Are you happy? If you are that is awesome! Here is a better question: Are you ever depressed or anxious? Do you experience moments in your life when you are just under this dark cloud that is suffocating and feels like forever? When I meet people, more often than not I am complemented for my happy demeanor and smile. As “happy” as I appear on the surface, there are times when even I feel like I am barely keeping my head above the water as I drown in my own turmoil.
In those moments, I feel like I am all alone and that God is a million miles away. My brain KNOWS that is an absolute lie, but my deceitful heart wallows in the abyss. Maybe you know what I am talking about. If you don’t, believe me you will eventually.
In the Christian community and in the general public, I feel like we don’t talk about depression enough. Let me tell you something. Depression is real, and it can be potentially deadly. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one to this curse/disease. I am not going to pretend to fully comprehend what it feels like to be so depressed that it feels like there is no hope, but I know that there are many brothers and sisters who we see on a regular basis who wrestle with this. Check out this passage:
My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” | Lamentations 3:17-24
You can struggle, but you need to cling to hope! Psalm 42 and 43 are both psalms of lament that share the same message as the passage from Lamentations. If you want to hear a great message on Psalms of lament and depression, then you need to listen to this message by Pastor Bill from CBC of Savannah. One of the biggest takeaways I got from the message was that your voice is the most influential voice in your life. The author of Lamentations and the psalmist both spoke words of TRUTH to themselves: “The Lord is my portion. I will HOPE in Him.”
As human beings, we were created to feel a wide variety and depth of emotions, but the problems arise when we let those emotions take over our entire lives and forget God’s promises for His children. Charles Spurgeon was one of the greatest preachers of our time, but he struggled with depression throughout his life. I love this quote from him [sorry if it’s not word for word], “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.” Even if you don’t feel like God is close by, choose to believe that He will deliver you and that He is your portion. Rest in Him!
God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die on a cross for us in order to have intimate relationship with us. Don’t you think that He will rescue us from our own despair? He will never leave you – I promise. He is always faithful to see you through every anxiety and moment of despair. Never stop pursuing God and His Word! Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning!