In the midst of my despair, as I journeyed through depression, God slowly over time revealed the missing piece that stood in the way of my healing. The spiritual component of depression. Once I understand that component and used the authority given to me as a child of God, the dark cloud began to lift. Hang on to hope and read more for 5 Bible verses I stood on to replace the darkness of depression with the light of joy.
When I glanced in the mirror, I hardly recognized the face reflected back at me. I no longer knew who she was or how she got there. She was a mere skeleton of her former self.
As I looked back, one day I was alive and thriving, working and contributing to my family and society. Without warning, almost overnight I became deathly ill, underwent two surgeries, was confined to bed, was kept alive on IV-hydration and nutrition, wasted away from a petite 113 pounds to a skeletal 74 pounds and weaker than any other time in my life. The longer I was ill, the more depressed I became.
Hopelessness of depression
Depression stole my joy, killed my peace, and threatened to destroy my identity. It’s just what the enemy does. My physical and emotional state left me feeling worthless, helpless, and hopeless. If this is all my life was going to amount to, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on living.
One day during my recovery period, as I lay in bed in an empty house, the clouds outside mirrored my spirits. Deep down, I felt so alone. I could barely tolerate it—being ill and in that bedroom day after day for weeks didn’t help. Isolated and lonely, I feared that was all my life would ever be. Who was I? What good was I if I could no longer work and treat my patients, and no longer care for my family?
Sleep occupied the majority of each day. I lost my appetite, and with it went my energy, and the desire to do any of the things I’d always loved to do.
What about the “Joy of my salvation?” Where was that? What was that? Maybe I was just joy-immune. That’s what I began to believe.
The spiritual component of depression: that missing piece
I knew what to do. I’d counseled depressed patients for over two decades. I did what I had always suggested to them: I’d gone to counseling and done the work. I made sure I was getting enough sleep, ate the best diet, and resumed exercise. I even tried medication. All these things helped but they weren’t enough. Something was missing.
As I cried out to God, we had a very honest discussion. “Lord, I can’t go back to being the doctor if I don’t know what helps. Something is missing. Either you need to show me the missing piece, or I can’t go back to making suggestions unless I know they work.”
Slowly over time, God revealed the missing piece: If we don’t address the spiritual component of depression, we’re really just putting a band-aid on it. As I began to see the enemy’s scheme and come against him with the authority given to us as children of the Most High God, I began to experience the dark cloud lifting.
The hard work of healing required that I “take every thought captive.” Essentially, that meant I had to be aware of the thoughts I was having and check to see if they agreed with the truth of Scripture. If they didn’t, I needed to reject them, and replace them with God’s truth.
5 Bible verses that replace the darkness of depression with the light of joy
As I began to refute the enemy’s lies with the truth found in God’s Word, the darkness was replaced with the light of joy.
- In depression’s darkness, the enemy said I would never be healed, but Jesus said, “By my stripes, you are healed” (Isaiah 53:5)
- The enemy declared I was weak, but Jesus declared, “in Me you are strong!” (Isaiah 40:31)
- The enemy wanted me to accept the role of a victim, but Jesus stated, “In Me you are victorious!” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
- The enemy tried repeatedly to make me believe I was rejected, but God’s truth assured, “In Me, you are accepted!” (Eph. 1:6)
- In depression’s grip, the enemy shouted that I was worthless, but God proclaimed, “I was worthy!” (John 3:16)
Victory over depression begins with renewing our mind and refuting the enemy’s lies. That’s the secret of moving from hopeless to hope-filled. And the great thing is that God doesn’t play favorites, so what He did for me, He wants to do for you as well! Hang on to HOPE!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
3 New Free Resources to Look Forward to in the New Year
Many years ago I was physically and emotionally failing and needed a reason to get up and optimistically face the day. I wrote my very first social media “Today is Going to be a Good Day” post to encourage not only myself but others as well. That became what has now been a seven-year daily ministry on social media, and the premise for my latest book, Today is Going to be a Good Day: 90 Promises From God to Start Your Day Off Right . I learned how important our mindset is, so I’m offering a free 7-Day Today is Going to be a Good Day Challenge. We’ll send you a daily encouraging email, short encouraging video with tips for helping you to have a good day, the offer to participate in a Facebook group for accountability and support if you desire, as well as freebies and giveaways. I hope you’ll join us. Register here.
I know the winter months following the hustle and bustle of the holidays can contribute to a higher incidence of the blues. So I want to offer a free webinar for you or your friends and loved ones, to share professional and personal insights on some things that can help you mitigate the blues even when you can’t change the finances, the weather, or some of your contributing relationships. It’s free to you. It’ll be a live event with a replay available for those who sign up but can’t attend live. Sign up now.
Readers have been asking me to lead an online version of the Hope Prevails Bible Study and God has spurred my heart to offer it in late January to help get through the winter months as we anticipate the joy of spring. I would love to have you join us, and perhaps even consider inviting a friend to join with you. Everything is better with a friend! I’ll be sharing more in future emails about the Bible study, but you can sign up here.
Friend, I pray that wherever you find yourself this holiday season, that you would experience that hope, peace, and joy that comes from having a relationship with Jesus!
I’d love to know how you are celebrating, as well as what kinds of resources would be helpful to you, in the comments below!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!