I believe that depression is contagious. It’s a disease of the mind that is spread almost always verbally. Don’t think I’m minimizing the effects of depression – quite the opposite! The effects are incalculable, for they are invisible to the human eye. It’s spiritual warfare at its ugliest that can plague even the strongest of Christians with doubt and discouragement. It can even spread among Christians.
So what can we do about it? Is there anything we can do about it?
Have you ever had a verse just pop up over and over? For about a year now, Exodus 14:14 has been finding me. It says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” In my own words, God’s saying, “Shut up. I got this.” God, the Maker of the universe, is fighting on our side! Therefore . . .
Step 1: Shut up.
Matthew 6:27 says, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Worry, in my opinion, is directly connected to depression. We become so internally focused that it’s near impossible to see anything but what’s going wrong. Anxiety happens when the worry gets out of control. It’s like we worry to feel like we have some control over our circumstances, but we end up feeling depressed when all of our effort worrying did absolutely no good. We’re faced with the fact that we have zero control over anything. So . . .
Step 2: Lose control.
Once we realize that we never had control to begin with, it’s easy to “lose control.” That doesn’t mean do whatever you want, but it does mean to seek out the One who has control. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Not only does God know the future, he’s planned it out for us; and his plans are good!
Step 3: Change your mind.
I know that sounds insensitive. Yes, I do know that depression can be clinical and needs medication. BUT, this is a good start. Our minds become clouded with worry and negative circumstances so much so that we can’t see the good plans that God has for us. Another verse that has been “popping” up is Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The other day, Daniel went out, and I made a list of chores for us to get done the next day. I had written them under another list that I had already written – Phil. 4:8. The next day, I asked Daniel how he felt about the list. He said, “I like lists, because they keep you focused.” EXACTLY. I stuck his quote up on the board with an arrow pointing to Phil. 4:8.
I decided to take the list and make it applicable. I would really encourage you to make your own list of the way this verse fits into your life!
- What is true? God’s Word
- What is honorable? Being a good parent/spouse
- What is just? God’s blessings (i.e. providing when we tithe)
- What is pure? Our marriage
- What is lovely? Our kids
- What is commendable? Obeying God’s commands, no matter how hard
The only way to defeat Satan’s attacks on our minds is to get our minds on God. He’s given us the list of things to keep our minds focused. Last verse for today. Isaiah 26:3 –
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
My simple prayer for you is this: may the Lord grant you peace.