Welcome back to our series about What To Do With Depression. (If you haven’t already done so, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series here.) In this series, we are examining what the Bible says about how to handle our emotions. And today, we are going to begin discussing how to heal from depression.
We already learned that emotions are something you have. They do not define who you are.
And since emotions are something you have, they are subject to you. They have to submit to whatever you–out of your spirit–tell them to do. Life is not “mind over matter,” but it IS “spirit over mind, will, and emotions.”
So how do you engage and use your spirit to dominate your emotions? How do you start manifesting emotional healing and wholeness?
That is a wonderful question–and the answer has multiple parts.
Let me first say that emotional healing can be more like a daily plodding than it is a sudden sprint.
Of course, emotional healing can proceed fast or slowly. It all depends on how much effort you put into it.
However, the process of healing from depression involves transforming our minds to think like God thinks. Healing from depression requires us to (generally) slowly and steadily take steps to conform our habits and thought patters into the image of His glory.
It’s called “walking in the Spirit”; and by “Spirit” I mean that God the Holy Spirit fills your human spirit, and your God-filled human spirit is what controls how you feel. (We talked about these things a lot in Parts 1 and 2 of this series; please be sure you read those articles also if you haven’t already.)
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But before we get into how to walk in the Spirit, how to transform your mind, and how to heal from depression, let me first ask you a question:
Do you really want to be made well?
That’s what Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda. The story goes like this:
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked” (John 5:1-9 NKJV).
The man at the pool of Bethesda had been lying there 38 years.
THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS! And his response to Jesus’ question? “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool ….” His response was full of self-pity, and he had put up with his condition a long time.
Jesus, however, had mercy on him and healed him. Thank God! But the question still remains: Do you want to be made well?
I ask you this today: Do you want to be made well?
There is a whole subculture in the Christian community that says it’s okay to be depressed–and I couldn’t disagree more. I disagree with that subculture because the Word of God disagrees with that subculture.
God’s Word says we are to be filled with–and manifesting–righteousness, peace, joy, and POWER in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17 says:
“for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17 NKJV).
And 1 Corinthians 4:20 says:
“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20 NKJV).
And then there’s 2 Timothy 1:7:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
And also, Galatians 5:22-25:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV).
Friend, God has given us POWER and we are supposed to walk in it.
God’s Word says we are not to be conformed to this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds–and that this is how we prove what is God’s good, acceptable, perfect will. We read this in Romans 12:1-2:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV).
Friend, depression happens.
It happens to me sometimes; it probably happens to you sometimes, too. Hey, let’s be real: depression likely happens (at least occasionally) to all of us.
BUT, that doesn’t mean we should accept it. We certainly should not embrace it or be fine with it.
The fact that depression is common doesn’t mean we should accept it and keep it around like some kind of a stinky pet. We should not make it “ours”; we should not keep it or use it like a crutch; and, God forbid, it definitely should not become part of your identity.
Yes: I have seen tons of people take their sicknesses or infirmities, whether related to physical health or mental health, and turn those sicknesses and infirmities into their identity–something they use to get attention, sympathy, and to give themselves permission not to pursue the things of God, as prescribed in the Bible. I beg you in the name of Jesus: please don’t become one of those people!
Depression happens sometimes–but we are instructed in Scripture to do the work it takes to transform our minds and walk in the power, love, and sound mind with which the Lord has blessed us through the blood of His Son.
God’s deliverance and healing will always work if you do the work His Word prescribes for your healing.
So do you want to be made well? I’m assuming that YES, you do–and that you DO want to heal from depression.
So, in the next installment of this series, we will begin looking at key actions you can take, one at a time, separately or together (all as Holy Spirit leads) to begin HEALING from depression. 🙂
Meanwhile, are the truths from Scripture about what to do with depression speaking deeply to your heart today? If so, leave a comment below! I love hearing from you.