Has this ever happened to you? Some well-meaning person decides they’re going to help you with your depression.
So they say things like, “Just cheer up,” or “Snap out of it,” or my favorite, “If you had more faith, you wouldn’t be depressed.”
That kind of “advice” usually just makes us more depressed! Though it’s not my main point in this article, let me quickly say that people who haven’t fought depression simply don’t understand the disease. They completely underestimate its power and what it does to you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t let their ignorance get you down. Instead, love them anyway, pray for them . . . and go on about your life.
I’ve said all that because of the title of this Faith Fact. As someone who fights depression regularly, I know it is possible to think positive even when you’re feeling negative. A depressive episode may have your emotions damped down and your body sluggish, but you can still think positive.
I know there are lots of books on positive thinking that are very popular. But that’s not what I’m talking about at all, even though I do believe some of them can help you with your attitude and outlook. Instead, I want to give you a biblically-based, powerful principle that can help you turn the tables on your depression.
I know what some of you are saying as you read this: “I can barely survive when I’m depressed. How in the world do you think I could be positive when everything looks dark and hopeless?” Here is the secret: focus on God’s promises in the Bible, not on your emotions or your present circumstances.
Look at this scripture God has for you:
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT).
If you’re depressed right now – or, the next time you’re depressed – here’s what I want you to do. Read the scripture above again, and claim it as a promise from God. Tell your Heavenly Father you have decided to believe this, no matter what your emotions may be shouting at you. Cling to the promise, read it over and over, pray it to the Lord, thank Him for holding on to you.
In other words, the one thing to be positive about is God’s word. Decide you will believe it, no matter what. When depression threatens to overwhelm you, take one of God’s promises, cling to it, and decide to believe it. That means you will be thinking positive about something that is unchangeable, immutable, always true: the Bible. Don’t worry about trying to be positive concerning everything else in your life. In fact, don’t focus on your life at that point. Put all your attention on God’s word and how it applies to your life.
If you do this every time you’re depressed, you’ll discover the depression eventually begins to weaken and your thinking will become better. You can be positive about God’s word, even when your life feels negative! Believe me, I’ve been applying this principle for years, and it works . . . because God’s word is true.