Defying depression with God

Defying depression with God

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Free of Fear

The black cloud of depression has lifted, yet I do not feel free. I live in constant worry that the darkness will return. I fear going back down to the bottom of the pit.

The LORD says; "All those who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm."
Pr 1:33

Listen to Him.

David says; "I prayed to the LORD and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears."
Ps 34:4

Pray to Him.

So many times in God's word He commands us "do not fear, do not be afraid".

Obey Him.

God promises; "[I] go beore you and will be with you; [I] will never leave you or forsake you. "
Deut 31:8

Trust Him.

Our God is faithful.

"So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea."
Ps 46:2

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Picture of Depression

"My soul is full of trouble
and my life draws near the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like a man without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom You remember no more,
who are cut off from Your care.
You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me;
You have overwhelmed me with all Your waves.
You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to You, O LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to You.
Are Your wonders known in the place of darkness...?
...the darkness is my closest friend."

Psalm 88:3-9, 12-14, 18

Monday, November 1, 2010

Worn Out

I cling to a thread of hope. My hands tire.
I strain to see the light. My vision blurs.
I call for help. My throat is parched.
I fight for my life. I grow weak.
My body aches.
My soul aches.
I am exhausted.

Job understands:
"Surely, O God, You have worn me out."
Job 16:7

David understands:
"I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes."
Ps 6:6-7

God understands:
When we are weak, He is strong.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Passing Through

We may be in the valley, but we do not live there, we are only passing through.

We may be in the fire, but we do not live there, we are only passing through.

God reaches down from on high. He comes alongside us, takes our hand, and leads us through.

In the valley or in the fire, we are only passing through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Prescription for Healing

Heal - to mend, cure, make whole; return to original state of health

I pray for healing...I beg for healing, yet it does not come.
I am prescribed medication...I take medication, and my health improves.

My health improves but I do not feel that I am healed.

God, I believe that You are a supernatural God who can perform instantaneous miracles of healing, if you choose. I wonder why you have not chosen to heal me, to set me free.

Could it be that God might use prescription medication to heal?

There is an example in the Bible of Jesus giving a prescription for healing:

"As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. ... (Jesus) spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go", He told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam". So the man went and washed, and came home seeing." John 9:1-7

God can use any means that He sees fit to heal. The healing process will not look the same for everyone. We should prayerfully consider treatment options, and it may be that God's will is to use medication to heal.

The Battlefield

Christ was crucified at Golgotha - the place of the skull, the mind. So often the mind is Satan's battlefield of choice. Satan's strategy is revealed and the battle lines have been drawn.

Depression is such a mental, emotional and spiritual battle. It is a battle of the mind, but we have already won. We have victory because the work of Christ has been done at Golgotha. Satan's lies are crucified. We live with the power of the resurrection and the mind of Christ.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remove This Cup

When I am really suffering, when the darkness overwhelms, I cry out to the LORD;
"Father, I would rather have any other form of pain."
I plead with God;
"If I have to suffer, please let it be in any other way. "
I implore;
"Remove this cup from me."

The familiar words of Jesus ring in my ears. In the face of tremendous suffering, He pleaded with the Father in the garden;
"Remove this cup from me..." But then Jesus continued; "...not my will but yours be done."

Can I follow the example that our LORD gave in the face of indescribable pain?
Can I take the next step of faith?
Can I surrender to the Father's will?

Can I surrender to the suffering?

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Long?

A prayer when you feel that the sorrow will never end:

Psalm 90:13 - 15
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.

Prayer is essential.
Cry out to God for he hears you.

He loves you and he hears you.

The Battle is Not Ours

Depression - a fight for your life, a daily struggle, a source of fear and discouragement

2 Chron 20 tells of a king facing an insurmountable challenge.
King Jehoshaphat admits to the LORD that he has no power to face the enemy before him.

God responds; "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army for the battle is not yours, but God's." God goes on to say; "Stand firm and see the deliverance I will give not be afraid or discouraged...go out and face them tomorrow and I will be with you."

Depression - an insurmountable challenge, an enemy of the soul, a vast army lying in wait

Do not be afraid or discouraged...stand firm...face the enemy

God promises to be with you and to deliver you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peace and Quiet

We are capable of remaining calm among the internal turmoil of mental illness.
Zeph 3:17 The LORD you God is with you, ...he will quiet you with his love

We can have peace even as we are deprived of our health.
1 Cor 14:33 God is not a god of disorder, but of peace.

We can ask God to rescue us from the storm but if that is not his perfect will, he may instead choose to calm our souls in the midst of the storm.

