135. ARE YOU AT A LOW POINT IN LIFE AND FEELING DEPRESSED OR DISTRESSED?
(The Single Woman Series – Batch 3)
Are you at a low point in your life? Maybe like me, you are getting older and there isn’t a marriage prospect in sight, your career is in a mess and no matter how hard you try, life keeps getting harder and you keep feeling stuck, even as others move on with their lives. You feel powerless to make the change you want to see so desperately and this makes you feel depressed.
I have found myself in such a place on several occasions. It was not that I lacked faith that God could change my situation but he hadn’t, even after many prayers and even fasting and I was tired of feeling powerlessly stuck in the same rut.
Then, I heard someone (I can’t recall which Christian speaker it was), state something that I had heard before: He said that when you feel overwhelmed by life’s storms, it is because you are looking around at the situation or within at your weaknesses and not above.
His words resonated with me and I acknowledged that I had lost focus. I therefore reminded myself of this truth:
When I LOOK AROUND at what is happening in the world, I feel DISTRESSED. When I LOOK WITHIN at my endless weaknesses, flaws and inability to change in my own power, I feel DEPRESSED but when I LOOK UP AT JESUS, the author and finisher of my faith, I remember that with him, there is always hope because with his help, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.
Jesus could still right my wrongs. At this late hour, he could still step in and make a positive change. In his hands lie the solution to all of my problems and those in the world around me. With him, there is ALWAYS hope, even when I don’t understand what he is doing or why he is delaying. He is my strength. He is my fortress. He is my deliverer. He is the one that will get me through whatever, once I keep my eyes on him.
David went through what I went through at different times in his life. On one occasion in particular, when he and his men returned to where they had been staying, they found their wives and loved ones abducted by the enemy. His own people were so in grief at the tragedy, that they wanted to stone him. When David LOOKED AT THE SITUATION, he felt DISTRESSED. When he LOOKED WITHIN himself and at his inability to bring about change in his own strength, he felt DEPRESSED. But then he LOOKED UP. He sought the Lord for guidance and help and the Bible says that, (although there was not one soul to encourage him at that moment), he ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD.
The rest of the story is history (no pun intended). David got God’s approval to pursue the enemy and the assurance that with God’s help, he would be victorious. The Bible states that he recovered all and because he looked up to where there was hope and no longer around or within, his mourning, turned into gladness (1 Samuel 30:1-19).
In the new upcoming year 2018, I desire to look to Jesus, despite my many failures in the preceding year and the years before that. No matter how bad things have been with me (and they have been bad), I choose to continue to set my gaze on the Master, who is able to deliver.
He is able to set my feet on solid ground and to establish my path, even as David attested in Psalm 40:2-4. And of a truth, as David once declared, I too can say that, “I had fainted UNLESS I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
So to those who may be at a low point in life, feeling depressed or distressed, my advice to you, even as I advised myself, is to reset your focus on Jesus, not on the world, on people or on your own ability. Of your own self, you can do nothing. Jesus himself stated in John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Once you have reset your focus on Jesus and remembered to continue to hope in HIM, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
(Written 31st December, 2017)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 14 – ‘Feeling Depressed? Realign Your Focus!’
- Note 160 – ‘When Serving God Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense’
Tonight, I heard a sermon on zoom by brother A. H. on depression and how even Christians were being impacted, when they should not be wallowing in such thinking. He mentioned how people were blaming their feeling depressed on the Covid situation which is prevalent in the country at the moment. He mentioned the symptoms of depression and then pointed us as a reminder, in the direction of the antidote, the one in whom everything we need is, which is Jesus Christ.
About close to two hours after, something came to mind and so I typed it up. So very often, based on what we are going through and sometimes, prolonged adversity, the world, the devil and our own feelings (the flesh), try mercilessly to convince us that God no longer cares about us, that he is fed up of us, even as we are fed up of ourselves, that, while others are blessed with favour, we have inherited God’s curses, that he has forgotten us or is even taking some kind of delight out of our misery and pain.
These are all lies. If you are a Christian because you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and have confessed him as Lord with your mouth and you have surrendered your whole life to his Lordship, whenever that down-in-the-dumps feeling tries to come around and linger with its lies, send it chasing with the following home-truths and reminders of the character of the God you serve:
HOME-TRUTHS AND REMINDERS OF GOD’S CHARACTER AND LOVE FOR YOU
- God is rooting for you. He wants you to win.
- He has promised to never forsake you.
- He does not lie. He keeps his word.
- He wants what is best for you even if you don’t understand why you’re going through what you’re going through and why you’re called to bear whatever it is you are bearing at the moment.
- He can be trusted.
- His faithfulness never wanes.
- He can renew your strength like the eagle’s.
- He is able to uphold you with the right hand of his righteousness.
- You can put every confidence in the name of Jesus. You will not be ashamed.
- Hold fast to his truth and block out the lies of the world, the devil and your flesh (feelings). It is in his truth that you will find stability, security, success and safety.
(Addendum written on 26th May, 2021)