Sunday, April 22, 2007

Life Got You Down?

Can a Christian be depressed? Can someone who has the ultimate gift of eternal life get down on themselves? Can even a Christian have thoughts of hurting themselves, or even suicide? The answer is…. Absolutely!

Before you read any further, if you are not sure of your salvation, please see my post entitled: "The Good Person Test." If one is not saved, the message of the bible seems foolish to him. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

To my knowledge, the bible never promises us peace and tranquility while we are still in this life. Though I could give you countless personal examples of one's life becoming easier when they receive the gift of salvation, the fact is, the Bible warns us to expect hardship and persecution. (1 Peter 4:12) No, living the Christian life is not an easy task.

So what do we do when we start to feel down? Let's look to the bible for answers:

Psalms 42:6 says "O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar." (Amplified Bible )
We should meditate on God's word. Soak it in. Read it every chance we get. The bible is where the reassurance lies. Remember that God does care, even when it seems that no one else does.

1 Samuel 1:10 - "And she [Hannah] was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD…" (KJV)
We should pray when we feel down. Prayer is key. Cast your cares upon God. He knows how to deal with any situation given to him.

Psalms 34: 1-3 - "I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD's greatness; let us exalt his name together." (NLT)
In everything, praise the Lord. Live your life for him. What could be more gratifying than doing the will of the creator of the universe?

2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 - "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." (NLT)
Take refuge in the fact that God will never leave you, nor forsake you, (Hebrews 3:5,6) and everything that happens to you, he will use to build you up. (Romans 8:28)

Psalms 139: 17,18 - "Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine. I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on the beach." (CEV)
God cares about you. God loves you and God is thinking about you. He only wants the best for all of his followers. (Jeremiah 29:11) Don't ever think that you are beyond God's help.

Mathew 11:28-30 - "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (KJV)
Cast your Cares upon Jesus and he shall sustain you.

I know that giving it over to God is easier said than done, but don't think for a moment that I've never struggled with depression. Don't think that the greatest preachers and Christian thinkers in the world don't occasionally have negative thoughts, life issues, or even suicidal thoughts. The issue is not having these thoughts or feeling this way. The issue is learning how to deal with them.

So allow yourself to get past these thoughts. If they are stemming from negative influences in you life, then cut those influences out. For some that might mean not hanging out with some of your friends for a while. For others that might mean not watching certain movies, or listening to certain music.

If it stems from issues in the past, then put those past issues behind you. This might mean forgiving someone in your past for hurting you. Still to others it might mean forgiving yourself for things that you have done. This is hard, but find a way to forgive. Ask God for the strength to do it.

In Closing, I would like to leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul written in Philippians 4:8 "And now, brothers [and sisters], as I close this letter let me say one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about."
If you are feeling totally alone, remember at this very moment, you are of great value to God, and you have friends who are willing to listen and want to help.

Questions? Comments?

"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity" Proverbs 11:3