God is a God of peace, he will quiet us with his love.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The next right thing

O Lord,
I am shuffling along, dazed and detached. It is morning and I cannot see how I will eat or shower or make it through the rest of this day. This surviving is harder than it seems. This living is excrutiating and lonely. Encourage me to breathe in and out and in and out again. Give me hope to get through the next thirty minutes. Help me put one foot in front of the other. Strengthen me to do the next right thing.

God is Bigger

They say; "Sing Him praises."
...but I have a chemical imbalance
They say; "Cast your anxiety upon Him."
...but I have a chemical imbalance
They say; "Find joy in the suffering."
...but I have a chemical imbalance
They say; "Rise above the pain."
...but I have a chemical imbalance

They remind me; "God is bigger than your chemical imbalance."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Defining Moment

Gen 1:26 Then God said; "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."

From the moment of our creation, we are made in the image of God. From the moment of our salvation, we are conformed to the likeness of his Son. God has given us a sound mind and our identity is in Christ. Our illness does not define us and our character is not in question. The struggle we face will fade away and we will have eternal glory.

Rom 8:29 For those God forknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Distant Light

When you are at the bottom of the pit, the light seems so distant. If you look hard enough, overhead you can see the glimmer. You may, for a moment, remember that there is light.

Genesis 1:3-4 God said; "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness.

The light...the foundation of God's creation, the very first thing he created.

There is light. When you can't see it, when you forget that it's there, there is light.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


The word 'remain' appears 11 times in John 15:1-10.

The passage says that God is the gardener and he cuts off our branches and prunes us. This sounds like a painful process.

Christ knows that it's painful and he pleads with us; "Remain in me". It's like he is saying; "My child, I know that this will hurt, but hang onto me....remain in me and you will survive this pruning."

In the passage he goes on to say; "If anyone does not remain in me he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

If we do not remain in him, we will experience more suffering and our pain will be for naught. If we do not remain in Christ, we will be thrown into the fire and burned. On the other hand, if we remain in Christ, the pruning process leads to fruit bearing.

Rest assured that if you remain in Christ, you will not only survive the pruning, but as a result you will reflect God's glory.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Spacious Place

Ps 18:16-19
He reached down from on high and took hold of me, He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

God delights in you even when you can't get out of bed. He delights in you when you can find no joy. He delights in you when you cry incessantly. God delights in you when you can do nothing but breathe in and out and survive another day.

He will rescue you because He delights in you. He will reach down from on high and pull you out of the pit and place you in a spacious place.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We Are Not Consumed

consume - kalah - to cease, be finished, perish, to be completed


But we are not consumed.

Lam 3:22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Hiding

If you're like me, when you are in despair and your soul is downcast, you want to run and hide.

I will hide myself in my bed, down under the covers. I will hide away from the world, but not from my pain. The hopelessness follows me under the covers. It keeps me company like an old familiar friend. Only, this negative mentality is not my friend. It keeps me from stepping into the light. It keeps me hiding out, crying in the fetal position.

But there is a better place we can run and hide. We can run to the LORD and hide ourselves in Him. He will hide us in the shadow of His wings if we will chose to run to Him instead of our covers.

Psalm 143:9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in You.

Psalm 27:5 For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

As we hide ourselves in Him, He sets us high upon a rock. Out in the open. Rescued from our enemies. Safe. Sheltered.

The next time you are tempted to run to your bed and curl up under the covers, run to God instead. Hide yourself in His loving embrace.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where is God?

We don't always feel God's presence. As a matter of fact, I have never felt the presence of evil more than in the darkest hours of depression.

We cry out:
"O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; My soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
-Psalm 63:1

The Lord says:
"I will never leave you nor forsake you."

-Josua 1:5

God's word promises:
"if we are faithless, He will remain faithful."
-2 Tim 2:13

"the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."
-2 Thess 3:3

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

We search and can't find. We sense a longing unfulfilled. We question the promise of God.

God is good and faithful. God is ever-present. Our feelings are deceiving. In our illness, our reality is skewed. Hang on to what you know is true. Hang on to the Father for He is hanging on to you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Asking for Help

When we are depressed many will ask what they can do for us. They want to help. They feel helpless and frustrated when we can't tell them how to help. Honestly, we can't imagine how they could possibly help. When we can't find the words to ask for help we can pray God's Word and trust in His promise.

