If my faith is fully in Christ, and I see Him -- that is, truly recognize Him for who He is, I will neither falter, waver or wane when another saint does, nor will I crumble if a saint who discipled and loved me is taken from me somehow, or be crushed by my circumstances that seem to envelope me. Rather, if I am fully abandoned to Christ, like Isaiah, I will shout, “Here am I! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) and I will relentlessly follow the Lord wherever He leads. I may follow in tears and with great heartache, but I will still follow (Psalm 126:5-6).
Why is it that some of us are caught up in depression and do not go on spiritually as God leads us by His Spirit (Galatians 5:25)? I know, because I’ve done it. When I was fifteen, I attempted suicide three times because I was deeply depressed about my life: the abuse, the high school drama, the enormity of life and just plain tired of going on. Because I was not abiding in Christ, but had trained myself to find inspiration from, by and through the faith and lives of others, I lost hope. Instead of actively participating in maturing in my own faith, unknowingly I settled in as a spectator. So when others failed or hurt me, I felt crushed, and seemingly beyond repair. But now I know this is impossible as God clearly states in 2 Cor 4:7-10, that while we may be afflicted and perplexed, we will not be crushed or driven to despair...the key is, that we abide in Christ and not merely stand next to someone who is.
Throughout Scripture we see evidences of those who live in the victorious life that Jesus said belonged to all who are found in Him (John 16:33).
“When you pass through the waters, I [the LORD] will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you... For You, O God, have tested us; You have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You laid a crushing burden on our backs; You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance.”~Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 66:10-12
Too often we forget where our help comes from, “the LORD who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2) and we get too caught up in the here and now and the who’s doing what or not doing what rather than focusing fully on Christ and what He has done, said, is doing and will do.
Fixing our eyes horizontally, rather than vertically will cause anyone, even a Christian to become depressed, and deeply so. Admittedly, there is much to be depressed about in this fallen world. So rather than focus on all that’s temporal (including your emotions) cry out to God, be comforted by Him through His Spirit as He reveals Himself through His word. Get to know who God is better than you know yourself or anyone else. Meditate on God rather than yourself or your circumstances. Just doing that will bring you out of depression or any kind of sorrow, for meditating on the Holy One of Israel is an awesome thing and will immediately draw you nearer to Him and Him to you (James 4:10).
For further reading on how to get out and stay out of depression and remain hid in Christ, firmly rooted in Him, read Psalm 73 in its entirety. Psalm 73 was written by Asaph, a Levite who was appointed by King David as the chief of all who were to minister before the ark of LORD to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD (1 Chronicles 16:4). Although Asaph’s job was grand, and it seemed ill-fitting that someone who was appointed to invoke praise and thanks to God to become bitter and depressed; he was. But he didn’t stay that way (Psalm 73:16-17).
Be encouraged that God graciously recorded in His holy word, examples of lives of many faithful saints who have come before us, who suffered what we have suffered, and so much more, yet kept their hope and trust in God alone. And better yet, know that Christ our Lord, has suffered beyond even them, and beyond anything you and I will ever experience; therefore, let us cry out to Him in our time of need, when we are tempted to despair rather than give thanks and worship Him.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”~Hebrews 4:15-16