Posted On September 12, 2017

Strategies for Fighting Anxiety and Depression

by | Sep 12, 2017 | Featured, The Gospel and the Christian Life

Many Christians today greatly struggle with anxiety. As one of these Christians, I know very well this battle. Whether it’s through focusing too much on my circumstances or overthinking a situation or beating myself up—these are symptoms of a larger problem. When we struggle with anxiety, we are saying that the Lord is not sufficient, nor sovereign over our lives. Some people struggle with anxiety and depression because they have chemical balances in their brains. Such people may need to be on antidepressants or receive biblical counseling. Often when we discuss anxiety, we immediately run to the causes of anxiety (i.e., go on antidepressants to help our problem) without exploring the causes of our anxiety and depression.

Share with Other Brothers and Sisters in Christ About Your Struggle

One strategy for fighting anxiety and depression is to find trusted friends and pastors that you can open up too. In my own life, I have several friend’s close friends who I can either call or send a text message to about my day and my struggles with anxiety and depression. Then they encourage me and also ask great questions about what’s going on with me. We need to have friends who we can be honest and open with who we know will speak the truth in love to us.

Daily Scripture Reading

Another strategy for fighting anxiety and depression is to read and meditate on the Word of God regularly. In the Psalms, we frequently see David down in the dumps and then exulting in the Lord who alone is His rock and refuge (Psalm 18:2; 62:6; 71:3) and present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). By reading the Scriptures, we come to see that many others in the Bible have faced issues with anxiety and depression. For example, David (2 Samuel 12:15-23; 18:33), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Jonah (Jonah 4:3, 9), Job (Job 2:9; 3:11, 3:26; 10:1; 30:15-17), Moses (Exodus 32:32), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14, 18), and Jesus (Isaiah 53; Mark 14:14-36; Luke 22:44).

Charles Spurgeon struggles with depression are well-known. He was rightly considered the Prince of Preachers. Often in addition to his struggles with depression, he faced gout which often kept him in bed. Depression and gout caused Spurgeon to lay in bed many a day discouraged and doubting.

Maybe that’s where you are today. Maybe you aren’t stuck in bed like Spurgeon, but you are feeling overwhelmed and crushed on every side. You may even wonder where the Lord is in the midst of all that’s going on. What you need to understand is that the Lord has not abandoned or left you; instead, He is for and with you. After all, His promise in Hebrews 13:5 is never to leave you nor forsake you. The promises of God are tied to His holy unchanging character. God has fully disclosed Himself in the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why you and I need to be in the Scriptures for it’s there daily we learn about men and women who have faced the very problems that we have with the help of the LORD. Also, this is why we need the local church to get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ many of whom have faced issues we are going through with the help of the Lord.

Counseling Fellow Strugglers

All of this to say the above two strategies are two ways I’ve found for fighting anxiety and depression in my own life. When counseling others going through their similar issues, I like to ask lots of questions and then sit back and let the person talk. After they are done, I will make a clarifying remark to make sure I’ve understood what they’ve said. I do this intentionally because I want to ensure I know what they are saying before I say anything. I will then proceed to ask some more questions if necessary and then offer Scriptural guidance, counseling, and comfort. You see by asking questions, listening, clarifying, asking more questions, I’ve provided an opportunity for the person to share openly, to explain what they’ve said so I don’t give bad counsel, and also to show them that I’ve listened well.

We Need One Another

As Christians, we are called to one another each other which isn’t easy as some people face intense periods of anxiety and depression. Such people often feel like they are being crushed by such feelings. I can empathize with such a feeling because sometimes it feels like I’m walking down those halls myself. In such times I have to remember I need to practice what I’ve written here and taught elsewhere. I also need to open up, stop shutting down, and share what’s going on with me with others. Then I need to listen to those around me who I’m opening up to about what they see in my life. That’s hard. It’s often difficult to remain quiet and have people speak into our lives. And yet as Christians, we’re taught to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19)

Wherever you are today, you have a great need of Christ. Christ desires more than ever to meet you right where you need for He cares for you. As Christians, we have One in Jesus who calls us His friend (John 15:15). He doesn’t leave us to ourselves; instead, He promises never to forsake us for He is our very present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1; Hebrews 13:5).

God with us not against us, and how He cares for us helps me to face each day. Such biblical truth also helps me to realize that each day is new and each day has an end. And very slowly over a lot of years gone by the Lord continues to massage these truths deeper and deeper into my life. And the deeper they go, the more joy-inducing they are. There is so much joy to be had in the Lord, since, He loves His people so much.

Last Thoughts

As you see Jesus as your supreme treasure each moment of each day, you’ll begin to fight the fog of depression and discouragement. Instead of feeling all alone, you’ll start to see yourself as part of the family of God. You’ll also begin to learn that others are facing the same fight as you are in the Body of Christ. And that should encourage you that you are not alone. You are walking alongside them with the Lord and His help. After all, we all need one another, but supremely we need to know that Jesus is all we need and He is for us.

As you either begin or continue to see Jesus as your supreme treasure each moment of each day, you’ll start to fight the fog of depression and discouragement. Instead of feeling all alone, you’ll start to see yourself as part of the family of God. You’ll also begin to learn that others are facing the same fight as you are in the Body of Christ. And that should encourage you that you are not alone. You are walking alongside them with the Lord and His help.

During days when the darkness threatens to overtake me, I’m reminded I’m not my own; I was bought at the price of the blood of Jesus and given new life through the resurrection. I belong to Christ; I am now in Christ. I who was dead in my sins and trespasses have been made alive together with Christ. These truths are ones that should cause your perspective to be changed. These truths also should cause us to turn our attention away from ourselves and to Christ who alone is sufficient for our every need. You and I need more of Christ. We need to look to Him, to behold Him, and to find Him to be our supreme treasure and delight. Please join me in continuing to look to Christ. There you’ll find He is all you need and more since in Christ, the God-Man all the fullness of God dwells bodily to the praise of our Triune God.

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