Have you, or a loved one, ever felt like the giant of depression was threatening, intimidating, or paralyzing you from moving forward? Depression often brings anxiety, panic, worry, fear, and dread. Have you experienced them recently or regularly? There are so many reasons we might experience depression, but we are not meant to fight this “giant” alone. God is with you, and He is fighting for you. So choose to lift your eyes and see someone bigger and powerful—someone who loves you and will be with you all the way back into the light.
As you walk through this challenging season, here are five steps you can take to help you find strength in the Lord:
1. Prioritize your relationship with God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” Spend time reading the Bible and praying each day. To receive daily encouragement from God’s Word, download our app on your smartphone or tablet.
2. Get plugged into a good church. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now….” Attending church each week and joining a small group or Bible study will help you cultivate meaningful relationships with godly people.
3. Practice self-care. In 1 Kings 19:1-18, Elijah was dealing with severe depression, and the first thing God had him do was to eat something healthy, hydrate, and get some rest. Our problems tend to feel overwhelming when we haven’t taken care of our basic needs.
4. Focus on the positive. In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul wrote, “…Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Make a list of the blessings in your life right now. Take part in some fun and healthy activities that you enjoy. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Look for ways to help those around you.
5. Ask for help. The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Suppose things worsen after taking the first four steps. In that case, it may be time to sit down with your pastor, a Christian counselor, or a doctor to discuss possible chemical or clinical depression. There is no shame in asking others for help. God uses people like pastors and counselors to help us with struggles like depression and intense anxiety.
Below are some scriptures to help you know what God says about our response to depression. In addition, we have included devotions and resources on the main depression page to assist you with questions and struggles. Finally, if you want prayer or to talk about your battle with depression, feel free to call the pastoral care team at 800-525-5683.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NLT
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 NLT
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. – Psalm 9:9 NLT
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 NLT
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you. – Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT