While many factors can cause depression, one thing that generally makes depression worse is focusing on ourselves. When we focus on ourselves, our problems, our needs, our sicknesses, our issues, and our worries, this self-focus can both lead to depression, and make depression worse.
So one way to help overcome depression is by taking our focus off of ourselves, and turning our thoughts in two other direction. One direction is toward other people, as we saw in the Scripture on Depression – Nehemiah 8:10.
Another direction is toward God. We see this talked about in Psalm 37:3-4, another good Scripture on Depression. The Scripture says this:
Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Oftentimes we think we can obtain the desires of our heart by pursuing them with all of our strength and energy. But life has a way of frustrating such efforts, which often leads to depression.
But we turn our eyes and thoughts to God, and focus on doing the good things which He has called us to do for other people, and when we feed on His faithfulness, remembering all the blessings He has given to us, and all the promises He has made in Scripture, and when we delight ourselves with spending time in His Word, in prayer, and with other believers, it is then that the depression fades away, and God gives us the desires of our heart.
The Desires of Your Heart
Of course, God giving us the desires of our heart is an interesting idea. It doesn’t necessarily mean that God looks at what we desire, and then if we are obedient and faithful to Him, He gives us what we want. No, it means that as we focus on Him, and delight ourselves in Him, He actually fills our hearts with Godly desires. He gives us the things we actually should desire. The things that will fulfill us, bless us, guide us, and bring us joy.
Until we delight ourselves in the Lord, we often think that joy and fulfillment in life comes from bigger houses, nicer cars, expensive vacations, fancy clothes, or a new relationship. And sometimes Christians try to please and appease God thinking that He will give these things to them. But this is not how God works. When we truly delight ourselves in Him, He does not give us what we desire, but instead, changes the things we do desire, and then gives us these new desires.
So whereas before you may have desired a new house, when you delight yourself in the Lord, you find a desire growing in your heart to start a ministry that provides housing for homeless people, and then God helps you achieve that desire. And in the process, the depression you might have felt about not having a nicer house for yourself vanishes. It is no longer your desire, and therefore, no longer a source of depression. Instead, your new desires, your God-inspired desires, are being fulfilled, and therefore, give you a sense of Godly satisfaction and accomplishment with life.
Are you feeling depressed that life has not turned out the way you wanted? Dump your desires, and turn to God for new ones. Pretty soon, your depression will also give way to joy.
Scriptural Books on Depression
Here are some helpful books for learning more about what Scripture teaches on the topic of depression. Click on a book below to see pricing and reviews.