March 20, 2018
The Depression Epidemic
Twenty five percent of the US population, 75 million people, will suffer from clinical depression at some point in their lives. Most people suffering from chronic depression feel so utterly unlovable, they can’t bear the pain of expected rejection of trying to experience love and a relationship with God, with others, or even with themselves. They feel like a failure and think anyone who disagrees with their assessment just doesn’t understand. Even if you are not suffering from chronic depression, you may experience feelings similar to these at momentary low points in your life. Almost every person does.
If you feel depressed, hopeless, worthless, think about this good news: God knows you better than you know yourself, and He still loves you. He knows you are not perfect, but He loves you anyway … unconditionally. He loves you so much that He sent His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for your sins because He wanted to provide a way for you to be with Him … forever … no matter how sinful or worthless or hopeless or unlovable you think you are.
God loves you so much, He has even promised never to leave you. The Bible tells us that He is full of compassion for you … He takes pleasure in you … He loves you and gives you honor … You are precious in His sight. He promises He will love you forever.
If you suffer from depression, seek professional help. Being a psychiatrist, I have seen many people helped by medications I prescribe. Even though they don’t cure depression, medications are incredibly helpful to relieve many of the disabling symptoms of depression. This relief allows you to work on the underlying issues that fuel your depression. Talk therapy that incorporates a Biblical perspective powerfully renews the mind, even the faulty brain circuitry, and corrects the lies and strongholds Satan has brainwashed into our self-narrative which brings on the depression.
If you aren’t depressed, give thanks and then work on strengthening a solid spiritual and psychological foundation of understanding who God is, who you are, and how to be a Godly decision-maker in all you do. This will renew your mind – the actual biology of your brain chemistry. It is the most effective strategy to prevent and protect you from future bouts of depression and other mental health and addiction struggles when the storms of life come your way. The Bible calls them trials and tribulations, or times of refining and purification.
Today, help yourself by reading the short bible passages below. Let His message sink deeply into you. The Bible says Jesus loves you so much that He seeks after you. You are never alone. Right this very moment you may feel alone, but you are not. Jesus is there with you, seeking to help you. Say yes. Yes to His love. Yes to His help. Yes to Jesus. The Holy Bible is true. You can believe it. He is the Word and the great healer, so His word does heal. Pass this Stepping Stones onto someone you know who is struggling. Call the Lighthouse Network 844-Life-Change (844-543-3242) Helpline and we will find therapists, resources, psychiatrists, or residential options for you. God has help for you. Whether you engage with God to change your lenses and improve your mood, or keep the same old distorted lenses is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I thank You for loving me no matter what. Thank You for promising to be with me … always … and for honoring that promise, even though I don’t sense it sometimes. Help my radar tune in strongly to know You are always there. Thank You for showing me reminders of your presence each day. Help me to recognize them. When I start to feel alone, help me rely on Your instruction book and not my own. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who bled every drop of His blood for me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8
For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3