Depression Questions

  • Oct. 9, 2017
  • #9246

God's Living Word

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and I’ve good words about depression.

Welcome to Joni and Friends, and I should explain that these are not my words, but the words of others who have really struggled with depression, and yet they’ve come up out of the pit. Different reasons helped different people. So here’s the deal. People who passed through depression were asked to complete this sentence: “I saw changes in my depression when…” Okay, now fill out the blank. Here are their responses:

Leila said, “I saw changes in my depression when I began to talk to myself rather than listen to myself. I began to speak different scriptures to myself rather than listen to my own voices of hopelessness.” Don’t you love that? She didn’t just read Scripture, she quoted it to her soul; much like David the psalmist did, saying, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God your Savior.”

And then there’s Nancy. She got over her depression when she stopped saying, “It doesn’t work.” She was always looking for the magic bullet. She would pray (trying to make deals with God), look at her own heart (for a minute or two), or briefly try some other seemingly spiritual activity, and when these things did not work, Nancy would quit. Now she believes that it does “work.” How so? There is contentment and even joy in long-term, small, tiny steps of faith and obedience. Nancy did not give up trying Bible directives that at first didn’t seem to work. She kept at it over the long haul, and the Lord blessed her through all those small steps of persevering obedience.

Paul, another Christian who wrestled with depression, he that, “I saw changes in my depression when a friend and a pastor helped keep the bigger picture of God’s kingdom in front of me.” There you go, depression tends to make anyone’s world seem awfully small, but when Paul saw that God was on the move, he began to have hope.

Then there’s Jessica. She rose up out of depression through the faith of one of her friends. She fell into depression when her daughter became very sick. Although she closed down emotionally and spiritually, one friend did not give up on her. She was always loving Jessica and pointing her to the truth, even when she did not want to hear about Jesus. It was as though Jessica’s friend let her “borrow” her faith. Her faith was so weak, but she was confident of God’s presence and love for her, all because a Christian sister stood by her through the worst of it.

Finally, Robert had his eyes open to God’s grace. He began to see that his wallowing in guilt wasn’t godly sorrow; no, it was all turned inward, all self-pity and works-righteousness. But once Robert saw that it was a good thing to see his sin, he had evidence of God’s love and the Spirit working in his life. He began to say to himself, “When in doubt, repent.” You know, these are all insightful responses to depression. And basically, it can be summed up by this: practice putting one foot in front of the other, and work on what you believe are your God-given responsibilities, like not just listening to the Word but doing it; like confessing any selfishness or like leaning on other Christians, and so on and so on.

And to help you if you are in depression, please let me give you my booklet “The Way out of Depression.” I have been down that dark, grim path that leads to despair, and believe me, I resonate. I understand how awful it feels. So let me help you today. Go to joniandfriends.org/radio and ask for my booklet on depression. It’ll be the first step in lifting that dark cloud.

Thanks for listening today on Joni and Friends.

© Joni and Friends

 

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