104 – Don’t Let Depression Derail You

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Don't Let Depression Derail You Write from the Deep podcast with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young

Being depressed at times is normal. It’s part of the human condition. But it doesn’t have to derail you. When depression gets you down, let these powerful words of truth help you reset your focus and restore your peace.

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More and more today, people struggle with being overwhelmed, discouraged, and depressed. Even believers––or sometimes, especially believers––find themselves in a place that feels dark and hopeless.

Now, sometimes, when we struggle with depression that won’t go away, we may need a professional to help us with it. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit if that’s the case. But other times, depression and inner struggle comes because, while we know in our heads that God is in control, our hearts are weary.

And when things keep hitting us day after day, it’s far too easy to let our focus slide from the Father and land on circumstances. We say things like, “All I can do is pray,” or “I can’t even pray about this.” But the truth is that God is with us, and our circumstances, whether good or hard, are in His hands.

Which doesn’t change the fact that we feel this way, though, right? Our emotions are still real. So if you’re in a place of hurt today, or weariness, sadness, grief, or depression, know this: You’re not alone. Other people struggle. This is part of the human experience. Your friends, your family, your neighbors, and your enemies, deal with this.

Even your heroes and great people of faith go through these kinds of times, so in a sense, they’re with you, too. Everyone has wrestled with depression at some point. Theologian Charles Spurgeon once said, “No sin is necessarily connected to sorrow of the heart, for Jesus Christ our Lord once said, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.’ There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression.” So feeling those emotions isn’t wrong or sinful. It’s human.

Listen to Psalm 56:8: “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

God sees. He hears. He knows. Lay yourself open before Him. Be honest with Him about how you feel.

Praying in the midst of hard times isn’t about changing our circumstances, it’s about changing us. Moving our focus to God and His will. Surrendering what we thought would be to what He knows is best.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.” C.S.Lewis Click To Tweet

So feelings are real, normal, human and we’re going to go through the full range of them over the course of our lives. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there’s a time to mourn, a time to rejoice, and so on.

But emotions are also a reflection of our thoughts. If we want to change our feelings, We have to change our thoughts, our focus. How do we change focus, especially when we’re depressed? John Piper says, in his podcast Ask Pastor John, episode 1248:

“Depression regularly involves a weakening of our faith and our hope, and God is clear that reawakening of faith, reawakening of hope, will not come if we’re not hearing the word of God…Without the Scriptures, there’s no hope of a Christ-exalting turnaround of our emotions.”

Here’s another quote from C.S. Lewis: “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

So we’re going to take some time to focus on Scripture, to help you let go and move forward, to help you lay a foundation for a “Christ-exalting turnaround.”

But remember to be patient through the process. Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” But I don’t think that always means a literal day. Sometimes it’s a season. So weeping may tarry for a season, but joy in its season will also come.

“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.” Psalm 119:147 (NKJV)

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me––a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:7-8 (NIV)

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25 (NASB)

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)

“In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye.” Deuteronomy 32:10

“O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness. In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and He makes my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:29-33

“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:1-3 

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” Psalms 3:3-5

“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.” Psalms 32:10 

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:3-4 

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Psalms 42:11

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV) 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 

“Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall, I will rise. Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.” Micah 7:8 (NASB)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.” Psalm 130:7

Hope is the key. As long as we have God, we have hope. He wants us to hope in Him first, last, and always.

As long as we have God, we have hope. Click To Tweet

“I find myself frequently depressed…and I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek afresh to realize the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying on the cross to put away all my transgressions.” Charles Spurgeon

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.” C.S. Lewis

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 (ESV)

We want to hear from you!

Do you have a favorite Scripture to help you when you feel overwhelmed or depressed?

Writers, don’t let depression derail you. #amwriting @karenball1 Click To Tweet
Special THANKs!

Special thanks to our October Patreon sponsor of the month, Stacy McLain! Stacy is hard at work on her first book—a Christian speculative fiction called Make Known the Path, so be watching for that!

Many thanks also to the folks at Podcast Production Services for their fabulous sound editing!

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