An estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression. You can find all sorts of support groups, information, and resources online. These are ten suggestions for those who are facing the more routine kind of depression we all have from time to time.
Experts say it is perfectly normal to get depressed once in a while. But if the problem lingers and does not seem to go away, then seeing a doctor is in order.
For the temporary depression I would like to suggest 10 steps that may give you the encouragement you need:
- Accept the fact you are God's creation — Many persons would like to be different and spend time and money in the process. Although it is good to take good care of your appearance, when it becomes an obsession, you get depressed wondering why you can't look like somebody else.
- Accept God's forgiveness — One of the main ways to beat depression is to have peace of mind. As you find sins in your life you must confess them. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us." (1 John 1:9) When you don't believe God can forgive you — depression sets in.
- Look at yourself through God's eyes — Thank Him for His presence in your life and believe what His Word tells you about His love for you.
- Remember Paul's words of encouragement — "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13) God's power is working in you and through you even when you don't see it or feel it.
- Try visualizing how God is perfecting you — Resist the temptation to think about yourself as a failure. We all have failed in one way or another. Think of yourself as someone growing in Christ. Remember the bumper sticker: "Be patient with me, God isn't finished with me yet."
- Write down your goals and dreams — Ask God to help you with your goals. If you want to lose weight, to kick a bad habit, or become something that you are not, then write down your goals; with God's help, you will be determined to achieve them. This will bring you satisfaction.
- Always be positive — With Christ you should not anticipate anything but ultimate success. Avoid those who are always complaining, irritated, or criticizing. They may be contagious. "Think about such things," says Paul to the Philippians, exhorting you to think positively. (Philippians 4:8)
- Anticipate the abundant life God has in store for you — God has a plan for you. You cannot read Romans 12 and not believe this truth. The plan is flexible and it is up to you to fill in the blanks. God will help you build you life!
- "Seek first the Kingdom of God" — Matthew 6:33 makes it clear that you cannot sell out to greed or selfishness. Kingdom business should come first; God has promised to provide for your needs. Do not do it backwards. If you run after things you will never have enough. Seek God and you will have everything.
- Surrender your life to God and serve people — To a depressed lady, a friend suggested that she should give away her orchids to a nursing home nearby. When she died, the local paper said: "Orchid lady dies leaving hundreds of friends."
- Always be thankful — A spirit of thanksgiving is present one day in November. Why not prolong that feeling throughout the year? You have heard it said that happiness is a choice. Why not make that your choice?
Follow these 10 steps. You cannot be assured you will never get depressed. However, do not allow depression to be the lord of your life anymore. If you want more information, read the booklet titled "The Plan for Depression" offered by Hope for Life.
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