Down but not Out

bible verses for depression

I believe that there are very few people, if any, that truly want to die. However, I think that the amount of people who don’t want to live is probably far more than we would like to think. They sound similar, wanting to die and not wanting to live, but in fact they’re different. Wanting to die would mean a desire for pain, for hurt, and ultimately – for death. Not wanting to live anymore is a desire to escape pain, hurt, and even death. It means wanting the hurt, confusion, and hardship of life to just STOP – to have peace, and to be able to find rest.

The lure of suicide can plague people who suffer from depression daily. Whether the depression is purely mental, or if it is related to an outward circumstance, the suffering that it brings cannot be underestimated. Living with depression daily can often lead someone to think that death would provide the peace and rest that they long for.

Maybe that someone is you – perhaps you’ve found yourself in a place so dire that you can see no way out. I’m here to tell you that there is hope! That today is not the day to give up, and that you don’t have to live like this forever, that you can have a life of freedom, peace, rest and JOY.

  1. Get Help

This might sound obvious – and maybe you’re already getting help, but the importance of this very first step cannot be overemphasized. Perhaps you’ve thought in the past that a counsellor, or psychiatrist, isn’t for you. What would your family think? Or your friends? Ultimately, your mental health is more important than the opinion of those around you – even family! In Africa, mental health has a HUGE stigma attached to it, and unfortunately, this stigma can stop people from getting the help that they need to live a life of freedom. If you’re unable to afford a private therapist, there are many free options available! Speak to your employers, your university or school, and see what they can do for you.

  • Talk to someone you trust

Nobody should ever have to face the difficulties of the world by themselves. Let somebody you love, and trust know that you’re struggling – don’t keep silent! It might sound cheesy, but the anecdote “a problem shared is a problem halved” is true! When we’re able to share   our burdens, we’re released from them in a fundamental way because we are no longer             alone. If there’s nobody in your life you feel as if you can speak to, finding a community who               can be there for you and encourage you is vital. The Bible puts it like this:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” – Galatian 6:2         NIV

 The reason why the Bible emphasises the importance of church, is because God knows that          we need each-other to face the trials that life throws at us! Becoming a part of a church community means that you will have people to do the journey of life with you, and      that you will never be alone in whatever you’re facing.

  • It’s not over yet

I’ve always loved the saying “its not over until the fat lady sings”. Not only does it always                bring a cheeky smile to my face, but I’ve never heard it used when a team or a person is on          the winning side. It’s meant to encourage the underdogs – a reminder that you’re still in the                 game! Don’t give up on yourself! You might be facing what seems like an impossible mountain, but you WILL come out the other end, and able to say that you made it through! How can I be so sure? Well, one of my favourite scriptures says this:

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and future” – Jeremiah 29:11

God doesn’t say “maybe” at the end of this statement – it’s a promise! If you can hang on, see this storm through however long it takes, you can see God’s wonderful plans for your life come to pass. Don’t give up on yourself, because God has never once given up on you. You are not facing this alone, even if it feels like you are, because God is with you in every moment and if you ask Him for help, He is always willing and able to give it.

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