Our prayer:
Psalm 90:13-15
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. make us glad for as many days as You have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

God's promise:
Psalm 91:14-16
"Because [she] loves me, says the LORD," I will rescue [her]; I will protect [her], for [she] acknowledges my name. [She] will call upon me, and I will answer [her]; I will be with [her] in trouble, I will deliver [her] and honor [her]. With long life I will satisfy [her] and show [her] my salvation.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

God is Near

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
-Psalm 34:18

I have never been more brokenhearted than in the depths of depression. And the words "crushed in spirit" paint such an accurate picture of how I feel at the bottom of the pit. But the LORD is close. He is not unconcerned or indifferent. He is not aloof. Though, He wants us to trust Him more than we want to be well. He wants to make us mature and complete, not keep us from all pain. Scripture supports this in the book of James.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (italics are my addition)
-James 1:2-4

God views struggles as opportunities for growth. He is close by. He will remain close by and help you grow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Letter from your Father

God says:

I love you.
I hear you.
I will supply your every need.
I will guide you.
I have plans to prosper you.
I will remain faithful.
It will come to pass in my perfect time.
I will give you peace that passes understanding.
I will refute every tongue that accuses you.
I will be with you always.
I will send my angels to protect you.
I will strengthen and empower you.
I will quiet you with my love.
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
I delight over you with singing.
I am enthralled by your beauty.
I know the number of hairs on your head.
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
I know when you sit and when you rise.
I see your heart.
I sent my son to die for you.
I forgive you.
I will comfort you.
I count your tears.
I hurt when you hurt.
I have your best interest at heart.
I am your father and I know best.
Trust me, for I am trustworthy.

I love you,
Your Daddy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Unchanging God

Mal 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

Consider the North star or a lighthouse. Both are used in navigation as an unchanging point of reference. They are also both used in the dark.
Like a lighthouse or a star, the LORD should be our unchanging point of reference when navigating in the dark.

In Isaiah 50:10 we read:
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on His God."

If, in the dark, we take our eyes off of our LORD, then we have turned away from the light. With no point of reference, we will get lost in the darkness, we will stumble and become disoriented and frightened.
If, however, our eyes are fixed on the Light as we trust in our LORD, we will keep heading in the right direction. Keep your eyes on the unchanging Light for He is trustworthy. Keep your eyes fixed on the Light and He will steer you through the darkness.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Intimacy with Christ

When we enter into an intimate relationship with someone we share life. We experience shared joy as well as shared suffering.

In 1 Peter 4:12 Peter tells us;
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."

If we desire true intimacy with Christ we should not be surprised when we suffer. Depression is horrible and we struggle to describe the intensity of our suffering to others. I believe that Christ suffered far more on the cross in bearing the weight of our sin and experiencing separation from the Father. The depth of His suffering is beyond our comprehension.
If the purpose of our trial is that Christ is drawing us into a more intimate relationship with Himself then it may even be possible to find joy in our suffering.

Paul also relates his desire for intimacy with Christ through suffering.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul says;
"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings..."

Paul wants intimacy with Christ and he says that in order to experience the power of the resurrection in our lives, we must first experience the suffering.
There is no suffering we can experience with which Christ is unfamiliar. I consider it an honor that Christ would call me to share in His suffering in order to draw me into a more intimate relationship with Him. This understanding can be quite difficult to maintain during dark times, but it is that truth that gives me hope in my suffering.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Come to Me

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
-Matthew 11:28

In the unrest of depression, lean into Jesus. Sit in His lap and press your face into His chest.
He will give you rest.
When you are weary of carrying the heavy burden of despair, lean into Jesus. Fall limp in His arms and melt in His loving embrace.
He will give you rest.
When it seems you cannot bear any more, abide...stay...remain. Cling to His promise.
He will give you rest.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Knowing God's Word

It is so important to know scripture. When you are depressed, you are bombarded with lies from the enemy. Depression is an illness of the mind and that is Satan's battlefield of choice. It's easy to believe that what you are thinking is reality, because it is your reality at the time. But it's not the truth. In order to recognize the lies and combat them you need to know God's truth.

Prov 6:20-23 says:
My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. (God's commands and teaching) Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. (make them part of who you are) When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.
(italics are my addition)

In the pitch black of depression, we need a lamp...we need the light which comes from God's Word.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Though He Slay Me

I have often looked to Job's example while suffering. Job 13:15 has gotten me through some of the darkest days. It has helped me to hang onto my faith in the midst of indescribable pain and turmoil. Job said; "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Praising God in the bad times is the key to freedom. Praise Him for the pain and watch the weight lift. Praise Him for the fact that you can't get out of bed and feel the peace wash over you. There is power in praising God and He is so deserving of our praise, no matter the circumstances. Anyone in the pit of depression can relate to Job's words in verse 3:26: "I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil." Oh, how I feel his pain. Yet, amidst such torment, Job concludes; "Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him." Memorize and recite this verse and practice praising God. Our Lord is faithful and He is with us always.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

God Whispers

God, today you taught me that You whisper so that I'll lean in close to hear You.
I will lean in close, focus on You, and cup my hand around my ear to block out other noise.
I will close my eyes in order to heighten my sense of hearing and prevent distraction.
This world makes it so hard to hear Your whispers.
I will remain in You and I will walk closely with You so that when you whisper to me I can lean in, block out the noise, close my eyes and listen.
I love you.