Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Life is hard. For many of us, just getting out of bed every morning can be a battle. What bad news awaits us online or at the office? What’s the doctor going to say this time? It’s so much easier to just become numb to the world and the optical illusions it has to offer. The hits that keep coming can cause us to end up in a downward spiral, sinking deeper and deeper into sleepless nights and agitated days. And no Christians are talking about it. As one pastor in my hometown said, “Depression is arguably the skeleton hidden in many Christian closets.”
Thankfully, there are some believers speaking out about the toll that depression and anxiety can take on your lives and how to keep going when you feel like you can’t. Here are three resources that can give you the tools you need to start healing.
Title: Anxious for Nothing
Author: Max Lucado
America is filled with anxious people. There are so many opportunities and there is so much information at our fingertips that is too hard to process it all. Anxious people often try to control their environments as much as possible. Max Lucado offers a path to depending less on ourselves and more on God when we are anxious using the following method:
C-Celebrate God’s Goodness
A-Ask God for help
L-Leave your concerns with Him
M-Meditate on the good things
Having this mind shift helps literally “calm” the anxiety when it begins to build up inside. There is so much peace knowing that while we can’t be in control of most things, there is a God who loves us and is sovereign over everything.
“The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional.” (pg. 8)
“Others see the problems of the world and wring their hands. We see the problems of the world and bend our knees.” (pg. 30)
“The mind cannot at the same time be full of God and full of fear.” (pg. 32)
“As you sense anxiety welling up inside you, cast it in the direction of Christ. Do so specifically and immediately.” (pg. 86)
“No problem is unsolvable. No life is irredeemable. No one’s fate is sealed. No one is unloved or unlovable.” (pg. 123)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.” - Philippians 4:4-8
Title: Suffer Strong
Author: Katherine Wolfe
Katherine and Jay Wolfe began their marriage at the top-she as an aspiring model and he in law school, living the good life in Los Angeles. Six months after having their first child, Katherine experienced a paralyzing stroke at 26 years old. One can only imagine the adversity this couple has overcome. As Katherine describes it, she one day had to decide to “get bossy with herself and put on her big girl panties.” She knew that God could still use her family in some amazing ways, even if everything might be a little more difficult from a wheelchair. While their first book Hope Heals focuses on their story of overcoming the odds, this book sheds light on the lessons they have learned along the way, with an emphasis on clinging to God in the hardest moments and allowing Him to use you not in spite of your brokenness but through your brokenness.
“We all have invisible wheelchairs.” (ch. 1)
“Worship in its purest form doesn’t happen when everything comes perfectly together. It’s most powerful when everything is falling apart.” (ch. 3)
“The breaking of our hearts [can become] the making of our hearts.” (ch. 4)
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” (ch. 7)
“God never wounds us more deeply than He can heal us.” (ch. 10)
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…So we do not lose heart.” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16
Title: Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants
Author: Louie Giglio
We all have giants we’re dealing with in our lives. For some it’s fear. For others it’s rejection. Addition. Anger. Comfort. These giants can keep us from accomplishing all God has planned for us if we let them. By using an action-packed rendition of David and Goliath, Louie Giglio helps show us how to take these giants down. The key to it all? We are not David in the story of David and Goliath; Jesus is. It’s time for us to stop trying to be conquerors and let the One who has already won the battle take control.
Our giants are already dead. They were conquered by Jesus on the cross. (pg. 57)
“Worship and worry cannot occupy the same space…one always displaces the other.” (pg. 74)
“You are worth Jesus to God.” (pg. 102)
“The greatest regret any of us will ever know is that of standing before Jesus knowing we lived too safe, too comfortable, too short-sighted. Realizing we were gluttons for pleasure when we were supposed to be lean warriors for others’ freedom and Jesus’ fame.” (pg. 130)
“Living like a victim is defeating and imprisoning.” (pg. 165)
“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.’” - 1 Samuel 17:45-46a
Sometimes the easiest way to deal with depression and anxiety is to throw yourself on your bed, hide under the covers, and let the world pass you by. But the truth is, sleeping isn’t going to fix it. Being isolated isn’t going to fix it. Doing nothing isn’t going to fix it. All that does is let Satan win. The last thing he wants is for you to do what God designed you to do. If we learn anything from those who have persevered in these books, we need to understand that even through extremely challenging, life-altering circumstances that cause you to scream into your tear-stained pillow, you have to keep going. Even-no, especially-during these hard times, your focus needs to go to the cross. The battle has already been won. Jesus has already conquered your giants. We are here for a mission and we cannot waste away in sadness and in fear. We have a purpose, and it’s time we rise.
Looking for songs about going to God in the midst of difficult times?
Check out these songs from Red Letter Society:
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