Within the Pages of the Bible are the answers to man's most pressing needs. At this moment, you may be very discouraged about life. Life may now appear to you as an endless, tragic treadmill, not really worth living or having. Perhaps you are saying, right now, life holds nothing for me, it is only a bum rap, a lousy trip. Nobody loves me; nobody cares if I live or die.
In the midst of your despair, and your doubt, and frustration, and hopelessness, I want you to realize that Jesus Christ offers to you another view of life; a view that is truly beautiful. Jesus has some special words for us: He said, "I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). With these words, Jesus lifts life above the physical realm and assures us that the abundant life has a divine and eternal quality. The Bible tells us that we were created in the very image or likeness of God, and you can be sure that if God made us like himself, then our lives must have tremendous meaning, destiny, and purpose.
Jesus came to give each of us a good life. And you can enjoy the benefits of that abundant life right here on the face of this earth. Life can have many beautiful moments which you can and should enjoy and cherish. It is very true, of course, that life has it's high and it's low points. Being moody and despondent on a temporary basis is a natural part of every personality. However, please don't allow your deep and despondent moods to control your very being. I know that you may be tempted to blame yourself unduly for all the things that ever go wrong. You may want to punish yourself and others for the deep personal problems which you encounter.
However, the abundant life which Jesus gives prepares our hearts with a mature love which can endure pain and suffering. The Apostle Paul says that this mature love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . . " (I Corinthians 13:7,8).
Please listen to me very closely. It is important that you understand this. God really cares for you. In John 3:16, we read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life". There are Christian people who really care for you too. We care whether you live or die. We want you to experience and enjoy that abundant life in Christ. We want to introduce you to that love that never fails. John also tells us in I John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear . . .". This love really can be yours and you can have and enjoy a life that is meaningful and purposeful. If you would enjoy life, then serve the giver of life - God. Again, the Apostle John says in I John 5:3,4, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith".
Depression has become our nation's number one emotional illness, and it is increasing steadily. Rising suicide rates, especially among the young, show the final end to which depression takes people. Broken, unhappy homes and wasted lives are often the result of unfettered depression. Some depression is good because it tells us we need to stop and take stock, have a rest, or perhaps have a physical examination to see if there is a medical problem that needs to be cared for. However, depression is most often the result of a selfish, self-pitying, ungrateful heart. The wise Solomon said: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7. In discussing depression, we must believe fully that God has a remedy for every problem and that we can-go to Him for help. Here are some positive, Biblical steps to take to overcome depression:
Recognize that God created you in His image and therefore you are good. He wants you to be happy. He gave His only begotten Son so that you might have eternal life (John 3:16). Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Believe that God is faithful to do what He has promised for you. Look for His abundant life. God has promised to meet our every-need (Phil. 4:19; Eph. 3:20; Matt. 7:11). It is not ours to worry about food, clothing and shelter. God has promised that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He will add these material things to us (Matthew 6:25-33). Let His spirit dwell in your richly, causing you to have a song in your heart, an attitude of thanksgiving and a submissive spirit (Eph. 5:19-21). No misery or depression can exist in such a heart. Practice thanksgiving and praising the Lord for all things. To praise the Lord when things are going against your will is to show a submissive spirit. Be thankful in everything (I Thess. 5:18). ,
Think on positive things, things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Phil 4:8). Realize that all things do work together for good to them that love the Lord (Romans 8:28). Do not dwell on past unhappy experiences, bad news in the world today, or ways in which life seems to have cheated you. Think about all the ways life has been a blessing to you.
Have a forgiving spirit. Bad feelings or unforgiven hurts toward your fellow beings can cause you to feel very depressed. Telling others you are sorry you have wronged them or that you have forgiven them for something they have done to you in the past can often be the most therapeutic means of bringing about a peaceful heart.
Try giving yourself away. Luke 6:38 tells us how richly we will be rewarded if we give of ourselves. One of the best rewards will be freedom from depression. Gal. 6:2 tells us to help bear one another's burdens. Finding some hard physical work to do, for ourselves or for others, is often the very best medicine needed for depression. Plan with God's help and prayer not to be depressed. Live one day at a time instead of taking on your whole future life at once. Let God's spirit rule your life. Ask your Christian friends to pray with you and for you about your depression. Hebrews 13:5,6 say, "Let your life be free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, 'I will never fail or forsake you"'. Hence we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?" Remembering this verse, we can "Rejoice in the Lord always," as Paul suggests in Phil. 4:4.
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