Do Christians feel depressed? Shouldn’t we be full of joy, which is a fruit of the Spirit? I am often in awe of my tendency to fall into depression, and I’m certain that I’m not the only one, especially these days. Sometimes it helps to know that other Christians struggle just as we do, so I feel compelled to write a little about this.
I’ve been prone to depression for as long as I can remember. The last severe bout came about 6 years ago. This was when I turned my life to Jesus in a meaningful way. Since then, I have had times when I felt down to lesser and greater degrees, but never like it was before. Forming a relationship with Jesus does help. It helps to focus on Him and His promises. It helps to read the scriptures. It helps to take our focus off the world and ourselves so that we can serve others.
That is one of the reasons why I have been writing so much lately. I have some self-centered motivations, I guess. I know it might seem like too much to write most every day, if not every day, but I feel like I will die if I do not. I know that is not becoming of a Christian to be so melancholy, but it is my nature, and for some reason that nature is doing its best to kill me lately. Jesus will overcome it, I know, but maybe this is part of that.
I am not the strongest, brightest, or most upright person. I do love the things of God though, and I thank the Lord for all He has done. I thank the Lord for blessings in this life. He gives us thankfulness, joy, and peace, even when we feel despair at the same time. So, it’s not like it’s just one or the other—thankfulness, joy, and peace or complete misery and despair. Sometimes we have both, and sometimes we need something extra to get us out of the muck and mire of this world.
So, I am doing the only thing I know to do. I am trying to do some work for the Lord. I am focusing my mind in His word so that maybe I can use my ever-over-thinking mind and the difficulties I have gone through to help other people. I need to do this.
If you’re going through depressing times, maybe serving Jesus is just what you need too. Maybe it means helping someone in your family or community. Maybe it means using a talent that God gave you to glorify Jesus. Maybe it means studying the bible more or praying more so that your mind is occupied on good things instead of the chaos and calamity of this life.
Many people are going through hard times right now, and if you are one of them, you are not alone. Sometimes we feel like God is so far away, but He is near! He hears us and He does not despise us in our affliction. Everything is working in our favor because we have the favor of God on our side! Do what Jesus calls you to do. Find your calling in His Kingdom, keep building your relationship with Jesus, and focus on the promises of His salvation. I will do the same, and I am here for you too.