How to Fight Depression

by Jan Silvious

A friend of mine who has battled depression all her life recently pointed to this Scripture passage and said, "These words have made a difference in my life:

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

For those who are afflicted with depression-that all-pervasive state of gloom and hopelessness that hovers over a person like a black cloud, this passage speaks of three keys to overcoming:

1. "Demolish strongholds." God says that we have the power to tear down strongholds-those protective measures we use to keep ourselves from being hurt again, those thoughts that justify an attitude of defensiveness or anger or bitterness. Strongholds are walls that keep other people out. What walls have you erected to keep your love contained and your heart untouched?

2. "Destroy arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." In our weakness of faith, we sometimes question God-His sovereignty, His love, His care. But the depressed person focuses inwardly: Is God's love sufficient to overcome my worthlessness? Is His blood sufficient to cleanse my sin?

These "pretensions and arguments are raised against the truth He has revealed-that His love is eternal and that nothing can separate us from that love, that Jesus came to shed His blood for the sins of the whole world. Yet, in his lofty speculations, the depressed person manages to make himself an exception to every rule.

3. "Take captive every thought." Thoughts can be deceptive and cunning, and need to be brought under control. The only way to do that is to say, "I choose for Christ's thoughts to be my thoughts, even if I have trouble believing them to be true." Mercifully, He has given us the power to believe the unbelievable and to recognize truth in the midst of great deception.

If you are battling depression today, I pray that you will act on this Scripture and ask God to set you free.

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