“I don’t understand where this came from, but I’m tired of it and I want it to end,” she cried. “I feel like it’s killing me from the inside out. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard similar statements, I could fund a mighty fine vacation!

I remember making similar sentiments when I traveled along my own valley of depression. It’s a journey I don’t recommend to anyone, and yet, now, I’m so appreciative of because it gives me greater compassion for the one in four adults who will struggle at some point in their lifetime.

What I know now that I didn’t know before having walked the journey myself, is that if we don’t acknowledge and address the spiritual components of depression, it’s akin to applying a band aid to an infection and hoping healing takes place.

Scripture says “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood armies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12 NLT).

It also says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

In the case of depression, the enemy comes to steal our joy, kill our peace and destroy our identity.

But don’t despair. Scripture says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We just have to be aware of the enemy’s tactics so we can fight them head on.

Things depression does to us spiritually.

1. Steals Our Joy

The enemy’s key goal is to dampen that which makes us attractive to others, and that which might attract them to God. So the first thing he tries to do to get us depressed and keep us depressed is to steal our joy.

Joyful people are attractive. They are fun to be around. But someone who has lost their joy has lost that attractive spark.

Despite the enemy’s attempt to steal our joy, we can stand on God’s promises to make our joy full: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

And in those dark days and nights, hold on to God’s promise which says, “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5).

2. Kills Our Peace

The second thing the enemy does to us with respect to depression is kill our peace.

How you ask? By invoking worry, fear, and anxiety.

If you think about it, an anxious mind is not at peace.

Fear and anxiety are a misappropriation of our attentional resources that robs us of peace.

And then of course is the issue of shame. As if anxiety isn’t enough, the enemy kills our peace by invoking shame. You know shame. Shame says you are a mistake, when the truth is you made a mistake. Shame is what leads to the stigma behind all mental health issues. Shame is what causes us to hide behind our brokenness.

The enemy wants us to hide behind anxiety and shame. But the truth of God’s word comfortingly reminds us that “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

What we have to remember is that anxiety, shame, and a distortion of our view of ourselves are all tools utilized by the biggest liar to roam the earth. They are not from God. Nor are they consistent with God’s truth. And they steal our peace.

Jesus’s truth trumps the enemy’s lies, when He promised, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

3. Destroys Our identity

Finally, the last thing the enemy does to get us depressed or to keep us depressed is to try to destroy our identity.

The enemy first tempts us then he taunts us with our failures. It all started in the Garden of Eden. The enemy tempted Eve to sin, then after she and Adam sinned, he taunted them with their imperfection by shaming them with their nakedness.

They had been naked all along, but they had never before associated that as being a bad thing, until the enemy taunted them with their failure. So often we are often unaware of our imperfections and flaws until the enemy uses others to bring them to our awareness.

Yet, what God wants us to remember is the truth about our identity, which does not change because of depression, and is that “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10 NLT).

Since the beginning of time, God has looked upon us as a masterpiece and declared us good. He is incapable of making anything other than good.

Have you walked the valley of depression or do you know someone who has? The enemy of our soul uses tactics to steal, kill and destroy God’s people. We must fight against him and address the spiritual components of depression. Learn these three things that depression does to us spiritually and learn how to fight the enemy’s tactics head on.

So the enemy of our soul seeks to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our identity to make us depressed, but God says that greater is He who is in us than he (the enemy) who is in the world. Just as the enemy tempted Jesus and Jesus refuted him with the Word of God, we must do the same. It is our safeguard. It is our strong tower. It is the best prescription we can ever take!

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

For more on the spiritual roots of depression, and how to overcome this devastating condition, let me encourage you to pick up one of my books. “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the soon to be released (October 25, 2017) companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study”.

 

(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)

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Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.

There is hope.

Depression doesn't have to become a permanent part of life. There is hope. Hope Prevails and Hope Prevails Bible Study.

Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.

Hope Prevails and the Hope Prevails Bible Study are must-reads for anyone suffering from depression or knows someone suffering from depression.

“As a counselor, I have read many books on depression, but I have never read a book that deals with the spiritual aspect of healing as thoroughly as does Hope Prevails. Dr. Bengtson draws from her own personal journey as well as her professional experience. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has tasted the pain of depression or knows a friend who is depressed.” ~ Gary Chapman, Ph.D., Author of The 5 Love Languages

 

The enemy comes to steal our joy, kill our peace and destroy our identity. We have to be aware of the enemy’s tactics so we can fight them head on. Read more for the truth God wants us to remember about our identity. #overcomingdepression #mentalhealth

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