“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame… For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed — always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” ~2 Cor. 4:1-2; 6-10; 16-18
Many times in my life I have struggled with depressed spirits. These times often follow periods of stress, tension, emotional struggles, or busy periods of time. With each one, however, I ask myself why even these circumstances would cause me to doubt God’s ultimate plan and purpose, for that is all that depression is: a spirit that is troubled because the focus is not on God, but on our own cares and worries. Yet all the powers of this feeble world cannot overcome the light that is within us. Tortures that make us cringe at the thought of so much pain carry the force of a feather against these verses. For what can man do against the Spirit of the Lord? I am in no way saying that you won’t experience any pain or struggle. In fact, unfeeling as it may sound, I pray that you would suffer pain and torture for Christ’s sake, for through such trials you will be purified and refined and you will be given a crown of glory in heaven. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, the grace of God is a costly grace: “costly because it calls us to follow, and grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. Costly because it costs a man his life, and grace because it gives a man the only true life.” Depression is but a tool of Satan to distract us by directing our thoughts to earthly troubles rather than heavenly power. Do not let the things of this world come first: career, marriage, finances. Instead make the Lord your focus and let your job be a way of showing the diligent, faithfulness of Christ. Let your marriage be a way of expressing the love and devotion which Christ showed to His errant sheep. Finally, let the way you handle your finances demonstrate the way that Christ provides for His Church. Do not lose heart, brothers, for though the battle seems long and painful to us now, the grace of the Lord is sufficient to carry us through it all and bring us to a land that is free of pain and sorrow and instead is full of joy in the presence of the Lord. How precious is that thought! May you rest always on His promises and may you hide them in your heart and remember them in you darkest hours. May His name be glorified!
Your brother in Christ,