Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

The water was a brilliant blue and green. On my birthday this year, I visited my first New England beach. If you know me well, you know I love the beach. I even collect sand. Right now, my desk is littered with jars of sand, needing to find a permanent home. Every beach I remember visiting (I got started young) has made a home in my heart.

When my family discovered Nahant Beach outside Boston, I didn’t know I was going to discover the prettiest water that I remember seeing. The shallow water danced under the sun with a magical green tint, and as the shoal grew in depth, the water grew to a postcard-worthy blue. Gorgeous. It wasn’t until later that I realized I needed help seeing the brilliant colors of the water.

When I took off my sunglasses for a few minutes and glanced at the water, I saw how “normal” the water looked—blue with only a touch of green visible. When I put my sunglasses back on, I could see the beauty again. The glasses cut out the sun’s glare, and the brown tint enhanced the gorgeous color of the water. Without help, the colors were masked to my eyes, but with my sunglasses, I could see the fullness of the beauty before me.

As we walk through life, we can appreciate the beauty and goodness around us—God’s creation, the fellowship of family and friends, the activities at church, and the accomplishments at work or at home. But heartaches, trials, and spiritual harassment can diminish the color we see in life. What is truly beautiful begins to appear “normal,” and the colorful shades of daily life become darkened. The weight of life’s burdens can grow to the point that we become depressed, and the beauty that we once appreciated becomes masked.

We need God’s “glasses.” To overcome depression, we need to see life—with its burdens and trials—from His perspective. We need to see life as God does, with its beauty and good things. Our spiritual enemy wants us to focus on our problems and what we don’t have. God wants us to focus on Him and have faith that He will help us and provide for us. When we view life from God’s perspective, we can once again see the beauty that He has put in our lives, and we can remember all the good things that give us joy and strength.

So are you wearing God’s Son-glasses today?  If you’re going through some spiritual depression right now, search His Word for good promises that you can hold on to, and ask the Lord to help you to see your life from His vantage point. What good is God working in your life? How do your family and friends bless you? What good gifts has God given? How can you give what’s good to others? When we shift our focus from burdens to God, we have reason to flourish in joy, and we have motivation to share the goodness of God with others. He makes life beautiful and worth living.

Do you think seeing life from God’s perspective would help someone overcome depression? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you do, thank you in advance for sharing insights into how to overcome this difficult bondage. Many people battle spiritual depression, but God is great enough to help us overcome it.

 

© Copyright 2016 by Katy Kauffman

 

This post is the first one in our Breaking the Chains series to address the bondage of depression. Because this subject and the spiritual, mental, and emotional battle that go with it are precious topics to me, I want to take some time to offer encouragement and steps to overcoming depression. Look for more on this topic this summer.

 

Seven writers. Twelve past posts. Check out these posts in our Breaking the Chains series:

1.              Loosening the Grip of Fear

2.             Silencing Guilt

3.             Breaking the Chains of Unforgiveness

4.             Hoping for a Happy Ending (Overcoming hopelessness)

5.             Easing the Gnaw of Loneliness

6.             Disarming Enslaving Thoughts

7.             Pride’s Dirty Little Trick

8.            Escape the Prison of Worry

9.            Don’t Be a Mad Monkey on a Light Pole (Overcoming anger)

10.          Escaping the Rut (Overcoming bad habits)

11.           Overcoming Legalism

12.          The Art of Staying Positive (Overcoming a critical spirit)

 

depression, hope, the right perspective, God’s perspective, Breaking the Chains: One Way to Overcome Depression

Comments (12)

  • anon

    I like your metaphor of "Son-glasses." Thanks for this!

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Heather!
     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    I enjoy reading your blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Psalms 42:11 states, "Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in Yahweh (God), for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my Elohim" (HCSB).

     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Humberto! Putting our hope in God is a sure way to walk in victory and renewed joy. It may not be an easy road to walk, but He helps us every single time we cry out to Him. Thank you for sharing that verse.
     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    A lovely reminder to depend on God to help us see life as it truly is--beautiful. It is easy to get stuck on the negative, but choosing to put on our God "glasses" is a great visual.

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Ginger, and it's too easy to get caught up in negativity. I'm glad you liked the visual too. I want to keep my "glasses" on!
     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Katy, this is a beautiful, powerful post. Thank you. My entire world crumbled around me almost 2 years ago when I discovered my husband's adulterous affair with my best friend. I cannot describe the brokenness that fell upon my heart. But in learning to think on those things which are lovely and pure and worthy of praise - keeping my focus on Jesus, learning to rest in Him and His goodness - the peace of God stays with me. When I take the Son-glasses off and let the guard upon my heart and thoughts down, I spiral quickly to that place of depression. It's a daily choice, sometimes moment by moment, but if I follow God's instructions to bring my thoughts captive to Him, He gifts me with His perfect peace.

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    My heart aches that you went through that, Jan. I appreciate what you said about how to have peace - keeping our focus on Jesus, resting in Him and His goodness, etc. Those things really do work. I'm praying for you as you minister to people through the written word, and may God keep your heart close to His. Day by day, we do have a choice of what we let our minds dwell on. 
     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    I am certain that seeing life from God’s perspective helps overcome depression. I've struggled with depression for 30 years, but I found victory over it through focusing on the hope God brings. That hope kept me alive for so many years, and it brought me into victory over depression. Today, that hope allows me to thrive even though the struggle never fully goes away. The impetus behind my blog is really this truth, and I hope that comes through in all that I write.

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you, Kari, for sharing about your struggle and victory. May God bless your writing and use it to help many hearts! Hope is a key to emotional survival. Focusing on God is what helps my heart when I start to feel discouraged. Thank you for your comments!
     

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Katy, What a beautiful post. I don't like to admit that I have suffered from depression off and on since I was a teen. Christians shouldn't be depressed, right? What a lie! 
    These are the things that have helped: God and His word, prayer, counseling, and at one point, medication. I mention medication because there tends to be a negative stigma for Christians who've needed to take meds for depression. 

    Jul 06, 2016
  • anon

    Thank you for your comments, Beckie. Medication is needed for so many conditions, and it's my hope that Christians don't shy away from using it for depression when they need it. I am careful to mention that these posts have been talking about spiritual depression. I believe in taking medicine it's needed! I also know that some depression is caused by the enemy and God helps us to overcome those trials through the things you named. Thank you for sharing those. May God strengthen your heart and help you as you seek to encourage others!
     

    Jul 06, 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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