Battling depression as a Christian can be a controversial issue, due to several misconceptions about this important topic. Let us dive into it.
A few weeks ago I read that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects more than 300 million people in the world.
The world has not yet fully recovered from the coronavirus, quarantines, isolation, and the loss of loved ones.
These things have affected us all.
We do not know how many people have started to suffer from this disease and added to the WHO figures of people battling with depression, even as Christians.
Today through this post I would like to remind you that depression is a disease.
If you need professional help, don’t be afraid to seek it.
Feeling depressed is not something alien to Christians. In fact, we can find bible references for the fact that God cares deeply about our emotions and mental well-being.
Everyone, due to different situations, can be at risk of falling into it.
We often remember the prophet Elijah for his bravery in Carmel.
But what most of us forget is that, after this glorious event, Elijah became depressed to the point of wanting to die.
while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.
He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.
“I have had enough, Lord,” he said.
“Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
| 1 Kings 19:4
In the case of the prophet Elijah, depression struck him suddenly.
Even being a man of God, proving to us today that battling depression as a Christian is definitely not alien.
It was after a very stressful event, as he saw 800 people die, who were executed for being Baal worshipers.
He also suffered a death threat from Queen Jezebel.
Trust me, depression can reach us, or one of our family members, silently.
Although not an expert on the subject of clinical psychology, I would like to share some biblical tips to prevent depression.
They also apply in order to improve our mood, if we are sad.
#1 Acknowledge the loss
The first of my bible tips for battling depression as a Christian is to identify what is causing the feeling.
Sadness usually comes as a reaction to a loss, perhaps from a job, a love, a family member, among others.
Recognizing it helps us to grieve and then resurface.
If you think that your heart is very sore, and you think that nobody understands you, remember:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
| Psalms 34:18
#2 Accept your situation
The Second of my bible tips for battling depression as a Christian is, after identifying the cause of your sadness, grieve accordingly.
Give yourself a chance to do things like cry, rest, pray, tell someone.
I especially recommend you to pray.
Tell God your sadness, understanding that He listens to you.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
| Psalms 94:19
#3 Renew your mind
The third of my bible tips for battling depression as a Christian is: don’t let your mind go back to it.
Replace that thought with a verse, or by bringing new ideas to mind.
Don’t dwell on the reasons why you’re battling depression as a Christian. It is required of you to effectively move on to a new phase.
We have a tendency to return to the matter over and over again, creating a vicious cycle from which it will be much more difficult to break out later.
Please don’t dive into social media, Netflix, or television.
That will only make you feel sadder.
If you want to see something, or can’t stop thinking about what happened, go for a walk.
Also, try going out with your friends, try doing something that you are passionate about, or something new.
You can try repeating these verses out loud several times:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
| Psalms 40:1-3
#4 Celebrate your accomplishments
The fourth of my bible tips for battling depression as a Christian is: enjoy the small victories.
If you’ve decided to start playing sports, and you ran for twenty minutes today, celebrate.
If you memorized a new verse, tell your friends about it.
Start enjoying the simple things again.
When you talk about your loss, because an indiscreet person who asks you will not be missing, try to find something positive.
Try to focus on mentioning what you learned from that experience.
Tell it as King David says:
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
| Psalms 30:11
#5 Help others
Lastly, what are you doing to help others battling depression as Christians?
According to the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, one of the best ways to change our mood is by serving.
Find a place where you can volunteer in your spare time.
Teach a child who cannot go to school to read.
Collect food and take it to people in need.
In essence do your best to help those battling depression as a Christian and as well as providing them with unalloyed encouragement.
The apostle Paul tells us:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
| 2 Corintios 1:3-4
God is interested in your mental health, you are not a sinner or less Christian because you feel depressed, He wants to listen to you, comfort you, and give you a new beginning.
Battling depression as a Christian might as well be solved by procuring your thoughts and feelings to God in prayer.
And what do you think? Let us know if these tips have helped you. Share in the comments.
If you need help, advice, a helping hand, or an ear that listens to you. If you simply want to talk, write us an email at email@example.com
A hug, God bless you.