What do Moses, Elijah, David, Solomon, and Paul have in common? Besides having powerful experiences in God’s presence, they all went through times of depression. It may feel as if you’re alone in your discouragement, but please know you’re not.
God’s presence—his love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, wisdom, grace, energy, confidence, creativity—is greater than every lie, rejection, offense, and fear. No matter the hell you’ve been through, you’re empowered by Jesus to be so joyful, peaceful, and hopeful, you can bring transforming life wherever you are. I know there are many kinds and sources of depression, but no matter where the debilitating drain on your thoughts and feelings is coming from, allowing yourself to feel God’s presence is the best next step to living as the person he says you really are.
Instead of trying to fix your own heart again—or numbing it and locking it away—look for how God wants to love it. Look for who he wants to be for you in and through this. He knows who you are, what you’ve been going through, who you can become, and what you need to get there.
If your heart and mind keep getting sucked into dwelling on what’s gone wrong, or stressing over everything else that could, then those fears get to write the story of your life. Don’t let outer voices become your inner narrative, or outer circumstances become your inner life. Let the “author and completer of your faith” begin his brilliant rewrite today, even if you’re only able to read just a few lines:
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in the Lord again, and live in praise of my Savior” (Psalm 43:5).
“We were so burdened down beyond our own strength, we felt like we’d received a death sentence. But that made us stop relying on ourselves, and begin trusting God instead, the one who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8–9).
“We are not alone, but have a multitude supporting and cheering us on. So let’s lay down every weight that’s not ours to carry, and the sins trying to keep us from moving forward, and let us run our race with the endurance that comes from looking to Jesus, the author and completer of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2, paraphrase).