I’m Depressed. Am I Still A Christian?


A Prayer for Freedom

“Raise your hand if you currently suffer from depression.” This was the instruction that the pastor gave as he stood in front of the congregation. The sanctuary grew quiet. Hands began to gradually rise and people started looking around.

Some of those with their hand in the air looked a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. On the faces of others, there was an eager look of desperation as they seemed to long for an opportunity – any opportunity to be free.

Just a quick glance around the room at the number of hands raised, would be enough to make even the hearts of the light-hearted grow heavy. These were individuals of various nationalities, ages, and backgrounds. No group was excluded.

The church began to solemnly pray for those who had their hand up. It was a prayer for freedom – a prayer for the breakthrough that each of our brothers and sisters so desperately needed.

 

What is Depression? Who Does it Effect?

Many people suffer from depression. It’s characterized by feelings of sadness, miserable mood, and a loss of interest in life or certain activities. It negatively effects the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. Psychiatry.org estimates that one in 15 adults suffer from depression in any given year and that one in six people are estimated to experience depression sometime within their life. 

Depression is a thief and a silent killer. It robs a person of their joy, peace, time, motivation, and depending on the severity of it, it can rob them of their very life.

Your close friend, a family member, a co-worker, a young child, the guy or girl walking down the street looking like they have it all together, could be suffering from depression. 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 a Christian. What’s most saddening, is that there’s an increase in the number of young children taking their own lives as a result of depression.architecture boys brick wall bricks

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How Does A Person Become Depressed?

So, how does a person become depressed? Well, for some of us, it’s the result of a hormone or chemical imbalance. Those persons are especially encouraged to seek professional help if needed, and to not be ashamed in doing so. For some, our current situation and circumstances could be the culprit, and for others it may be a combination of both.

In children and teens, it can also result from being bullied or from feeling a need to fit in while constantly suffering rejection from peers. This can lower their self-esteem and lead them to believe that they don’t fit in anywhere. They may begin to isolate themselves and the more they do, the more they feel alone, and the worse the situation becomes. 

Many factors may play a role in causing the depression but one thing is certain. It’s not a figment of a person’s imagination, but it’s as real as AIDS or cancer.

 

There is Help. There is Hope.

The good thing is this: God is not partial to healing only certain illnesses and diseases. If He can heal one, He can heal them all.

Before we turn our life over to Jesus, we might experience times of severe depression, sadness, and loneliness, with no joy, peace, or purpose. We may find ourselves trying to fill an empty void with material things and pleasures of the flesh, believing that those things will make us better but in reality, they’re only placing a band-aid on a wound that refuses to heal. These things can only provide a temporary cover-up and they don’t bring about a permanent solution. In some cases, they can even make the depression worse.

When God calls us to Himself, He pulls us out of the filth that we’re in and gives us a new life and a purpose. He gives us an unspeakable joy that this world can never take away. No matter how hard it tries.

Not to say that the feelings of darkness won’t try to creep up on us every now and then to try and steal that joy because the enemy will never give up trying to make our lives miserable. However, whereas we used to curl up and sink down into a deep, dark hole, sitting there hopelessly while the rains of depression beat down on our heads, now we have the ability to stand. It’s hard but God’s grace makes it possible.

We don’t have to let those storms drench us and keep us weighed down any longer because we’re covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. We have weapons now, and we can fight back. Those weapons are the word of God, prayer, and the Holy Spirit Who empowers us to use them. 

Refuse to let the enemy steal any more of your joy. If you’re suffering from depression, even if you’re a Christian, just know this: you are not crazy, you are not hopeless, and you are not alone. You are more than a conqueror. You will overcome through the power of God. Suffering from depression doesn’t make you any less of a Christian, just as a battle with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or any other illness doesn’t undermine a person’s walk with God. Seek the Lord for help, direction, and guidance. He loves you and He wants to help you. He will lead you to a scripture, to a doctor, to a friend, or to whatever you need in your specific situation. Please, just don’t give up.

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.

Psalms 42:11

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