OK. I get it. That title is pretty provocative.
But ask yourself, how many times have you thought you were depressed? I would imagine if most people were honest, they would have to admit that at least at one point or another in their life, they have felt depressed. How about you?
Mayo Clinic defines depression as, "...a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest." Frankly, just reading that makes me kind of sad. I mean, really, I can now think of dozens, NO, hundreds of times, I have felt that way. But wait, I am not depressed! I am happy, energetic, full of purpose and, most importantly, know that God loves me and has a plan for my life.
Don't get me wrong. The fact is there are millions of people around the world who can be clinically diagnosed as depressed. Depression is a very real thing.
Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers include sadness, irritability, feeling negative or worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction. If you are routinely experiencing this symptoms and believe you may be depressed, you need to stop reading this post, pray and then get some help right now by calling your doctor or a mental health professional. After you get it, come back and finish reading.
A Simple Observation
Grab your bible and head over to the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, chapter 16. There came a time when God wasn't happy with King Saul and wanted Samuel to go and anoint a new one. He found himself at the home of a guy named Jesse where he took a look at Jesse's seven older sons to no avail and finally got to his youngest son David. Yeah, that David.
Samuel took a flask of oil and anointed David as king. And the bible says that "the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on." I bring that up because of the next sentence in verse 14 that connects the topic of this blog. It states, "Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear." Did you see that? His depression came from a tormenting spirit.
We wouldn't be living up to our name (i.e. christian) if we didn't point you to what we know as the true hope for healing for depression, sickness, disease and every other challenge in life. Specifically, move over to the New Testament to the second letter from the apostle Paul to his younger friend, Timothy. Paul found himself in the role of mentor in Timothy's life and challenged him to fan the flames the spiritual gift God had given him. Then in the seventh verse of the first chapter, Paul writes, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
So often, we can find that fear is a motivating factor to depression. As a child of God, you can rest assured in some pretty simple things like, God is good. Learn to judge the fruit of your circumstances. Does it produce peace or joy or true happiness? If so, it comes from our Heavenly Father, God. Does it produce fear or timidity or depression? If so, it is NOT from Him. In fact, it's a lie!
As a believer in Jesus, you have the authority and power to CHOOSE what you believe and what you allow into your mind. Sure, you may not be able to stop every single bad, negative or untrue thought from popping into your mind, but you definitely don’t have to let bad thoughts live there. You have the power to kick them out!
Take the bad thoughts captive. In his second letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he states, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
When thoughts of depression or fear or intimidation come your way, take them captive and simply saying, "God, take these from me." It may sound too simple. But, frankly, it has to be for people like me. Try it out!