Thursday, July 19, 2007

Depression - A Disability You Can Do Something About

YES, you can gain the victory over depression. Even though we can’t always control how we feel when life presents us with a difficult trial, we can determine how we behave. Not choice of feelings, but choice of behavior.


So, simply stated, we must learn how to change our way of THINKING. The Bible calls it “renewing the mind” (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). Instead of allowing our emotions, and resulting feelings, drive our thinking, we must focus our thoughts on WHAT IS TRUE. And there are four Biblical truths that we must bring into focus as a means to prevent difficulties, disappointments, and trials from turning into depression.

The FIRST Biblical truth we will discuss, that we must learn to apply to change our way of thinking, is that YOU OWN NOTHING! That’s right, you don’t own one thing; not even your life! Understand, most depression comes as a result of a sense of loss. It can be a loss of health, death of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of finances, loss of career, etc.

Any sense of loss can become a “trigger” for depression. But the truth is, YOU CAN’T LOSE WHAT YOU DON’T OWN! And the truth is, YOU DON’T OWN A THING! Your LIFE isn’t yours. Your SOUL isn’t yours. Your TIME isn’t yours. Your SPOUSE isn’t yours. Your CHILDREN aren’t yours. Your PROPERTY isn’t yours. Your MONEY isn’t yours. Your HEALTH isn’t yours. It is all in God’s hands and control because it all belongs to God! You simply have been granted stewardship over these things for just a short period of time.

This is a reality that we must learn to mentally condition ourselves to accept. And the logic that necessarily follows this truth is that you cannot lose what you do not own. As God’s people, our attitudes about life MUST conform to Scripture. When Job had lost it all; I mean absolutely everything; his attitude was fully expressed by his statement, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Until we learn to develop a REAL godly outlook on life (not the outlook of most professing Christians in America today), our mental health will continue to suffer. It has been said, “We are either in the midst of a trial, coming out of a trial, or heading into a trial.” LIFE HAPPENS. And it “happens” to all of us. That’s not even in question. The question is, “How are we to react when it does happen?”

The “key” to good mental health, and gaining the victory over depression, comes from learning how to properly interpret the events of our life. And this first step in the transforming of our mind comes when we begin to accept the reality that God is the creator and owner of ALL things. And as a result, He has the right to give, and take, as it pleases Him.

Let’s look to a couple of places in Scripture that speak to what I’ve just stated. In Romans 11:33-36, the Bible says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hast first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

Colossians 1:16 says, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him.” You see, God owns it all. And He doesn’t owe us anything.

EVERYTHING was created by Him and for Him. Whatever blessings we receive at the hand of God are undeserved and unmerited. Everything we have and enjoy, temporal and eternal, flows from the grace and mercy of Almighty God.

And even though it is quite true that it is not easy to adopt this attitude about our life and our “losses” in life, it is necessary; it is Biblical. This renewing of our mind is the essential first step in learning how to gain permanent victory over depression and to maintain a mentally healthy perspective about our life. This is the cornerstone from which every other attitude about our life must be measured.

Rev. Gary E. Williams, B.D.