Some of you reading this are in a dry season in your walk with God right now. It might be days, weeks, months – even years – since you felt God’s presence and love. I know exactly how that feels, and I strongly believe that I have a word for you today.

Others of you may be dealing with depression. Whether it be for medical reasons, problems in life, or a totally unexplainable phenomenon, the fact is that it can be a painful battle to fight for the joy presented to you in the Gospel. As someone who has been diagnosed with depression in the past, I believe I have something to share with you as well.

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The subtitle for this could be “Depression vs. The Joy of the Lord; Part Two.” In the first part, written some time ago, I mainly focused on my experiences with depression, how it disappeared for a while when I came to the Lord, and how I reacted when it came back. Here, I would like to offer you encouragement, though I admit there is no formula herein for defeating depression and dry patches.

The Reality of It All

Ideally, I would say to you, “To end depression and dry seasons, do these three simple steps.” But that isn’t always how it works. Doubtless in many cases you can demolish these things in the moment. Praise, prayer and Scripture citing can defeat depression. Ceasing to give up can lead you out of a dry season. But it doesn’t always work this way.

Just yesterday, I had a battle with depression that lasted from my waking hours to falling asleep at night. I couldn’t overcome it. My dawn devotionals felt empty; I felt hopeless. I prayed, sang, and read Scripture, but to no avail.

But here’s the problem. The only option I gave God was to take that negative feeling away. I was looking for a quick fix for my problems. I never once imagined that perhaps I was meant to struggle through that darkness until it was appointed to be taken away from me.

What if these are the trials we must pass through on our way to the kingdom of heaven? What if we were meant to endure through the night, with no answers, that we might come along side others dealing with the same? Though you may not feel God’s presence, endure – just as Jesus endured for you.

Oh, how great the effect on unbelievers would be if, when they were depressed and defeated, we came alongside them and instead of quoting passages, we put our arm around them and were silent – because we had been there!

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My title for this post is “Seldom are Diamonds Found on Mountaintops,” because we are tempted to see depressing and dry times as futile. In closing, let me tell you what I learned two days ago.

I had just come out of an incredibly long dry season. During my devotion time, I could clearly feel God’s presence. Putting a worship song on, I stumbled across a video. So often had I played this when I felt like there was almost nothing between me and giving up. I had only listened to it when I was depressed and feeling hopeless.

It was then that I realized what victories we win in dry seasons and during depressions without even knowing it. All of Satan’s army is against us during these times, yet we persevere.

The victory is not in being delivered from the trial, but persevering through it by the grace of God.

Satan falls from heaven like lightning when we hang on, praising God when we feel like we can’t. All the while we grow closer and closer to the image of Jesus, who suffered while tempted, yet was without sin. (See Hebrews 4:15) So fight like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.