Are you depressed because of insurmountable problems?
Science says depression is a chemical or nerve brain problem but the root cause and cure is yet to be discovered. For Paul and the rest of Jesus’ disciples who were persecuted, depression was at their doorstep. The problems and struggles he faced actually became his inspiration. Instead of succumbing to depression, Paul found a way to overcome it by being thankful.
Consider some of the things Paul had to endure:
- Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
- Three times I was beaten with rods.
- I was stoned.
- Three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
- I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren.
- I have been in labor and hardship.
- Many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
Consider it pure joy
If we believe that God is in control, like Paul, trusting Him to make all things work together for our own good is the only way to win this battle (Romans 8:28). However, if the cause of our problem is rooted in pride or a refusal to walk away from a sinful lifestyle, trusting God is difficult.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Consider it Pure joy when you face trials
→ Spiritual Deliverance: Spiritual warfare is real.
Paul was always “thankful”
Apostle Paul faced terrible persecution yet he had inner joy because he thanked God even for difficulties and in everything (Philippians 1:3). He tells us to “give thanks in everything,” for it is part of God’s perfect plan, though difficult at times (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Even in a terminal sickness, there’s something to be thankful for. People will eventually pass away, and many never had a chance to say goodbye.
Jesus too faced persecution as a man. His source of strength was the many times He spent time with God alone. Jesus thanked God in all things and so should we. (Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; John 6:11; John 11:41; Luke 22:17,19)
Give thanks in everything
Have you ever thanked God for your problems?
Have you ever said “thank you God” for your problem or desperate condition? This is an important attitude that helps overcome depression. To say “thank you” means you are accepting God’s will. It also means you trust Him enough for allowing certain things to happen in your life because He loves you. In other words, you are obedient to His call. We’re instructed not to be anxious but to be thankful instead. (Philippians 4:6)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.