Thoughts On A Christian Being Depressed (Part 2)
The Christian life is such a joy. It is true what Jesus said, “I have come to give you abundant life” and “Rivers of living water will flow from us.” I really mean it is true.
Life is so exciting. I wouldn’t exchange this for anything. Because of my deep love walk with Christ right now. I am so grateful for the deep depression that I had experienced for decades. I would never have learned it any other way.
It is a blessed opportunity to share about the depression I experienced. The Lord has taught me that I need to pray about every detail of my life because only He is truly responsible for the Christian fruit in my life. What I share now I pray only Christ shares it through me so only HE can minister to anyone reading this.
Depression is a very sensitive area that one really needs to experience it to truly understand it. Yet, I believe it is an unnecessary cross that too many believers bear. I know from first-hand experience the depths of a broken, wounded heart. Basically, I was depressed most of the first 40 years of my life.
As a child growing up, my character and skills never developed. I was rarely exposed to the risk a child needs to develop into the adult he would one day become. I was clearly not ready for adulthood when the time came.
Once I was on my own as an adult, the hidden depression symptoms came out. (They were hidden because I hid them from everyone.) I was an adolescent in an adult body. Before I knew what happened, I was a “basket case.” I shook whenever stress or conflict arose. Nonstop tears began appearing every day. I cried myself to sleep every night. What a shock to the reality of life! I’m sure many reading this can easily relate.
This all occurred during 1978-79. After a few months of this type of depression, fortunately, the Lord entered my life. I truly learned what unconditional love meant.
I grew more in love with the Lord over the next few years, not realizing, though, that I was still hiding/denying my deep hurts and depression. Long story short – I married in 1982 to a non-believer at the time. (I myself didn’t know the true meaning of salvation at that time.) We adopted two girls in 1987 and 1989.
I was now basically hiding my depression in my marriage and not even recognizing it. Fortunately, we have a loving Savior who always holds onto us. We know as depressed people that we really never hold onto Jesus. When Jesus reclaims His inheritance (us), He uproots all garbage out of us.
Many can relate to how depression can stigmatize one and affect adversely all family members, especially children . My two girls were denied a childhood during their early years. I was so incapable of being a father. I couldn’t take care of my kids’ problems because I had my own serious problems. I was too blind to it. I basically gave the devil free reign in my house. Without going into details, 1993 was the deepest hurt I have ever experienced. I can only say the grace of God made it somehow last for me.
Those of you depressed know how easy it is to go off the deep end. For someone not ready for adulthood, I sure received a crash course. But, God had this whole thing planned. He attempted to get my attention many times, but I missed Him. So He let my entire life/family collapse. Now I had no excuse for missing Him.
God started showing me right in the middle of this time that I misunderstood what salvation means. I thought that salvation was just “Jesus died for my sins.” The Lord showed me that is only ½ the gospel. His death didn’t save me. His death took care of the sin issue.
I was still spiritually dead, and a spiritually dead person needs spiritual life. The only one who had this life was Christ. His life in me saved me. Romans 5:10 amplifies this very well. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Jesus also frequently (in the gospel of John) speaks about life. Therefore, I learned I was saved, but I WAS STILL LIVING LIKE I WAS DEAD. No wonder I really had severe depression as a believer. (I today can confidently say that this is where many depressed believers miss it.)
IT IS CHRIST IN US – NOW – THAT IS OUR VICTORY.
We are to train our minds as Paul lived in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
That was it! I have a new life who is Christ. Therefore,
- I want to see my depression as dead on the cross.
- I am, literally, a new creature in Christ.
The victory over depression is not to change our emotions. It is to change our thoughts, because emotions ALWAYS follow what we think. We need to meditate our minds on the truth of God’s Word and it will set us free, as Jesus stated.
I assure you that I have NO depression for the last 16 years, only traces as I continue to grow in Christ. I just now view life differently as a new life in Christ. It is now a joy totally being a Christian. God’s love is so deeply rooted in me that rivers of living water do naturally flow out, just as Jesus said.
Now the Lord has prepared me (in a ministry I can say) to share, encourage, and support hurting and depressed Christians – VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION.
I am totally dependent on Him and His Word. His compassion is very strong in me for hurting brethren. I only offer my brethren Jesus. Jesus is the only answer. Jesus is your New Life. No job is ever too big for Jesus.
I love our Lord so dearly. He really is alive. His only interest is the deep, intimate love He has for each one of us. As that intimate love grows, He then is so beautifully glorified when like-minded believers come together.
THERE IS VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION. I am living proof from many severe years. Many problems still exist to cause me to retreat into depression, but I view life differently now from God’s eyes and not the world’s. So I have no desire to retreat, even though it still is a struggle.
Victory over depression (especially severe depression) takes time. Be gentle with yourself. Begin by training your mind to only see Christ in you, Christ as your new life. Once you start this, He doesn’t sit passively by. He moves in.