5 Ways that Christians Should Battle Depression

 
If you’ve ever experienced symptoms of depression, you’re not alone. Results from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey showed that 11% of 15-24 year olds had experienced depression at some point. And a 2002 Canadian study found that approximately 8% of Canadians will have major depression in their lifetime. Sometimes, depression can result from physical problems. When this is the case, it’s important that you see a doctor and deal with the underlying medical condition. However, God’s Word also gives us principles to help us deal with depression. 

 

Here are 5 ways that Christians should battle depression.

Seek God.

When you feel like you’re lost in a dark forest of despair, the last thing you may feel like doing is picking up your Bible. But you need the healing medicine of God’s Word. As you read the Bible, it will encourage and strengthen you. Seek God first in His Word. Read the psalms of others who struggled with depression and cried out to God for help. We recommend Psalm 31, Psalm 22, and Psalm 77 to get started. 

 

Also, take time to talk to God. The Bible instructs us in Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” God understands what you’re facing right now, and He wants to help you get through it. Call out to Him for help.

 

Give thanks.

Often, depression is related to unresolved bitterness. After experiencing personal hurts or negative circumstances, a person may become bitter toward others and even toward God. They may believe that God has treated them unfairly, and their bitterness can contribute to depression. The first step to overcoming bitterness is realizing that, no matter what, God is always good. He always loves us. And, because He allows people to have free will, bad things happen sometimes. 

 

When you start to thank God for everything He has given you, it will help lift your spirits. Throughout the Bible, there is a clear connection between giving thanks and joy. Thankfulness produces joy. That’s why God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

 

Reach out to other believers.

Don’t be afraid to call a friend and ask them to pray with you. Stop by your pastor’s office (at our church in North Sydney or your local church), and explain what you’re going through. In Galatians 6:2, Paul tells us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” There are godly people that care about you and would love to help bear your burdens. But they can’t help you if you don’t reach out to them.

 

Help someone else.

Often, depressed people experience hopelessness, lack of motivation, and pessimism. To fight depression, look for someone you can help. Perhaps you know someone who just had an operation. Take them a rotisserie chicken and fries, or drop by with a pizza. Or maybe you have a friend who’s going through a tough time. Send them an encouraging text or card. Also, look for volunteer opportunities in your community. When you serve others, it will help you find new meaning and purpose in life.

 

Forgive others.

According to a 2016 British study, unforgiveness caused serious mental health issues—including depression, darkness, and suicidal thoughts—in participants. But those who chose to forgive a specific offence experienced a decrease in depression and an increase in positive emotions such as peace, joy, love, freedom from fear, and confidence. 

 

Jesus’ command to forgive others isn’t just good teaching—it’s good for your health, too! Ephesians 4:32 commands us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” When you forgive others, it will help you battle depression.

 

Whether you’re going through depression yourself, or you have a friend with depression, don’t give up! God has the answers and the strength you need to battle depression. Contact us at our church in North Sydney to get free, confidential counselling from God’s Word.

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Have you ever struggled with depression? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call 902-304-4707 or email northside1178@gmail.com