Finding the way out of despair.
Depression is a word that carries so much in its meaning. It’s something some people fear because they have tasted of its bitterness and have walked along its deepest valleys. There are others that have experienced periods of internal heaviness that they came out of almost without effort. We all have different definitions for depression and not everyone understands it. Some completely deny its existence, claiming that there is no such thing as depression.
There are many faces of depression. It doesn’t always have to be completely debilitating, though it can be. To me, one hidden facet of depression is defeat. All of us know what defeat feels like, especially those of us who wage spiritual battles. Though God can give us victory on every side, there are sometimes areas of our lives that have not completely bowed to His authority. Those are the areas where we are prone to experiencing defeat.
It’s so much easier to wallow in our inability to overcome something than to persevere in hopeful prayer. Many of the people we see on a daily basis might be walking in defeat without us even knowing it. This degree of depression is hidden and it often goes unnoticed. This is why it can sometimes feel unbearable to the person suffering from it. It is so discouraging to fall time and again into the same hole- it could be an addiction but it could just as well be a stronghold of the mind. Defeat steals our joy and it paralyzes our faith.
I, too, know what defeat feels like. I have struggled against the weight of unbelief as I tried to make sense of God’s presence in the midst of my continual failure. If I had ever given in to its taunts, the claws of depression would have soon taken over my life. Scripture is like a potent medicine when dealing with defeat. Isaiah 61:3 ESV has been a strong source of encouragement during seasons like these. It says that, [Jesus came] to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
God is completely aware of those very places of defeat that we often hide so carefully inside our soul. His Word is our unchanging Truth during seasons of doubt and uncertainty. He promises to give joy to those that are bowed low in their spirit. God will revive those that feel too tired to fight any longer. Continue to persevere in prayer even when the words don’t seem to come out. With each passing day, you will become stronger and stronger in your faith and will walk in victory! Don’t lose heart.