Breaking the Chains: 9 Ways to Overcome Depression

   A nagging at the heart. A heavy fog. A stabbing pain. Although spiritual depression comes in different forms, its effects are usually the same—lost zeal and sense of purpose, subdued energy, sadness, a weakened desire to do routine things, and even doubts about our usefulness to God and His plan.

Identify the Source

   Whether I have sudden feelings of depression or they come on so gradually I don’t notice till I’m caught in a “fog,” I have to identify the cause of the depression. Sometimes it’s a prolonged, personal struggle. Sometimes it’s Satan trying to hinder me from living for God and serving Him. But as long as I don’t identify what’s going on, the fog, the nagging, the pain—it continues.

We’re Made to be Overcomers

   As new creations in Christ, God’s children are made to be overcomers. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NKJV). By Christ’s help, we can win the spiritual battles that plague us.

   So let’s break free. Since Christ has set us free from a yoke of bondage to sin and other spiritual bondage (Galatians 5:1), let’s not allow anything to keep our hearts imprisoned, including depression. Some depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and can be treated by medication. And should be. Other depression is caused by spiritual forces, external circumstances, or how we respond to sources of agitation, and by God’s help, we can overcome it!

   The next time spiritual depression tries to imprison your heart in a perpetual state of gloom, try implementing these ways to break free. God hasn’t left His children without armor (Ephesians 6:11-18), defenses (Psalm 46:1), and strategies to be overcomers.

9 Ways to Overcome Depression

1.    Ask God to help you identify the source of the depression and have His wisdom in knowing how to deal with it.

2.    See life from God’s perspective, and remember the good things that He is to you and has given you.

3.    Say no to the “wolf” by depending on God’s power to refuse Satan’s tactics in your life.

4.    Choose who you’re going to be—a victim of problems and circumstances beyond your control or a victor in Christ who rises above problems and walks with God in power.

5.    Trust God that He has a good plan for your life and the lives of those you care about.

6.    Hold on to the promises of God’s Word, and continually fill your mind with its truths.

7.    Don’t be so focused on what’s wrong that you miss the miracles God wants to work every day—the good things He does that only He can do. He works good out of evil and mends the brokenhearted.

8.    Remember there are people and valuable things (like love, truth, and justice) in this world that are worth fighting for.

9.    Remember you’re not alone in battling depression and other people need help too—maybe even those closest to you.

   This is your life. Your precious life. Don’t let depression steal your joy and energy. Don’t let Satan hinder your adventures with God. I know from experience that we can rarely “snap out of” depression. You have to fight your way out. And every inch you make in progressing toward victory, is worth the struggle.

   There’s so much to do for God while we are still on the earth. He can use us even if we’re battling depression, but as much as depends on you, fight your way to overcome it. Depend on your heavenly Father who makes victory possible. More joys and adventures are waiting to be discovered. Depend on God to be an overcomer.

This is the last post in our Breaking the Chains blog series. Thank you for reading these, and if you want to see a review of all the posts, check back here next week for a recap. To see the other two posts on handling depression, click the links above in blue. And to see a poem I wrote about spiritual and emotional healing, click here


© Copyright 2016 by Katy Kauffman

depression, spiritual depression, healing, overcomers, Breaking the Chains, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (6)

  • anon

    I'm glad you've written about this. Sometimes people think Christians shouldn't struggle with depression, but we do. The steps you have listed here are important tools for tackling spiritual depression and moving into the freedom God has for us. 

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Leigh, for saying that. God helps us with all kinds of struggles, including this one. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    Informative post, Katy. I struggle with depression. I fight it with many of the ways you suggested. One thing we all must do when fighting with depression is get a complete physical exam.  My depression increased due to menopause. Once I learned that, I combated it with diet, exercise, and Scripture.
    Thanks for bringing light to this taboo subject.

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for the added tip, Cherrilynn. To get a physical exam to find causes for depression. I am glad you were able to combat it. You bring much joy to your friends. I know because I'm one of them! Thank you for depending on God and being that kind of example. Love you. 

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    This is great godly wisdom, Katy, thank you. I agree with the other commenter about this being a 'taboo" subject. It's like people don't want to admit they're depressed, so it doesn't get addressed. I have a problem with mood swings - if someone hurts my feelings, I let it ruin that day and the day or two after that too. It's embarrassing because admitting my moodiness makes me sound weird, but it's a real issue. I was in a slump the first half of this year, but now I'm out of the fog. I am now immersing myself in a godly lifestyle and avoiding worldly distractions. Jesus was number one in my life before, but now I've taken it a step further - I've kept him as #1 but put everything else at a distant, far second. It's working well so far, thank goodness.

    Aug 23, 2016
  • anon

    Lauren, thank you for sharing. I haven't run across those yet who think it's a taboo subject, but I hear it often from others. Dealing with depression or moody days is a part of life that so many deal with, so I'm glad there is Christian family that can help the process and God's Word gives guidance. I pray God blesses your efforts to avoid distractions and put Jesus high above all other things. When life revolves around Him, it makes sense. Finally. Thank you for sharing what you're doing to follow Him and handle mood swings. It's encouraging!

    Aug 23, 2016

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Winning the Victory: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

As co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, Katy is a Bible study author and editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. Follow Katy's blog to receive posts sharing practical strategies for winning life's spiritual battles. 


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