Yeshua said that He came to give us life and “life more abundantly” (John 10:10b). When I think of adjectives to describe this incredible abundant life, the word depressed doesn’t come to mind. Why is it then that so many of us who have embraced Yeshua find ourselves struggling with feelings of despair and hopelessness and this abundant life so elusive? This can’t be what Yeshua had in mind!
Now I understand that there are those whose depression is at a level where a biblical pep talk isn’t going to change them. Some need medication; others need deliverance. Yet for most of us we simply to need to have a fresh encounter with the truth in order to overcome negative thinking.
1. GOD IS IN CONTROL
The truth is that God is in control. When we let natural things like a mortgage payment or losing a job get us down, we are actually saying that God is not in control. God never panics. He knows everything going on in your life—and why. You might think your mortgage payment is a pretty big deal, but not compared to standing with a million plus complaining Israelites on the edge of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army on your back (who, by the way, are all mourning the death of their firstborn sons because of you!). And God came through! The sea parted, the Israelites were saved and the Egyptian army defeated. I like to remind myself that God is not worrying about my future, my finances, my health or anything else.His will is not weak and will come to pass.But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Ps 33:11)
2. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAITHFUL IN THE PAST
The last time I was in need, He provided. I went through a period just after we had Sharon (more than 22 years ago) where I would suffered horrible emotional attacks as I realized there was no way I could provide my family’s needs financially. These attacks did not last long, but during the time that I was suffering under them, they were paralyzing. And guess what? I survived. God provided. My family has eaten and our bills have been paid. The fear was a lie!But now that I have passed through it, I can remind myself that God has always provided in the past. His past faithfulness in my life strengthens my faith for tomorrow. This was the big mistake of the children of Israel in the desert. After the 10 plagues they should have been able to trust God. After the parting of the Red Sea and God’s miraculous deliverance, they should have been able to believe that He would care for them. One of the purposes of God in revealing His faithfulness to us is so we will trust Him in the future. Write them down! And then, in the midst of an attack, remind yourselves of them.
3. FIGHT OFF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS (HELMET OF SALVATION!)
Many times thoughts of depression are not merely coming from your brain, but there is a spiritual attack being unleashed against you. Don’t take it lying down. If you are attacked with a wave of depression, treat it just as if someone is physically attacking you and fight back! In the spirit we fight back with the word of God. In Matthew 4 the enemy attacked Yeshua three times with negative, demonic thoughts—Yeshua overcame him by quoting the word of God. The result: “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matt 4:11)When you feel a barrage of negative thoughts coming against you, simply say “No!” Resist those thoughts and think positive thoughts that line up with God’s word. There is so much life in the word of God. These words, these divine promises, are not merely words on paper—they are the very nature of God, that when read, produces life, grace, favor and blessing in the heart of the reader.
God is in control. He has provided in the past. He will be faithful in the future. When the enemy comes against you with thoughts of depression you can fight him with the truth of the word of God! God has equipped us with weapons to fight and overcome (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Remember, Yeshua has promised us abundant life. Yes, there is a thief who comes to rob us of this life (The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy [John 10:10a]), but we have overcome him through Yeshua (John 5:4-5).
Now, tell me a story in the comments section how you have overcome difficult times?