“Raise your hand if you currently suffer from depression.” This was the instruction that was given by the pastor, as he stood in front of the congregation. The sanctuary grew quiet. Hands began to gradually rise. People started looking around.
Some of those with their hand raised, looked a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. I could see the eager look of desperation on the faces of others, as they seemed to long for an opportunity- any opportunity to be free.
I stood in the mezzanine, and as I looked around at the number of hands in the air, my heart began to grow heavy. These were individuals of various nationalities, ages, and backgrounds. No group was excluded.
The entire church began to solemnly pray for those with their hands up. We began to pray for the breakthrough that each of our brothers and sisters so desperately needed.
Millions of people suffer from depression. It’s considered to be a mental health disorder, and it’s characterized by feelings of sadness, miserable mood, and a loss of interest in life or certain activities.
Depression is a thief and a silent killer. It robs one of their joy, peace, time, motivation, and depending on the severity of it, it can rob a person of their very life.
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, black, white, yellow or brown; depression can affect anyone, even Christians. Your close friend, a family member, a co-worker, a young child, the guy or girl walking down the street, that looks like they have it all together, could be suffering from depression.
It’s most upsetting to see so many young children taking their own lives.
So, how does a person become depressed? Well, I’m not a doctor, but from information that I’ve gathered, for some, it’s an actual hormone or chemical imbalance. Therefore, I encourage those persons to seek medical help, and to not be ashamed to do so. For others, our current situations and circumstances could be the culprit.
In children, I believe depression can result from being bullied or feeling a need to fit in, while constantly being rejected by peers. I was bullied as a young child, because I was so quiet. Most of the time I felt out of place, and like I didn’t fit in anywhere, so I understand how it feels. It’s no fun to feel like an outcast, especially at that age.
In my early teens, on occasion I would ponder suicide, though I never seriously planned it. I thank God that it never went any further than thinking about it.
Whatever the cause of the depression, it’s not a figment of a person’s imagination, but it’s as real as AIDS or cancer.
But the good thing is, God is not partial to healing only certain diseases. If He can heal one of them, He can heal them all!
Before I turned my life over to Jesus, I was always severely depressed. I was always sad, lonely, and had no joy, peace or purpose in life. I would find myself trying to fill the empty void with material things and pleasures of the flesh.
I’m thankful that one day, the Lord called me by my name, pulled me out of the filth that I was lying in, and gave me a new life and a purpose. Since then, I have experienced an unspeakable joy, that this world couldn’t possibly take away.
Not to say that the feelings of darkness don’t try to creep up on me every now and then. For, I perceive that the enemy will never give up. However, whereas I used to curl up and sink down into a hole, sitting there hopelessly, while the rains of depression beat down on my head, now I can stand.
No longer will the storms beat up on me, because I’m covered by the blood of Jesus. I have a weapon, and I can fight back.
That weapon is the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit Who empowers me to use it. I refuse to let the enemy steal any more of my joy, and I pray you’ll come to the same conclusion if you battle depression.
And, I leave you with this: if you’re suffering from depression, even if you’re a Christian, just know that you are not crazy, you are not hopeless, and you are not alone.
You are more than a conqueror. You will overcome. Seek God for help and direction. He will help you in all things.
Be encouraged! God Bless!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”