Long before medical experts coined a name for that awful overwhelming feeling of despair and despondency that cripples the mind and drains the very desire for existence out of its victims, the Bible had identified the reality of depression and offered God’s answer to this malady. One scripture that stands out to me out of many is,
“The spirit of a man sustains him in sickness, But as for a broken spirit, who can bear it? (Proverbs 18:14)
If your body gets sick, the aura of your inner being – your spirit, among other things aids your recovery. However, when depression sets in, it cripples the inner faculty of a person and when the human spirit breaks down it impacts adversely on the body. God’s answer to depression is to heal you from within and I want to show you how.
LOOK BEYOND THE SURFACE
The Bible clearly makes it clear that man is a tripartite being. You are by essence a Spirit Being who has a Soul and lives in a Body. In the order of priority, your Spirit comes first, then your soul and last is the Body. Your Spirit is the real you – that is what connects you with God. The Spirit is where Salvation essentially takes place and that’s where the Holy Spirit indwells. The Spirit connects with your Soul and then your Body. That’s why it is possible for you to have dreams of something futuristic and then a few years later, you find yourself in that same spot in the physical realm. Your Spirit can discern something that you may not necessarily comprehend in the natural at first, but you just know in your guts – like they call it, that something does not seem right.
When your Spirit is alive and well, nothing on the outside can break you. The inner force of your spirit can propel you to accomplish mighty feats, conquer the world and fulfill your loftiest dreams. True joy and happiness are a byproduct of a wholesome and healthy Spirit and not from the abundance of possessions or accolades. It is possible to live in a palace and feel miserable and a man might have no penny to his name and still have the bell in his heart ring for joy. This is why many rich and famous people are committing suicide. No amount of money, exotic cars, mansions, fame or even influence can bring wholeness to an ailing spirit.
Your Spirit is where God speaks to you and breathes His life there because it is the seat of your being, that’s where everything else comes together. The enemy also understands the significance of your Spirit. he knows that if he can defeat you in your Spirit, everything else will fall apart, So, he will unleash his most vicious attacks against you at the core of your Spirit – but the devil is a liar, God’s glory covers you now in your inner man in Jesus Christ Name, Someone might be wondering why I am expatiating more on the subject of the human Spirit – when in fact this article is about depression. Well, that is essentially what depression is – a broken Spirit. You see that lack of joy and motivation that comes with depression are all indications that something deeper within is wrong and complete freedom from depression is possible from that place of healing and wholeness at the core of your being – in your Spirit.
LIFE CAN’T HOLD YOU DOWN
The circumstances of life are usually the doorway that gives access to the depression into a person’s spirit. It could be the loss of a loved one, all manner of abuse, rape, incest, betrayal and disappointment in a relationship, failure in business and career and it could be a result of dissatisfaction and emptiness from success and fame instead of a presumed sense of fulfillment. Something on the outside always opens the door – this is what the psychotherapists call a Trigger. A young man of about 16 years walked in on a suicide scene and saw the lifeless body of his friend hanging from the ceiling, that one incident put a scar on him and opened him up to depression. He struggled with the heavy burden until one day, he also hung himself from the ceiling just as his friend did.
Depression attack operates like a cycle of despondency. A negative occurrence on the outside (Body) overwhelms the mind, sickens the emotions, controls the will (Soul) and ultimately attacks the Spirit – at this point, hopelessness and suicidal tendencies step in because the Spirit is the very essence that supports life. The Word Spirit originates from the Hebrew Word Ruwach ˆwhich literally means Breath of Air or Life. The transformation power of God’s Word and Spirit can reverse this cycle by empowering you in your inner man to exercise authority over the circumstances of your life. They might not change immediately; however, they will not be able to control you but you will control the circumstances in your life.
THE SPIRITS OF DEPRESSION
Another interesting twist to the subject of depression is to understand the active agents or carriers of depression. If depression is an attack that targets your Spirit, then the carriers are spiritual agents. These spirits of depression are intelligent and intentional beings that leech on their victims like a parasite and use the circumstances of their lives as an access point to inject slow poison of despair, despondency and depression which then suck the very life out of them. The tactics that these depression demons utilize is to magnify these negative circumstances of life to a ginormous proportion by whispering thoughts and ideas of misery into their sub-consciousness using first person words, so it sounds like they are your thoughts. “Nobody loves me” “It’s all over” “Everything is my fault” “I can’t live with this shame” “The whole world is talking about me” These words come with heavy bombardments that destroy the morale of its victims until it drowns the very life in misery and hopelessness.
GOD’S TRUTH IS YOUR LINE OF DEFENSE
God’s truth is that there is no negative experience that you might go through in this life that He has not already given you the power and grace to overcome. Your entire life is more precious than one event that occurs within it. You cannot fully understand a book by reading only one chapter. If you have life, you have hope and that means it’s not over for you yet and God has greater things in store for you.
