Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, January 05, 2018

Help for Getting out of Depression

Depression seems to be common among many of my Christian friends. It is not only common—it is accepted as normal. There are several causes—physical, emotional, the cycle of the seasons or your latitude on the earth. Some of these can be helped simply by moving south.

Even where depression is not caused by sin, once it sets in, it is sin in itself. How do I know? There are commands in the Bible like, “Rejoice in the Lord always—again, I say, rejoice!” That is a command to Christians. It says always. Sins do not travel in singles. Sins associated with depression are anxiety, impatience, and anger.

Whatever the physical causes, there is a solution to the spiritual sin. It is calling it sin, being convicted by the Holy Spirit with guilt for this sin, and being forgiven for it, back in the joy of your salvation.

How do I know there is a solution? We do not see depression as a fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:22-24).

Regularly (most recently, talking with a woman in Florida) I give this solution: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Is this true? If so, then thank God for this truth all day long. Thanking God moved the truth from your head to your heart.

“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). Obedience comes from the heart, not the head.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). Again, the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Fill your heart with good things from the Word by thanking God for them.

Read books on joy: Philippians and 2 Corinthians. Keep your sins confessed up to date. You will have the joy of your salvation.

Depression is the ultimate in self-centeredness. “Nobody likes me; everybody hates me.”

Here is the long-term solution:

• Love God.
• Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
• Love the brothers.
• Love the strangers and foreigners.
• Love your enemies.

Loving these people is a choice that is possible for you to make because you have the fruit of the Spirit. Quit thinking about yourself. Quit introspecting.

1 comment:

Terry Norman said...

thanks Jim. The simplicity of the solution will confound some. That does not make the advice wrong. Happy New Year.