We all fall into a state of depression at some point in our lives. It can be of a short-term nature, connected to the need for money or a job. Or something more long-term, like a debilitating illness or injury to which we see no solution and which doctors cannot cure.

King Saul had a lot on his mind. As the first ruler of Israel 3,000 years ago, reading between the lines, some have suggested that he was either psychotic or bipolar! He was not the only one struggling with overcoming depression. David was troubled and despairing; Job suffered great loss, devastation, and physical illness; and Moses grieved over his sinful people.

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.Proverbs 12:25

Notice that this translation of the verse links anxiety with depression. Talk with a good friend if this is rings clearly for you, or perhaps with another trusted church member or close relative. Even the good Lord Himself was grieved by what lay before Him, so don’t feel alone in this. Job suffered the loss of his children, livestock, and servants and was afflicted by skin disease, but still praised God.

These incidents happened because Satan had asked God to test Job’s faith. It eventually brought him closer to understanding the Lord and he chose to fear God and avoid evil. He could continue to seek wisdom in this way. When our faith is shaken, it is easy to give in to depression and fear.

But if we seek out those who can encourage us with a “good word,” life can immediately seem brighter. We can also seek out those who are struggling, understanding the power of words to uplift the spirit and help in overcoming depression.

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.Deuteronomy 31:8

These words of encouragement were spoken by Moses when the Israelites had reached the promised land. Because of his disobedience, God would not allow Moses to enter, so Joshua was chosen. He knew the troubles they faced, as the country was already populated by threatening tribes.

Is this the feeling we experience when we reach a watershed moment in our lives? Trepidation; fear of moving forward? It leads to anxiety and then depression. But look at Moses’s exhortation that the Lord would go before them. In the same way, rely on Him to show you the way to overcoming depression and fear. The thought we can rely on the Lord to be with us and help find a solution to our problems is a positive one.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. – Psalm 4:1-2

David waited patiently for God to help him during the days of his fight with King Saul, and so should we. He works everything out in His own good time. This can be hard to accept amid your troubles but have faith that the Lord has plans for everyone that involves the strengthening of your beliefs in His power.

There is nothing He does not see; no prayer He does not hear. Overcoming depression means trusting in the Lord and His ability to help. Let Him lead the way forward to a better, happier future for you.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.John 16:33

Jesus spoke to his disciples the night before his crucifixion. He was talking about all the trials we must go through in this life: sickness, tragedy, natural disasters, and evil. He knew that when he was gone, the disciples would be scattered, but that they needed to continue to believe in Him through all the coming adversity.

And isn’t it the same for us living today? To overcome depression about things happening in our lives and in the world, we can look to Christ and what He went through for us. He has gone to prepare a place for us with Him in heaven. We must not be defeated and downcast, for the clouds will part and the sun will shine on us once more. Life is a learning curve; it strengthens us so that we can cope with our troubles as we grow older.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.Philippians 4:8

If your days are dark, take time to be grateful for what you do have; reflect on good things that can lift your spirits. Paul is suggesting that Satan must not gain a foothold in our thoughts. Keep them pure and focus on the things that please God. Dark depressing thoughts will only cause anxiety and pain and make you doubt the Lord’s word.

By overcoming depression in this way, your life will be brighter knowing God is in control of all living things upon this earth. Pray for Him to show you the way to a more rewarding, stress-free life. Take comfort in this.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

Depression can sap your energy levels; it makes you feel like it is almost impossible to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Through Christ though, you will find the courage to persevere through the dark and dreadful times. Paul declares that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Job 42:2 declares that God can do anything. Paul refers to Christians being able to endure hardship and persecution, particularly in his age. Are we this brave and strong today? Of course, because God’s message of love is just as strong today as it was then. He is the unchangeable I AM. Overcoming depression is possible with His help.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Even though life may be proving difficult for you at present, remember God sees all and has plans to lighten your load and help you through. He is in control. He brings hope and strength to people, through people such as yourself. Jeremiah in this verse is speaking to the Jewish people in exile in Babylon.

He urges them to continue with their lives as normal, as he knows it will be another 70 years before they can return to the promised land. This applies to us today in overcoming depression about our circumstances, as the Lord plans to bring us into a new heaven and new earth that He has promised (Revelation 21-22). We need to remember this promise as we continue with our daily lives. Be glad as your future is secure.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6

While trying to understand your difficulties and attempts at overcoming depression, you need to realize that God has a plan for you, so be courageous and let Him lead the way. He knows what is best for you. Place your faith in Him and never let it waver. Trust and believe in Him alone. Do not give in to your fears for He will protect you. King Solomon’s words ring just as true today as when he spoke them so many centuries ago.

In summary, we can see a repeated theme in these verses: God is in control, knows what lies ahead for us, and has made plans for our future. This does not mean you will lead a life of bliss, but we can be certain of His overarching presence in our lives that “will make straight” our path in life. He will help us in the process of overcoming depression. We need to learn to accept His authority over us, for we do not comprehend His ways.

Photos:
“You are loved.”, Courtesy of Nicole Wilcox, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Standing on a Dock”, Courtesy of Joshua Earle, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Pray. Trust. Wait.”, Courtesy of Berenice Martinez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Sunlight Through the Trees”, Courtesy of Garrick Sangil, Unsplash.com, CC0 License

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