What 3 things do you need to know about anxiety or depression?
Know it’s Normal
The most frequent command or statement that Jesus gave in the Bible was “Fear not” because He knows our predisposition to worry about things. If you have anxiety which can sometimes lead to depression, you are not alone. Many of the heroes of the Bible suffered from this (Jonah, Jeremiah, Moses, Elijah). Anxiety is really a result of a lack of trust in God. There is nothing unusual about having anxiety and an occasional bout with depression. What’s concerning is if you stay that way. If that happens, talk to your doctor, your pastor or a Christian counselor.
The Dark Night of the Soul
Everyone has a “dark night of the soul.” It’s normal and usually passes with time. When we count our blessings we often can get out of this depression. Here’s an idea. Make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for; home, job, family, religious freedom…the list could be quite long. Thank God for these in prayers. It’s hard to be depressed when you are giving thanks to God. Put things in perspective. Things could be so much worse and depression is not unique to you. Many of the greatest preachers have suffered through this like Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther. The problem arises when you don’t come out of your depression. If you can’t stop being depressed, seek help. Trust in God. Pray to Him and read your Bible. That does a lot to lift you into the light out of the dark night of the soul.
Much ado about Nothing
I heard the late Adrian Rogers once say that 85% of the things that we worry about never come to pass and the other 15% are things that we can’t do anything about anyway. When we can’t do anything to change those things, give it to God. God has broader shoulders that we do. He sees our struggle. Again, worry shows that we don’t trust God that all things will work out for our own good (Rom 8:18) and besides, live with the end in mind and the glory that is coming that’s going to be revealed in us (Rom 8:28).
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