Shine Out Depression, For You Are a Light of the Lord
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
“Why does God bother giving light to the miserable,
why bother keeping bitter people alive,
Those who want in the worst way to die, and can’t,
who can’t imagine anything better than death,
Who count the day of their death and burial
the happiest day of their life?
What’s the point of life when it doesn’t make sense”
For a while, I felt overwhelmed by a darkness of depression, unworthiness, and anxiety. I pray to God and love him so much, but it only seemed to help for short periods of time. Enough to help me socialize and live my daily routines while keeping the symptoms of sadness and depression concealed.
My life is honestly great and I’m so blessed. It is nothing compared to the life of Job, although sometimes it may feel as though I am in the same state of mind as Job was. The state of wanting to die. Not wanting to commit suicide, but the feeling like there is no point for me to be living on this earth. I felt as though I wasn’t making a difference in life and I needed to know what God wanted me to do.
Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
While I believe it is okay to long to be in Heaven and to be with God, I do not believe it is okay to let the enemy trick you into giving up the greatest gift from God. The gift of life or light.
"Grace teaches us, in the midst of life’s greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and, in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live.” - Matthew Henry
I told myself “I will prevail” and affirmed from then on I would grow in God and do whatever I could to know him more.
I love making people happy and spreading the love and joy of God. So, I ask God to help me do that in everything I say or do daily. I want to shine the enemy out of my life and the lives of people around me. It's important to take some time to be in God's presence and receive His love and joy because it is easy to get worn out. To prevent that from happening, I changed my routine a little and now I will plan to have "dates" with God. Time set aside to worship, read the Bible, and listen to what God has to say.
Now like in Physics, in our time with God, we receive the Light in a few different ways:
Absorption of Light
An object absorbs some of the light and converts it to heat; all energy is gained by the object
- That heat inside of you is the fire of Holy Spirit that gives you all the energy, warmth and comfort and it will never leave you
Reflection of Light
Some of the light reflects off an object and bounces back or goes in different directions; no energy is gained or lost
- The glow that you get from being in God’s presence also shines on those all around you. The reflection they see is either the source of light that illuminates you or the beauty and the colors that the light provides in your life.
Transmission of Light
When we transparently show our souls and the love, joy, and peace it contains, the light will pass through to others’. They then absorb some of that energy that passed through you.
- Like the sunlight shining through your car window transmits heat into your car, that fire will be transmitted to others
Be in the Light. Receive the Light. Be the light.
In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.— Psalm 118:5
So, what do you do when your light starts to fade or goes out?
Overcoming and preventing the dark times of depression/anxiety may need lifestyle changes in all aspects to keep you physically and mentally in good shape.
You have to try to eat healthily
Diet has an impact on our mood, by affecting our body and mind. Drinking plenty of water, eating sustainable meals or snacks throughout the day, and sometimes even fasting certain foods are things to think about.
This is one of the hardest out of this whole list for me, but drinking enough water for your body is very important. Our body is said to be about 50-60% water and when we are dehydrated it can affect us physically as well as our moods and energy level. It’s also good to eat snacks throughout the day or when you notice your energy level and sugar level are going down. You want to try to eat things that will last for a little bit and not a super boost of energy and then a crash.
There might even be times when you need to fast certain foods. Fasting will help “reset” your body getting it back to the default before it was overloaded with tons of junk and unhealthy things.
You know, sometimes I have to think, “What is my spiritual diet like? What junk (addictions, bad habits) do I need to fast? Am I abandoning the fountain of living water?” So, I will decide to fast something physically in my diet, to focus my mind and thoughts more on God and what he is telling me to change in my life at the time.
Keep a clean house
I love to have a clean house. It doesn’t have to be immaculate, but there’s something about a clean and tidy house that is peaceful and makes me happy. I’m sure it is not the first thing that you would want to do especially when you’re depressed, but if you do a little a day it will make all the difference. You can make a plan to do the dishes one day, your bathroom the next, tidy up your room the next….you don’t have to do it all at once.
Also, like we clean our physical house of dirty, useless and even harmful things, we also need to clean our spiritual house. In the Bible, when they wanted to repair the house of the Lord, they had to purify it and rid it of any idols or things people had been storing there. For us, that can be emotional wounds and grudges. Also, put an end to any other defiling things that took place. To us that could be any addictions we need to kick.
2 Chron. 29:4-5 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.
All these things are helpful and important, yet, the one that makes a difference the most is exercise. Pfft, I know right. Exercise is what trains us and gives us endurance, though. Now working out or exercising is not “my thing”. I have to make myself do it and then develop some sort of routine, even if that is walking for 15-20 minutes. After I do it for a few days, I start to like it and like how it makes me feel and then actually WANT to do it.
That's how it was when I started making plans to be with God, setting time to worship him outside of church services. I mean, I would plan to go home after work that day to worship with music, read my bible, and not make any other plans that night unless it was unavoidable. Once I started, it didn’t take long for it to become habitual and for me to crave those moments. Worshiping is a way to exercise spiritually and build our faith and trust in God. Worshiping is more than listening to worship music and praying, though. You can worship in some way every and all day.
The ways you can worship are: bowing your head, bowing your body or laying prostrate honoring God and his glory, giving praise and thanks to him throughout the day, singing and dancing in joy for him, serve by giving your life to God and trusting him,
Exodus 23:25 So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.
serving and helping others, sharing to others about him and the wonderful things he has done for you,
Romans 5:2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
And by tithing (willfully giving God his part or even more) which provides superfluous blessings to you so that you may also be able to serve others in need.
2 Chronicles 31:10 And Azariah the high priest, from the family of Zadok, replied, “Since the people began bringing their gifts to the Lord’s Temple, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare. The Lord has blessed his people, and all this is left over.”
It is good to seek help from a professional counselor or talk things out with a friend at times. Opening up to people is hard for me, but I will continue to try and get better at it. When you suppress all your feelings it may help for a little while, but eventually, you will cave and become discombobulated by all the emotions. So, try to talk with someone you trust that can also give you godly advice.
Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Don’t give up
Take it day by day. There may be days when you don't even want to get out of bed, but don't give up. You got this.
Romans 5:1-5 1. Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
God knows exactly what you are going through and he knows that together with him you will get through it. You HAVE a purpose and God will reveal parts of his plan for you at the right times. He won’t let anything ruin his plans for you because he loves you dearly.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.