I am one of those people who tends toward the melancholy. There are both pros and cons to this but recently I have felt the darkness coming on more often. By that, I mean the temptation to depression, a lack of joy, and an oppression of the spirit. I know there are many others who struggle with this and I want to share what helps me most. First, I want to say that the things I will share are mainly for those who know Jesus Christ personally. Honestly, I don’t see how anyone can overcome depression without believing in Christ (I am NOT talking about chemical imbalance and I am not discussing clinical depression here). I am talking about a darkness that comes from the reality of sin and suffering in the world, the reality of our own failures, and sometimes an unexplained oppression. Anyway, these choices help me the most.
Ø Singing praise to God out loud. Find a time to be alone with God and sing your favorite praise songs to Him. There is more power in singing out loud but at least try singing in your spirit or listen to praise music.
Ø Prayer. Our greatest resource. Tell God exactly how you feel. Confess your sins. Tell Him what you desire Him to do in your life. If you feel powerless to pray, pray the Psalms. Some that have helped me: Psalm 37, 34, 32, 23, 27,40,42 – There are so many just search them.
Ø Reading and meditating on Scripture. Quoting Scripture – out loud.
Ø Resist isolating yourself. This is always my temptation and amplifies the darkness. Reach out to others.
Ø Keep a balance between physical exertion (exercise/work) and rest. If we rest a lot but don’t do anything, that gives us any exercise, it can lead to a depressed feeling, but if we are always on the go and never take time to rest before the Lord, that also can leave us depressed.
Ø Remember we are in a war. We are all in a Spiritual battle but those who seek to get closer to Jesus will meet the enemy head on. He will attack. However, we overcome him through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, our testimony and prayer. Submit to God, resist Satan and he will flee.
This morning I was feeling the darkness. I read my daily devotions. Then when I was alone, I remembered about praising God. By choice not by feeling I began to sing praises to Him. I put on praise music and exercised while praising Him. I poured out my heart to Him. He lifted me from the pit (Psalm 40). I felt He wanted me to share these things today. Maybe it will be of benefit. One other thing, if God told me I could be free of any tendency to depression but that I would not be as aware of Him or as close to Him, I would not take the deal. If this keeps me seeking God, than I thank Him for it. I praise Him for anything that brings me to the foot of the cross and keeps my eyes on Jesus!