I had just turned 16 when the doctor told me I had depression.That was about two years ago.

It wasn’t so much a “Really?” as it was a “I knew that.” I didn’t know my Saviour, and I hated life. Constant pot-smoking and drinking in my mother’s house was making  me getting kicked out more of a reality each day. My depression had made me despise getting up for school each morning, and I failed all my school courses for two years in a row as a result. Needless to say, I had stopped going to youth group and church with my mom.

That’s when I went to Teen Challenge. (For those of you who don’t know, Teen Challenge is a now world-wide organization that seeks to help the addicted. The drug/sex/money abuser lives at the site for a full 12 months before graduating. During the time, they study the Bible, worship every morning and work on regaining their life. Almost all give their lives to Christ.)

It was a life-changer. Never have I known such godly men as the ex-addicts I met there. I have nothing but praise for that organization. I rededicated my life there, and have since left my old life for God (with falls and rises along the way, I can assure you).

One night while I was there, I had to go to the bathroom. It was 11:00 p.m., and all the students had to be in bed. Surprisingly, as I walked there, a student named Clint was also going to the bathroom. It was a weird place for it, I know, but he prophesied to me, and it spoke directly to my depression. I could feel it lift off my shoulders.

And then I went pee.

But seriously, I forgot I had depression for over half a year. When it came back, I was full of questions. Wasn’t it taken away for good? No, God has seen it fit that I battle with it longer. I trust this battle will result in my edification, for James says: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. . . – James 1:2-3

John Piper claims that the battle for holiness is equal to the battle to be truly satisfied in God – I couldn’t agree more. And when I’m depressed, the battle is raging. Satan uses full force to convince me that God isn’t enough; that what I need is different and greater than God. And right there, I have to ask God for help, or I will fall.

So now, at the end, I want to talk directly to Christians who battle clinical depression. It’s easy to feel like a fake, because we hear that we’re supposed to be joyous. And we are supposed to be, but note the word joyous, not happy. Happiness comes and goes, but joy goes  deeper, and is incredibly unshakeable. Still, we feel like we don’t have joy. What do we do?

1. Praise/Worship. Here: http://twan4jesus.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/let-judah/#comment-84  He says it better than I ever could. In the moment, Satan will tell you that worship is irrelevant, but it never is. Tell God how awesome He is.

2. Read the Bible! When you’re down, listen to Creator of your soul whisper your name, beckoning you to come to the Bible. Trust him. The Bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can change all circumstances. Thanks for reading this lengthy post; here are some verses that may speak directly into your life.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 ESV)

It is the LORD who does before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV)

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 42:11 ESV)

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.

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