those around you who are ready to help. Don’t ignore them. Let them be used by God as a source of comfort and support. Lean on those that are always checking up on you and willing to lend their strength. Let them “love you at all times.”
Encouragement #2: The Lord’s Provision Through Prayer
There is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing your pain and sorrow to the Lord through prayer. He is quite aware of everything you are going through. Psalm 139 says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me… and are acquainted with all my ways.” He longs for you to cry out.
Psalm 34:18 also says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Is your spirit crushed? Does it often feel too hard to continue while having no clue what is wrong? Lament to the Lord. Don’t feel guilty for feelings of sadness. Bring them before the throne of God.
Encouragement #3: The Lord’s Provision Through Laughter
Proverbs 17:22 tells us “a joyful heart is good medicine…” Has your mood ever changed merely because you laughed at a friend’s joke or watched a favorite funny movie? Although signs of depression are no laughing matter, laughter can certainly help you cope with and even conquer feelings of darkness.
Surround yourself with positive, light-hearted people and circumstances. Ask a friend or family member to host a game night to help raise your spirits. Think about things that bring you joy and dive deep to help you overcome feelings of misery.
Encouragement #4: The Lord’s Provision Through the Gospel
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus’ mention of being “the life” implies that apart from Him, life has no meaning or purpose. Reflecting on the Gospel of Jesus Christ helps us look at depression in a different way.
Those who are apart from God are without hope. Although it may not always look like it, their depression is endless. During times of sadness, remember the cross and all that Christ accomplished. Knowing that you have been reconciled to the God of the universe will bring peace and hope into your life.