Part 3 ... DEFEATING DEPRESSION
'The Black Dog' haunted Winston Churchill. This was how the insightful England's World War 2 Prime Minister referred to his recurrent depression.
A biographer describes Churchill's depression both as the 'enemy', and 'an unambiguous tyrant whose destruction occupied him fully'. ("Overcoming Depression" by Neil and Joanne Anderson).
"Black', 'enemy', and 'destruction' are descriptors never far from the vocabulary of the depressed. (See p11 in Anderson).
Understand that depression can be absolutely and desperately lonely. It can’t be shared or given to another. Only one person can feel their distress. It can be discussed but not removed. It can not be escaped or avoided. It MUST be lived through.
Understanding depression as an assault on my soul will give me the correct weapons to fight against it.
No one is forced to stay in darkness. All have the possibility to turn on the light. Remember ‘even in darkness, light dawns for the upright.’ Ps 112:4. For it is God ‘who turns darkness into light’. 2 Sam 22:29
Understand that the pain of depression is cumulative until it is released @ the throne of grace.
The seeking of indulgence will only promote the pain. To cover it is to feed it.
Gripping how God sees me (even when I'm depressed)
While I am thinking 'bad' about me, God is not.
While countless thoughts of worthlessness and weakness assail, God is not thinking any of these about me.
His thoughts about me are far healthier than my thoughts about me! To think about me as God does will put me well on the road to permanent recovery.
This is what God thinks about me:
- I am the end result and product of His good work in me. Ps 33:15
- I am God's workmanship. Ps 139
- God delights in me. Zeph 3:17
- I am the apple of His eye. Ps 17:8, Zech 2:8
- God wants me close and in His presence. Ps 46:10, Ps 91, Zech 2:13,
- He does not condemn me. Jn 3:17, Rms 8:1
- I am chosen AND significant. Jn 15:16
- I am a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
- I am loved deeply by Him. Jn 3:16
- God delights in my well being. Ps 35:27
- God wants to give me good things. Lk 11:11-13 ... further infotmation see 10 Core Beliefs
- God will bring me conviction of sin, not condemnation for sin.(Jn 16:8) Conviction will lead me gently to repentance, condemnation harshly delivers me to darkness, yet again. The Holy Spirit convicts. The evil spirits (satan and his demons) condemn and accuse. Rev 12:10b
- Jesus even defends me not permitting condemnations of me to reach the Throne of Grace. Roms 8:33-34.
- God does not stop loving me because I am depressed. Not even depression will cause Him to reject me. Rms 8:37-39
It is a helpful and necessary thing in attacking depression to repent of thinking that God thinks ill of me. Satan wants me to believe that God does not like me. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I need to ask Jesus for forgiveness if I believe God harbours ill will to me.
Repentance is 'robbery removal'. Satan no longer is permitted to fill me with bad thoughts as I then have heaven's opinion of me. Satan can no longer rob me of God's truth when I repent of holding lies.
The truth will set me free. (John 8:32)
Gripping how I see God (even when I'm depressed)
Thinking hostile thoughts about God are not from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6-7). If depression leads me to do this, please understand that it is actually the work of the evil one. God neither wants me to remain in depression nor is He malevolent towards me. God actually and only wants to give me good things.(Luke 11:7-13)
I need to believe in God's goodness, and unlike Eve in the garden of Eden refuse to accept lies about God.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
Depression is defeated when the pain is processed through prayer and not obscured. This then is how God just builds and builds my trust in Him. Every repeated, constant or new pain is continually and prayerfully yielded to Jesus. (Simply pray ... 'Jesus take this pain from now please...' name the pain.)
Depression must be walked through to be defeated. Satan wants me to mask it or run from it. Covering a sore ridden body with clothes will not heal the sores, neither will chemicals heal the spiritually caused depression.
Even in depression continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19 God does not want me to be wayward. (Hosea 14:1-4 Depression may lead to waywardness, which is rebellion). Remember satan wants to isolate me from God and His goodness. When I become wayward, I put God behind me.
Waywardness is healed (not corrected) by freely given love. Waywardness arrives through lack of reception of love. I need to approach God to receive His love.
Look only and continually to the Christ of the cross who was in utter darkness and separation. Receive His love/ His light.
Examine prayerfully hurts and difficult or broken relationships. If required, seek to deal (confess) with unforgiveness and bitterness. This removes any authority the evil one may have over me (Eph 4:27). If someone has already hurt me, unforgiveness only permits that person to continue to hurt me. (Now, why then would I want that?)
Examine self opinion and goals and check them for their godliness. Poor self opinion is only fuel for satan's darkness. Healthy and accurate self opinion is important to God (Romans 12:3). I need to regulate my self-opinion according to the witness of scripture.
CLAIMING VICTORY ... 3 simple steps
1) Daily lay burdens @ Jesus’ feet. In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus strongly invites persistent and unrelenting prayer. In Mt 11:28-30 Jesus offers the 'best deal' in the cosmos, i.e to exchange my heavy load for His light load. I do NOT have to carry the burdens of depression. I can remove them. Remember - Jesus died to take/carry MY sorrows Is 53:4
2) Do not give negative thoughts a foothold.(Eph 4:27) Believe good of God and self and others. Refuse to accept such thoughts, they are from the evil one. This is the season of grace. Jesus does not accuse. Only think what God thinks about me. (REMEMBER ... hostile thoughts to God are not of the Holy Spirit)
3) Understand I am God’s prize possession. I am the only part of creation, constructed in His image. I am God's work apex, His pinnacle. Satan wants my devotion. No wonder satan is warring for my mind,(and then my soul).
Believe, accept and HOLD onto this. Then ENJOY His release.
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and rely on his God' (Isaiah 50:10b)
Usually depending upon how long the wrestle with depression has been endured, impacts the recovery time, i.e. the shorter the depression the quicker the recovery time, and vice versa.
In extended circumstances deliverance ministry may be required.
Also ~ Making Sense of Suffering