We live in a time where humanity as a race is most prosperous; this has afforded us the liberty to be in ‘control’. However, the rate of depression and anxiety has been on a steady increase and Christians have not been spared. This reveals that our perceived sense of control is, in fact, nothing but an illusion. The world remains rife with uncertainties and perplexities.
Yet, the believer is called to live carefree before God. Also, Scriptures clearly affirm that joy is the natural estate of the man in Christ. How do we navigate through these uncertainties, living the best life God intends for us?
Can a believer be depressed?
Many would not argue the possibility of anxiety, but depression?! Many confidently affirm that the believer can never get depressed. Usually, these are statements made in faith. The believer is enjoined to latch on to them and give expression to the life within him.
However, because the man in Christ is human, he may be sore pressed by life’s challenges and get depressed.
Also, he lives in a mortal body prone to emotional and mood instabilities as long as he is human. Therefore, there is the possibility of depressive disorders that are somewhat beyond his control.
Refer to article – is therapy anti-faith?
Additionally, depression and anxiety takes a hold of the heart in times of flickering convictions in God’s promises and love.
Who’s really in control, God or us?
Earlier, I mentioned that we seem to have a perceived sense of control over the world. Perhaps, our technological advancements have fobbed us into this illusion. We have premeditated ways we want things to go, and we believe it is only proper that things run on our own terms. Hence, the harsh emotional instabilities we experience when we discover that we, in fact, have little or no control.
While I am not advocating a form of fatalism and human irresponsibility; we may have stretched the converse. We may have emphasized the place of human doing at the expense of divine providence.
We often want to play God, deciding our own fate, even choosing the ‘when’ of God’s promises.
However, a soul that will live carefree and joyfully must learn to cede control to one infinitely higher and wiser – God. Hence, the apostle urges to be careful for nothing – to not fuss about things we have little control over. Rather, he asks to pray – to cease being fretful and acknowledge the one who directs providence, and can work things out for us too.
Anything worth our peace and joy?
Another reason why we often lose grip of the peace and joy we have to anxiety and depression as believers, lies in how we esteem that which we have. The Bible assures the believer of the ever-abiding presence of Christ. Thus, for example, he can keep himself free from fret knowing that he has a father who has the hairs of his head numbered. The apostle also alludes to this reality of the surpassing worth of having Christ. In his words: godliness with contentment is great gain.
We are often wooed by ephemeral things such that we lose sight of this reality, or perhaps, loosen our grip on this truth. Losing sight of the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ is a major precursor to depression and anxiety. For only that which is divine is certain and sure. Losing sight of it is putting all our eggs in the basket of the mundane, draped in uncertainties and perplexities.
To live beyond anxieties and depression, our anchor must hold in eternal things which are sure and steadfast. We must learn to continually live life, knowing that we’ve got the real deal.
And the unsaved can come into this reality by believing the gospel.
… is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?Matthew 6:25
Here, Jesus asks his disciples a crucial question, and he then enjoins them to live a life free of anxiety. What was Jesus trying to do here? Surely, he wasn’t saying eating food and wearing clothes was wrong. Rather he shows his disciples a plane of life that is not bound to these things.
The believer soon comes to learn that indeed, the life of a man consists not in the abundance of the things he possesses. Christianity gives a radically different narrative of what progress in life really is – loving God wholly and living for him. Thus, the man in Christ can indeed live carefree knowing that the standards of this world are not his.
He is of a higher order – the order of peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
What if I just can’t help it?
I am aware that depression and anxiety are medical morbidities that many often need medical intervention for, and while the role of anti-depressants, anxiolytics, and therapy cannot be minimized; we must understand and always remember that the truth of God’s word works.
The state of our minds has a direct impact on our mental health, and God’s word and principles are effective tools to get our mind frames set right. Refer to article – is therapy anti-faith?
Though life may throw jabs at the man in Christ, Jesus says: “my peace I give unto you …”. Uncertainties and fears may try to make us spiral into depression; yet the kingdom of God is in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
God’s word and principles work and he has delineated for us in them how to live carefreely and joyfully. We only need to apply our hearts to his principles.
REMAIN ANXIETY FREE AND JOYFUL!