Mental health has plagued us for generations. Depression and anxiety are far more widespread and spoken about than in our parents’ day. With the quickly-changing world, an even faster awakening has come to the places where we struggle with our mental health.
It should come as no surprise that this year has ramped up even higher numbers of depression and anxiety cases. Pandemics, isolation, and other worldly events have left so many dealing with the state of their minds when it had never been an issue before.
In a recent conversation, I spoke to a young mom who said for the first time in her life she was experiencing debilitating anxiety from all that was happening around her. In other circles of friends there has been talk about the depression they have been feeling over the affects of the circumstances around us.
Warfare for our minds is in full swing and is evident everywhere we look.
Whether your depression is new or has lingered in your life for a while, we must become acutely aware of the schemes the enemy has in place to get the best of our minds. Our mental health isn’t something to be taken lightly or tossed aside. It is something that we should be putting into God’s hands every day.
God is faithful to meet us in our depression.
One of our greatest examples can be taken straight from the pages of Scripture. Throughout David’s life he battled great sorrow. There were days when he was worn down and mentally weary, maybe even what we would consider depressed.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
Many of David’s Psalms reflected the status of his heart and mind. He taught us that God is the comforter and sure hope that we need. David had a battle plan, one that didn’t leave him unprotected or without direction for his heart and mind.
How to Fight Your Depression with God
The battle for the mind is hard fought, but one that we do not fight without the Lord.
David knew this, we see throughout the Psalms that he petitioned God on behalf of his sorrows. His battle plan was clear and simple. We can take a few pages from his experience as well as add a few that we have learned from others along the way.
- We should do battle on our knees first.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)
No battle plan as a believer will be effective without petitioning God in prayer first. Taking our hurting hearts to His feet. Prayer’s purpose is not just to seek Him and His will, but to change our hearts and minds. Prayer will change how we view our circumstances.
The multitude of Psalms written by David are prayer and praise to God. He took his sorrows to God in prayer before he took them anywhere else. Our first stop should always be the Father. Seeking His heart above all.
- We should battle with the Scriptures in hand.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)
We need Scripture in our hands, we need to know it, and we need to read it. When we put Scripture into our hearts and minds we will be saturated with truth. Knowing the truth gives us freedom even when we cannot process what is happening to us mentally.
Memorizing Scripture can be one of the best tools in our battle plan because God’s words are steady reminders when things feel chaotic. One of the tools that has helped me the most is being reminded of God’s promises through His word. It helps me cling to His faithfulness when everything around me seems to be falling apart.
- We should never battle alone.
We need community as believers, but even more so when we are suffering from depression and other mental health issues. Surrounding ourselves with Christian community gives us access to friends who know the Word and can speak truth into our lives.
We also cannot do battle alone because we may need professional help in the season we are struggling with. Our battle plan needs to include people who can equip us with the tools we need to be mentally healthy.
- We should find our refuge.
Many times throughout the book of Psalms David speaks of God being a refuge, a hiding place, and a shelter. When we suffer from depression we need to know our refuge is found in the Lord.
Sometimes when we are feeling down we seek to hide ourselves away from others. We seek refuge in solitude when we should really be seeking refuge in God.
“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1)
- We should battle for deliverance.
One of the most vital elements we can have in our battle plan is the determination for deliverance. Our determination to not let our mental health struggles win the fight. As a long time depression and anxiety sufferer, determination not to stay in this place has been my greatest fighting force.
This simple battle plan may seem like it would not make a dent in our depression struggles, but it does. We can learn a great deal from those who have suffered before us. What have they clung to in the middle of dark nights. How they have pressed on in faith even while fighting against depression.
We see that no matter the battle, clinging to the Lord is a sure footing. It isn’t a promise for full healing but it does equip us to face the fight. We can hold fast to the truth that God will never leave us no matter what we are going through.
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
He is prepared to fight with us and has gifted us with every tool that we need. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3)
Pastor Olakunle Yusuf, Lead Consultant, Above Media. He can be reached via 08023423396 or email: [email protected]. Shalom