We have been looking at our responses to depression and discouragement over the last several blogs.
It is a good thing to ask yourself what you have done to deal with the issues of your own life? You may have gone through some of these methods of dealing with suffering yourself. Have you found any of them to be helpful? Or have you walked away from this season with the underlying question of: “Why God, why?” The theological answer is that we suffer because sin entered the world. That one sin has brought our sorrow and woe down upon us. It is why we have disease and depression and disaster. There is no room anymore in medical science for such an answer. And a world that has become far too wise in its own foolish wisdom refuses to believe that in most cases of depression the spiritual component is the real issue. Often in depressed persons this is what we see: The deceitful heart is bent on satisfying “me,” having my own way, and living life for my own ease and pleasure, with “me” at the center of my universe. We can see this is the case when Feeling better, Respect, Love, Power, Control, Freedom from pain are all more important to me than caring what God wants to accomplish through my suffering or pain. See, when we know that there is no medical connection to depression, no organic component- then we have no other option than to conclude that what a person has been thinking about, believing, and desiring in their heart is what has caused them to feel depressed or to have sorrow without hope. I want to encourage you by telling you that God is not going to waste this time, He uses depression and suffering in our lives to reveal the contents of the heart. And not only is He going to reveal the heart, He is going to deal with it. He has a purpose and a plan for all adversity. To deal biblically with suffering and depression, you must learn what God says about your problem. To start, God says that your thoughts, beliefs, and desires need to be dominated by Him through His Word. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV) As the Word of God enters your mind and heart, you will begin to have a better idea of God’s thoughts, standards, and goals for you. This is called being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23; Rom 12:2.) Mind renewal is especially important when dealing with depression. It is critical and vital. When thoughts, beliefs, and desires of a person are set on glorifying God, they will begin to do the right things, such as serving others, and they will experience good results, such as relief from depressive feelings. If a person wants to be successful in overcoming these feelings, then change your focus- from self to God. When my heart is not focused on “me” and I am instead thinking about “how can I glorify God in this circumstance” I will begin to accept and understand certain things that God wants me to learn through the suffering. Then I must put into action the things that I know are right to do. I must be respectful, humble, demonstrate faith and trust in God.More next time!