For many years I have battled on and off with various levels of depression and anxiety. The term “battled” is one that is true and helpful. For many, it is a battle to be fought, but the irony is, when you feel depressed, you don’t feel like fighting anything.
Depression became different for me after Jesus rescued me in the late 90’s. I wish I could say that it went away and that I never dealt with it again. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
There have only been a few seasons since that time that have been very difficult. As I look back on them, I realize that while these seasons served to strengthen my faith and lead me to more growth. They have also served as a help to those whom I have the privilege of walking through the valleys of depression as well.
As a Christian, husband, daddy, and pastor, I wanted to share 3 hopes for the depressed soul:
1. God Is Faithful
Now, look. When you’re battling depression, statements like this may feel far, far away. God might feel far away, but I am not trying to make a statement that you will feel like agreeing with. I want to share a truth that you MUST hold onto. God is faithful, always, at all times, and will carry us when we cannot hold ourselves up.
Many of us face the temptation to doubt the goodness of our God when we are in the depths of depression. We must hold onto the unshakeable truth that God is faithful. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:24)
2. You Are Loved
God created you in His image for His glory. He loves His creation and has proven His love for us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that, “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The beauty here is that even though you may not ‘feel’ God’s love in the moment, we can hope in the truth of God’s love by looking to the cross. God showed His love in a historical, tangible, and consequential way.
This love is not weak. It is not passive. It is not fleeting. The love that God has for His people is eternal, lasting, and sustaining. You are loved. Do not buy into the lie that you are only loved when you behave in a loveable manner. You are loved by the founder and perfecter of your faith because He chooses to love you, even when you are depressed!
3. This, Too, Shall Pass
In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul writes, “17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
As a follower of Jesus Christ, your season of depression doesn’t have the final say. Even if it lasts the remainder of your life, the promise of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has purchased an eternal hope.
Even more than this, depression doesn’t often last forever, and does not have the final say. You have a hope that goes beyond your current situation and a God who has made promises that go beyond what we can currently fathom.
If you are in a season of depression, if you are battling alone, don’t. Cry out to God, reach out to friends and family, let your church leadership know of your struggle, and know that if you are a follower of Jesus that God is faithful, that you are loved, and that this too, shall pass!