Overcoming Anxiety and Depression as a Christian

Faith

In the Christian community discussion on anxiety and depression are often avoided as some take the stance that as a believer we shouldn’t experience those thoughts and feelings. Yes the joy of The Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) but the bible also says he sends rain for the ones who do right and the ones who do wrong (Matthew 20:45). Just because we put our hope and faith in Jesus Christ doesn’t mean we won’t experience the difficulties of life.

It’s normal to admit feelings of sadness. The bible talk about there is a time and a season for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1). So feeling sad or down is a natural human emotion and nothing is wrong with you. It’s what you do with those feelings. Don’t feel like because you are a Christian that you’re not allowed to feel sad. Throughout scripture we see how Jesus wept. In John 11:35 we see Jesus cried and mourned over Lazarus death before he raised him back to life.  Before Jesus died on the cross for our sins he wept and cried out to God let this cup be taken from me (Matthew 26:39). He experienced emotions just like us. Don’t run away from your feelings. Own up to them so that you can deal with them and move forward.

Write things down- I’ve kept a journal since I was a child. While I might not write daily I try to journal down key things and important benchmarks in my life, especially emotional highs and lows. Keeping a record is helpful because it’s allows you to keep track of how you are feeling on a consistent basis. Plus you’re able to document your spiritual and mental growth. One major thing I was able to notice was pattern and certain emotional triggers.

Trigger points- what I realized is that when I feel sad, depressed, or anxious it’s usually something that triggered those emotions. Either an incident or something that happened which caused me to react or respond with negative thoughts or emotions. This can come from circumstances that overwhelm you like a tragedy or death.  My cousin was tragically killed this summer at only 25 years old. This hit my family really hard and honestly something we are still dealing with. None the less we are comforted as we don’t grieve as people with no hope.  Sometimes emotional triggers can be in your own head. Either you’ve overreacted to something someone said or did. A current situation can remind us of what happened in the past and it’ll bring back the same negative emotions as before. This is where we apply the Word of God and take every thought captive and make them obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). You fight the enemy and negative emotions with scripture.

Prayer- Prayer changes things and when we pray we are communicating with God on a personal level. Give God all of your feelings. Get all of your emotion out. I like to vent to The Lord because He said to cast all of our cares onto Him (1Peter 5:7). Everything doesn’t have to be so formal either. Don’t worry about how it sounds just go to God like you would anyone and say hey I’m sad or I don’t like what happened, I’m feeling this way. He can handle our emotions. When I do that I notice that in that moment I actually start feeling better. God can handle all your emotions. He wants us to come to Him because that’s shows we have a personal relationship with Him. I feel a lot closer and more connected to Christ when I come to Him through prayer and asking for help. The bible says he will give us wisdom if we ask for it (James 1:5). So whenever you are facing feelings of depression surrender those feelings unto Lord and He will either give you the answer, a way out, or the strength to go through it with us. We’re not alone because he said that he would never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6). So I dare you to trust God with any and everything you are facing and watch him move to change that situation or give you peace in the midst of that storm.

Talk about it- Talking about things brings them to light. Especially when the enemy try’s to attack your mind exposing those things helps you to gain clarity and helps you to fight against those negative thoughts and emotions. Reach out to friends, family, or professional help. Don’t keep things bottled up. It’s easy to keep things to yourself but that’s not healthy. You may think oh I don’t want to bother anyone or people have problems of their own so I don’t want to burden them so I’ll just deal with it on my own. It helps to talk to somebody about how you are feeling. Sometimes you need to vent not necessarily for answers from others but just as a release. God created us for fellowship so it’s okay to seek help from trusted people in your life. Notice I said trusted; don’t run and tell your problems to any and everybody. Use wisdom as to what and how much you share but definitely don’t isolate yourself when you’re feeling low. If you’re battling thoughts of depression you are at a weak point where the enemy wants you to feel by yourself and like you’re alone in world. One of satan’s biggest lies is that no one cares about you. If you feel like you don’t have anyone close pray and ask God to bring divine connections and fellowship into your life.

 

If you’re struggling with thoughts of depression I hope this was helpful to you. If you know someone who could use this article please share it. 

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