God and depression. Many believe these things can’t coexist. If you’re depressed, you must lack faith, or so says those uptight churchy people. Or maybe it’s because you believe you’ve done something so sinful that God has abandoned you. Also not true.
Understanding, praying over, and knowing these three things can help you as you walk through depression.
1. We’re not alone
Remember, Jesus knows what it’s like to suffer. And so do many others. When you’re in the midst of depression, it can be a challenge just to reach out to God, let alone read about His promises. However, within Scripture, you’ll find some friends. Jeremiah, Elijah and David can personally relate to your experience:
“O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived,” – Jeremiah 20:7
“It is enough; no, O Lord, take away my life,” – 1 Kings 19:4
“I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?” – Psalm 42:9-10
The Bible gives us many examples of people experiencing depression, darkness, frustration, and even anger with God. He isn’t angered by honest words – He says they’re holy. God wants our relationship with Him to be authentic. His mercy reigns even in our brokenness.
Jesus knows your pain. He wept. He suffered. On the cross, He experienced complete separation from God. Allow Him to hurt with you.
2. God’s love isn’t dependent on us
In the midst of depression, it’s hard to even begin to remember or understand how God loves us. It makes it hard to pray, read Scripture, or even acknowledge Him.
The beauty of our relationship with Him is that His love for us is solely dependent on His character, grace, and goodness. It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do, He’s going to continue loving us, no matter how hard we push back on Him.
3. Your pain doesn’t have to be wasted
God can always use us and our stories to bring hope to other people. How many things in life have you gone through that have given you a testimony to share with others? How many things have you learned from trials and heartache? Think of this season of life as one of growth. It hurts. It can be excruciating, but God could be preparing you for something great. Remember Romans 8:28:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Finally, I’m reminded of what Max Lucado said in his book, The Applause of Heaven.
“As long as Jesus is one of many options, He is no option. And as long as you can take Him or leave Him, you might as well leave Him, because He won’t be taken half-heartedly. But when you admit that you have no other option, and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your cares on Him, for He is waiting in the midst of the storm.”
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28