Depression is an ugly monster! I've had a lot of experience with it. Sometimes unknowingly...meaning you can be depressed without realizing it at all. I now recognize the signs and symptoms of it, and nip it in the bud as it tries to arise (and rule) again. Let's call it as it is, folks: it’s a demonic presence! Ready to rob you of your precious joy that the Lord gave you. And your peace. The Lord told us in the New Testament during His ministry on earth (as a warning),
"The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have Life, and may have it in abundance." John 10:10
Jesus assures us that His coming (and dying in our place, for sin) gives us life, if we receive it from Him. It's a free gift! Thus Jesus IS the answer to the devil and his schemes.
Luke 10:19 NIV
"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you".
The devil is a defeated foe! All our fights are 'fixed'; we are "MORE than conquerors, in Christ!" - Romans 8:37.
Do you know the signs of depression (persistent, nagging heaviness)? The signs are:
♢ Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
♢ Fatigue and decreased energy
♢ Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
♢ Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism;
♢ Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
♢ Irritability, restlessness
♢ Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable;
♢ Overeating or appetite loss
♢ Persistent aches or pains; frequent headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
♢ Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
♢ Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
One of the key points to experiencing lasting change for me has been to increase my self-esteem and self- confidence. This boost has come about (and is still a process) by friends, pastors, and other encouraging women God has placed in my path that have been great examples of being confident in who God made and designed them to be. I've taken some time to discover who exactly I am - not just in ministry, but 'naturally' too. I asked myself questions, like: What are my goals? What steps do I need to take and what changes are needed to accomplish them? What do I really want out of my life? What are my standards/boundaries (in different areas of life), and am I upholding them well? I also asked: what really causes me to be unsatisfied with my life right now? I prayed and asked God to reveal to me the parts that I could fix, and to show me how; the rest I learned to entrust in His care and guidance. Some personal things I began to check out and evaluate were:
• My finances/budget (money mismanagement = stress),
• Organization - my responsibilities and extra-curricular activities, etc. I had to let some things go, and accept that I was NOT a superhero. Instead of having 5-6 full nights a week after work, I managed to cut things and get down to 2-3.
• Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries; towards myself, and in all my relationships.
• 'Upgrading' my physical appearance, and taking more time and care for it: let's face it; a lot of things we complain about (our weight, hair, etc.) we CAN change or learn to change.
• Allowing God to show me my 'changeable' flaws, without getting offended: listening better without being a motor-mouth (which improved my relationships), praying for others (not just myself), changing bad habits, and receiving good advice and well-meant criticism.
Each area of my life where I felt heaviness and experienced a lack of interest or commitment I asked God about; I wanted to know the root cause.
Let us pray:
Father, you said as we delight ourselves in you, that you will give us the desires of our hearts. We know that you came as Acts 10:38
tells us: to destroy the works of the darkness and heal all those oppressed and depressed by the devil. I pray for my sisters and brothers, any one of them that is struggling with this spirit of depression -- we break the ties to all symptoms of depression in the powerful name of Jesus. Lord, you said whatever we bind (forbid) on earth is bound in heaven. And whatever we loose (release), it will be loosed in Heaven (Matthew 18:18). We bind up depression and we loose victory right now in Jesus name. Amen (so be it)! I rejoice with you, for your victory over depression.
About the Author
Davina is a working mother of three, who believes in introducing the true love of Christ to those she encounters, and desires to give the gift of this love to those in need that God has lead her way. She attends The Point Church of Trotwood, Ohio. She is a member of Young Women In Ministry, and is also an avid baker! See her treats at http://www.deesdelightsforyou.com