As a Christian, because of my expectations of God’s Grace, I sometimes feel like something is wrong with me and my faith when I struggle with depression. I’m not talking momentary disappointment or sadness,  I mean the kind of sadness, anxiety, loss of hope that seemingly comes out of nowhere that keeps me up at night, afraid I’m losing my mind. I’m not a mental health expert, but I know that mental health issues can affect anyone at anytime just like physical health issues are. It may be a one-time only deal, prayer and counseling may be enough or it may even require medication. I don’t think that just because as Spirit-filled Christians, we have access to the joy of The Lord, we don’t struggle with affliction. The road here in the World isn’t easy and it is lined with affliction. It is how we deal with it that makes us victorious or not.

When I struggle with depression, I find it difficult to turn to God’s Word, even though that is what I’ve found helps and encourages me the most. It’s like sometimes, I almost feel a physical barrier to accessing healing for my soul through God’s promises. My favourite verse in dealing with this is Psalm 42:5, especially when I can’t even rationalize why I’m feeling so down. This verse makes me realize that it doesn’t even matter WHY I’m down or WHY I’m not feeling able to pray, what matters is putting my hope in God and trusting that my joy will return by His Grace. After reading this verse, I feel a lot more able to cry out to God and pray.

This verse always reminds me that I may not know how or when I will feel better, but God knows and He is there for me, He hears my cries, and He will restore my joy if I put my hope in Him. God never abandons the downcast and desperate. If we reach out to Him, He meets us more than halfway. Let us run to Him for peace and guidance. Let us trust in His Healing Power and use the tools and resources He has made available to us (the Word, prayer, church family, pastor, loved ones etc etc).

Psalm 42:5 NIV

[5] Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Also read Psalm 34:1-8,14-15,17-20,22 MSG

[1] I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. [2] I live and breathe God ; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: [3] Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. [4] God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. [5] Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. [6] When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. [7] God ‘s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. [8] Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. [14] Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace—don’t let it get away! [15] God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. [17] Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. [18] If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. [19] Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. [20] He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken. [22] God pays for each slave’s freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.

Caveat: If anyone happens to read this and you’re struggling with severe depression, please seek help even as you pray and put your hope in God. Let Him lead you to seek counseling with a trained pastor or reverend or a psychologist. Just as you pray and trust in God for healing when you go seek a doctor’s professional help for a physical ailment, have the same trust and know there is nothing wrong with seekin help for a mental and emotional ailment. Pray when making your choice of counsellor, pray for God to give your counsellor His Wisdom and to use Him/Her to help you. It’s important. God is faithful and His Mighty Arms cover many paths to healing.