EVERYONE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEPRESSION
Life happens to everyone, We all experience different negative circumstances. Being a Christian does not exclude you from many bumpy twists and turns that come with life. The enemy as an active opportunist lurks around waiting to take advantage of your down time to attack you with despair and depression. The same afflictions are accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. However, that is not the end of the story. Just like in every kind of attack or tactic that we might face in this life, God has already made a way of escape for us. We have victory in Jesus over fear, diseases, shame, poverty and indeed over depression.
7 PRACTICAL STEPS TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION
1. HAVE A GOD PERSPECTIVE TO YOUR REALITY.
Depression colors the negative circumstances of your life with the gray shades of finality which breeds hopelessness. This is contrary to what God’s Word says about our trials. “Weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning” When you stand with God, you can never run out of options because Jesus is the cup that won’t run dry. I know many people whose story didn’t start on a high note. Life hit hard, darkness loomed about their heads, they seem to have lost everything. But at the end, God came through for them and at the end, He turned the sorrow into joy. He will do the same for you. Make this God-perspective your reality.
2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT
Depression comes with a negative thought pattern that is consistent with fear, shame, and misery. Often, these thoughts are not even of your own doing but the manipulation of whispering demons. Keep a watch over your thoughts and once you catch yourself in these repetitive negative thoughts, instantly interrupt the cycle by casting down imagination and bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ. One strategy that I have found very helpful is what I call Victory SOS “Speak Out Loud” Don’t just try to think away negative thoughts – interrupt it with God’s Word and speak it out loud.
3. RELEASE THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
Somebody is always responsible for the negative events that you suffered and when you think of the pain, you think of the people that caused the pain. The natural response would be to channel all the anger and pain to that individual or individuals. Frustration brings more frustration; anger brings more anger and pain brings more pain. Only you have the power to break that cycle by choosing to forgive the person. You can forgive a person from your heart without their consent, however if it won’t escalate the situation and put your safety at risk, you can also call the individuals involved and tell them how much they hurt you and of your decision to forgive them by God’s grace.
Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you should give them access to your life. However, it does mean you have released yourself from the influence they have over you to control how you feel and inflict pain. Most people feel better and regain their personal power over those who hurt them after heartfelt forgiveness.
4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH ENCOURAGERS
Depression often comes with a feeling of isolation; don’t fall for it. Isolation brings desolation. I often hear people battling depression use words like, “Nobody understands me” “I am all by myself” It’s easy to cut others off especially when people you trusted before had disappointed you. That is the wrong strategy. It’s when you are at your lowest you need people the most. Good people, Godly people, encouragers, voices of hope and restoration and there are many of them that God will strategically position into your life. Do not cut them off. In moments like this, being a part of a Church family is a great asset to navigate murky waters of life. Please note that being in the company of people who are battling depression in an anonymous group is not a healthy balance to recovery. If you feel weak, align yourself with people who are strong in the area where you are weak.
5. EMBRACE THE GARMENT OF PRAISE
God’s response to depression is the anointing of joy. This is a special grace that makes it possible for your spirit man to recover and be lifted to a place of ecstatic supernatural excitement that is not necessarily factored by what is happening around you. I have seen this special anointing at work in the lives of many people. One time I ministered to a lady suffering from major depression disorder. She was gloomy and deeply melancholy. She just sat on the chair and looked away like a statue. I laid hands on her and prayed gently, “Father baptize her with the Spirit of joy and take away the spirit of heaviness in Jesus Christ Name” The anointing hit her so strongly that was slain under God’s power. Then she began laughing hysterically. Then the laughter intensified. I asked her, “Why are you laughing”” She said, Ïdont know, I just feel like a fountain of joy has been released in my belly” I release the Spirit of joy into your life today in Jesus Christ Name
6. LIVE IN THE WORD OF GOD
Write every Bible verse that speaks about victory over depression. Memorize them and make bold declarations of these scriptures many times in a day. The Word of God possesses creative power and I have seen many lives transformed by the power of the Word. A lady was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and was always weak and sickly. When she encountered this ministry, the Lord told me to print out healing scriptures for her. So, I compiled about 100 scriptures and told her to memorize them and continue to speak it out boldly. About a month later she returned with a testimony of healing. God had healed her completely and her genotype had been transformed. Let the Word of God pull you out of despair, anxiety, and depression.
7. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF NECESSARY
As much as depression is directly linked with your spirit, the adverse impact does affect the physical body and in the process of recovery and healing, it is wise to seek medical attention. While God is moving, working on your inside, He has given wisdom to medical experts to help you with some of your physical health needs.