Depression affects more and more people in our culture every day. There are many different types of depression. Events in your life cause some, and chemical changes in your brain cause others.
In an effort to overcome depression some of us have tried forming new habits, meetings with doctors and therapists, claiming Bible verses, openly sharing with friends and still depression exists. Others of us have tried to avoid depression by finding a temporary counterfeit joy from “performance” and “success.” But that joy leaves as soon as our performance fades.
As followers of Jesus, we believe that in life there is hardship. In the Bible James writes, “Count it all joy, …when you meet various kinds of trials.” He invites us to choose joy even when all is not pleasant, because we can trust God to bring us through difficult situations for our growth.
True joy is a fruit of the Spirit. When we experience the love of God, we know that we have worth in His sight, we have the hope of being called into His service and we have strength. This strength allows us to partner with Him to fulfill His work in our world. “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
For many of us, the journey to joy and hope will involve different paths through depression. Some of us will live with depression for many years. For all of us, God is with us. His joy and His hope will never leave us and because of His faithfulness we can have joy in the midst of any hardship.
How do you choose joy?