My Victory Over Depression —> CHRIST IN ME
For many years I struggled to overcome many areas of my Christian walk. One of them was severe, clinical depression. If Jesus died for my sins, why was I struggling for many years as a depressed Christian? Even answering many altar calls, repenting daily, and rebuking Satan, I still struggled with depression. The depression symptoms consisted of a daily fear and insecurity, continuous tears crying myself to sleep, hiding under bed sheets, closing the shades and blinds during daylight, hoping I was living a fantasy, and avoidance of stress or conflict.
How can you relate to what I experienced? The Christian life for many can easily be a life of drudgery, burn out, and failure. Instead, the Christian life should be a life of joy, abundance, and victory.
Why do so many Christians struggle in their Christian walk? Why do so many burn out and walk away? The answer, which I can testify personally to, is that they do not, for whatever reason, let Jesus live His life through them. Many Christians simply do not know how to let Jesus live through them. Many, in fact, rarely understand it at all. Many do not know how to “rest in Jesus.” Many have not let Jesus heal their broken heart.
I lived with the following mindset. “If Jesus came to give me abundant life, why did I continue to live depressed, disappointed, and lifeless?” That was the question I repeatedly asked myself.
Basically, I was born again into a new life in Christ, but I was living as though I was “spiritually dead.” I tried to live the Christian life on my own. No wonder my life was full of death and depression. I did not know how to let Jesus live His life through me. I did not know how to really “rest in Jesus.” I needed to let Jesus heal my broken heart. When Jesus died, my depression died with Him. On the cross, Jesus absorbed my depression into His body. It was buried with Him in His tomb. When Jesus rose from the dead, He left my depression dead and buried forever.
God was viewing my depression as “dead.” He needed to train me (to renew my mind) to see it as “dead” also. As long as I continued to focus on my “dead” depression, I actually was making it come “alive” in my mind. No wonder my Christian life was failing. No wonder depression overwhelmed me. I was looking at “dead” things that God was not looking at. God cannot lead one to victory who continues to focus on “dead” things. A “dead” corpse does not need help. A “dead” corpse needs life – God’s life in it. God looks at life, specifically His life in Jesus. When God sees His born again child, He sees His Son Jesus.
God the Father only saw Jesus in me. I needed to more consistently see the same. I know this is the same problem many hurting and depressed Christians face. Perhaps you are one of them. Fortunately, you know the same victory God worked in me, He can work in you. You only need to rest in Jesus and focus on “Jesus in you.” I amplify this further in my book Dead, Buried, And A New Life In Christ.
I had now begun to realize that the resurrected life of “Jesus in me” was to be my total victory. I needed to learn how to apply “Jesus in me” by faith into my daily life (Galatians 2:20). I was learning to “rest in Jesus.” One thing about the Christian life is that God has made it simple: Everything is summed up and fulfilled in Jesus. As I continued to focus on “Jesus in me” as my solution, it would only be natural to expect victory over depression. It would take time because Jesus needed to deal gently with the deep pains in my heart. I was now crucifying daily the “dead” parts of my life so the life of Christ could grow in me more. It would take time and be very painful. However, that is what crucifixion causes – death. The reward comes afterwards in the joyful experience of the resurrected life of Jesus alive in me.
I have shared my experience with depression to show you where I am at today. The life and love of Jesus has rooted deeper into me. I have experienced victory over depression for the last 15 years. My eyes are focused more consistently on Jesus. I rest in His love. I attempt to permit only His love to motivate every action from my heart.
Jesus is my new life. Today, I literally visualize “Jesus in me.” I attempt to have my heart open to His love. Then, I can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to stir my heart to what actions to take/or not take for specific situations. I can plan functions, but I cannot plan results. Results are God’s business. I am simply permitting Jesus to live His life through me. I become abundantly blessed by watching Jesus work through me for His glory.
The Christian life is now totally exciting and worth it. All that Jesus has said is true. He has come to give us the fullest, abundant life. He fills the deepest desires of the human heart. He heals every broken heart. The Christian life for me is now pure joy. I not only enjoy life. I LIVE LIFE. Jesus is my life. It is a life to grow deeper in love with Jesus every day. Everything else combined could never be more fulfilling.