Photo: I captured this inspiring scene during one of my past hikes — Rocky Mountains, Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Canada!
There may be no greater joy in darkness than to know that we will eventually reach the light! Like me, you may have experienced depression due to your focus on circumstances over which you have no control. Of course, there are different types of depression, including clinical depression which usually requires professional treatment. However, hope and deliverance for many other kinds of depression are rooted in a daily giving of yourself to and fully resting in God who created you, loves you and deeply cares about you. “Give your burdens to the Lord and He will take care of you. He will not let the godly slip and fall” (Psalm 55:22, NLT). In this present life, God does not always completely remove every challenge but will certainly provide enabling empowering grace to serve Him. In giving our weaknesses over to God, we will experience His power and love through difficult times (2 Corinthians 12:9). Letting Jesus guide your life and resting in Him is a secret to daily joy even in the midst of struggle. Therefore, I entitled this devotional “Deliverance in Depression”. In addition to praising God, I focus on keeping the reality of Psalm 68:19 in my mind as I go about daily living: “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day He carries us in His arms.” (NLT) This is an amazing verse to memorize. Imagine going about your daily living and activities, knowing -yes knowing – that you are held securely in the powerful and loving hands of God!
Years ago, CTV Wide World of Sports introduced their weekly sports program with the slogan “From the Thrill of Victory to the Agony of Defeat”. That really describes the experience of Elijah, the prophet of God whose story of depression is described in the Bible (1 Kings 19). 1 Kings chapter 18 describes how Elijah had confronted the wicked Jezebel and hundreds of her pagan prophets. He courageously challenged the whole nation of Israel about their sin against the one true God. Imagine how incredibly exhausting this experience must have been for Elijah. By unwavering faith, he called on God to reveal Himself to the whole nation by fire from heaven. Suddenly, in response to Elijah’s prayer, God sent this huge display of fire which burned up not only the sacrifice but the whole altar! It was the thrill of victory!
But, soon after that victory, Elijah suffered the agony of defeat, a huge let-down. He became depressed. He became so depressed that he cried out to God with these words: “I have had enough, Lord…Take my Life. I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4b, NIV). Have you ever been in this mindset, wondering if life was even worth living? Can you identify with Elijah? Those of us who tend to worry, stress out and look at our circumstances rather than looking to God know how easy it can be to feel depressed. It is in such a time that Elijah learned to reject the loud noises filling his mind and be still to hear the “gentle whisper” of God’s voice (1 Kings 19:12). To paraphrase the message of Psalm 46:10, are you in need of calming down, being still and hearing the soothing, refreshing and reassuring voice of the Lord God Almighty? In the next devotional message, I want to share with you the reasons, results, and release of Elijah’s depression and how this can help us in our circumstances!
- Nest Steps:
• Start your day and enter God’s presence always with thanks and praise – see Psalm 100:2-4. Gratitude to God is a prelude to unshakable peace and blessed communion with Him – see Philippians 4:6-7.
• Walk through your day with the mental picture of God in Psalm 68:19, carrying you in His arms and drawing you into the joy of Jesus! So, receive, trust and obey Him step by step.