Depression is not new to the church. In fact, God actually gives us a Biblical solution for how we can combat this mental and emotional issue many still face today. 

Growing up, I, too, had seasons and times of depression. And while I have wrestled with its symptoms and causes, God was faithful to open my eyes to His truth. He reminded me how much He loved and cared for me, and that reassurance helped me to find freedom from my depression. 

I want to be clear that I am not suggesting you don’t take your prescribed medication or remain consistent in your therapy and counseling sessions. We live in unsettling times today where much light has and is being shed on the topic of mental health. With all the circumstances we face in our lives, from experiencing a pandemic to the loss of a person we love, and even when our children are acting crazy, it is evident that we all need a therapist!

Now, truth be told, even though I have been freed of my depression, every so often, the devil will try to sway me. He speaks lies into my mind, and I know, as a child of God, he does the same for you. But it is under these conditions that we must be firm in reminding him that we aren’t listening.

How Do You Know If You’re Depressed?

Maybe you feel disappointed, or perhaps it is much heavier than that. So how do you know if you’re depressed?

Some symptoms of depression include:

  • constant sadness
  • abrupt irritability 
  • the inability to sleep 
  • low energy or fatigue 
  • feeling worthless 
  • feeling guilty for no reason 
  • significant weight gain 
  • difficulty in concentration 
  • loss of interest in activities 
  • suicidal thoughts 

According to some medical professionals, if you have four or more of these symptoms, there is a good chance you may be depressed. 

It is important to note that depression doesn’t always stem from childhood trauma. Sometimes, depression just happens. I grew up in a loving family and still felt unloved and unimportant. So it is no surprise that those feelings of insignificance led me down the road to depression. 

However, in my times of struggle, I found hope, and it was and still is through Jesus Christ.

  • The Cause

  1. Anxiety and Fear

“Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”

Proverbs 12:25, NKJV

Anxiety can be defined as fears derived from your thought life. Simply said, your distress and unease are all caused by fear. 

Now we know that fear does not and cannot come from God, so anytime fear enters into the arena of your life, you have to remember that it is a scheme of the enemy.

2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Some of you have lived your lives under the umbrella of fear, and the decisions you have made reflect that. However, we must always remember that fear creates an atmosphere where Satan can thrive. 

What kinds of fear have you experienced in your life?

Maybe it is a fear of your past and a hope that your yesterdays will not be exposed. (Be encouraged; we’ve all done something we don’t like to brag about.)

Perhaps it is a fear of your present and the things that may or may not happen today and right now.

Finally, there is also a fear of the future. What will happen if you lose your job or when you get older?

Now, it is important to always be aware that the devil will try to lure you to make choices that are birthed and rooted out of fear. 

Many of us have made terrible decisions that were fueled by anxiety. I want to remind you that when you become afraid of anything, the devil is trying to get you to go in the wrong direction. Don’t go in that direction! 

I know that no matter what happens today or in the future, I serve a God who has protected me in my past (I’ve seen him take care of me, fight my battles, and give me the strength to overcome my struggles), and if he can take care of my yesterdays, I know He has my tomorrows. And the same goes for you!

  1. An Unguarded Heart

One cause of unintended depression begins with an unguarded heart. If you don’t protect your feelings or thinking and you allow thoughts to linger in your mind, eventually, they will make their way down to your heart, influencing your emotions and desires. So, in all things, you must guard your heart!

A few years ago, my wife, Trina, and I discovered a bird’s nest near our home. Unfortunately, the location of this nest allowed for an abundance of bird poop where we didn’t want bird poop! So after some time, my wife asked me to remove the nest. Soon, she discovered little baby birds in that nest and quickly changed her mind about moving it. But, on the other hand, I was ready to get rid of the undesired thing, so I responded, “Oh no, we’re not going to leave it there and allow the birds to keep pooping!” 

Some of you are the same way; you don’t want the bird poop, but you let the baby birds stay. You allow baby thoughts to stake claim in your mind, and baby thoughts turn into what? Big thoughts!

That devil will put a small thought in your mind, and as you entertain it, it grows to become an adult, which becomes an act. 

If you sow an act, you reap a habit. 

If you sow a habit, you reap a lifestyle. 

If you sow a lifestyle, you reap a destiny.

One thing that has helped me is deciphering between entertaining a thought and pondering it. When we entertain an idea, it makes us feel good. However, when we ponder it, it affects our eternity!

Are you wondering why you keep doing what you shouldn’t be doing? Take a look at your thought life and what you are entertaining. Because the more you think about what you shouldn’t be doing, the more your heart will want it, eventually leading you further from God’s calling for your life. 

(And what about those baby birds, you ask? In short, they’re gone and are not my responsibility!)

  • The Cure

So how do we conquer depression?

I believe it comes down to a good word and a guarded heart.

  1. A Good Word (Proverbs 12:25, Isaiah 54:17, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

With so many conflicting thoughts and opinions in our world, it is crucial for disciples of Christ to stay rooted in the good word of God.

A few key verses that are good to meditate on and memorize are:

  • “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25, NKJV)
  • “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17, NKJV)
  • “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NKJV)

Begin exploring the scriptures for words that speak life to your fear every day. Write them down and commit them to memory, and the next time the enemy prowls around your thought life, you will be prepared to speak the victorious word of God! 

Now, you may be wondering, how do I get a good word, pastor?

I encourage you to look at the calendar. Then, whatever month it is, read that Psalm! (If it is April 21st, read the 4th chapter of Psalms.) The book of Psalms is a great way to start your day. You can pray the Psalm, meditate on it, read it – this book will speak life to your heart and thought life!

And if you still don’t know where to start, begin by saying, “Help me, Lord!” Because anyone who knows God knows He is faithful to deliver you in your time of need. Believe Him; Trust Him; call on Him! 

  1. A Guarded Heart and Thought Life (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” 

2 Corinthians 10:3-4, NKJV

God is faithful to acknowledge and provide insight into how the enemy tries to take us under. Strongholds are the method by which the devil clings to us!

“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of god, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, NKJV

We are commanded to take control of our thought life! Stop entertaining the things of the flesh, don’t let the birds of the world stay and lay eggs. Don’t let them live there.

Take control of the thoughts that invade the places of your mind, and if they don’t align with God’s nature and His word, kick them back to hell, where they belong!

You are a child of God, and you have the authority to command any unwholesome thought to leave. 

Now, some of you can’t experience victory over your thought lives because of the music you listen to and the shows you watch on television. You are filling your mind with the ideas of this world, and they are infiltrating your spirit and heart.

“And being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

2 Corinthians 10:6, NKJV

When you begin doing what you are supposed to do, the devil will be defeated! Our obedience is his punishment, and all it comes down to is thinking how God thinks and protecting your heart.

Father, I pray in Jesus’ name as I intercede for the people of God all over the world. I pray that you would help us and give us healthy thoughts that are pleasing in your sight. Give us the ability to change our thought patterns and life, and I rebuke the spirit of depression, in Jesus’ name. Let the Holy Spirit arrest our hearts and minds to think the way you want us to think, In the name of the resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ; Hallelujah and amen. 

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