You are called by name into a room, but you don’t know what the room looks like and its completely irrelevant, because you are so fixated upon the man in front of you. You look deeply into his eyes, and are instantly engulfed into his thoughts, his ways, and you now long to know his heart. He smiles and greets you by name with a warm embrace, and instantly you feel loved, forgiven, safe, pure, valued, free from depression, free from shame and suddenly you know you are home.
You are face to face with Jesus.
What a beautiful image. I am so undone that this is just a small snap shot of what it would be like to meet our father in heaven. It is so often forgotten that these feelings are what we should be experiencing each and everyday. Over my easter weekend I had a beautifully God ordained encounter with someone who had at one point forgotten these promises, but is now on a journey to come back into Gods open embrace. She reminded and encouraged me to write this post, and reveled to me so much about the challenges of our young generation.
Depression, anxiety and suicide are currently sweeping over our generation, and are so openly glorified and accepted in our modern society. Did you know that 1 in 16 young Australians experience depression, 1 in 4 suffer from anxiety and more die from suicide than car crashes each year. Now ponder that for a moment.
“…Jesus also rose to life and brought restoration, freedom and uncontainable joy that is available to anyone, including you.”
I believe depression is a real medical condition and in the importance of appropriate mental health care. I also believe that depression is a real life problem that affects real people, including Christians. However above it all, I believe that Jesus not only died on a cross and overcame all sickness, including depression and anxiety, but Jesus also rose to life and brought restoration, freedom and uncontainable joy that is available to anyone, including you.
So what does the bible say about depression?
The bible is very clear on two things. The first is that depression is a real thing that affected real people in the bible, which is a very real book. The second is that after Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit manifested and now lives inside each of us, relieving us from any bondage we once experienced.
Many of the great leaders in the bible went through dark and depressed moments in their lives, each of which was overcome. In the old-testament Job cries out to God in times of depression and despair, and although David walked through hopeless times he always sought refuge in singing praise and worship to God. Both of these people overcame depression.
Psalms 23 is one of my favourite bible passages as it unravels the fathers heart, and reminds us that as we “ walk through that darkest valley we will fear no evil”.
The key part here is that David made it known that we walk through the darkest valley, not stand still or remain stuck, but rather pass through it into green pastures where the rivers of Gods unending joy flows and where we dwell in the fathers house forever.
“The Holy Spirit now gets to live inside each and every believer and brings us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.”
After Jesus died on a cross for all of us (including you), was raised to life and later left again to re-join the father in heaven, he left us with the Holy Spirit, which aside from his death (that brought us the freedom from law and religious ways), was the best present ever. The Holy Spirit now gets to live inside each and every believer, and brings us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. At no point does the bible say that the spirit brings fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, anger or despair. The best part here is now that this spirit is inside of us, and thanks to our father adopting us into his home ( Ephesians 2:19) we can now say goodbye to those bad things, and hello to the fruit of the spirit. What a beautiful thing.
“…he has adopted us into his kingdom, and the freedom it brings.”
What is even more beautiful, is how many times the father reminds us in his word that he has overcome (Romans 5:5), he has called us into fellowship with Jesus (Corinthians 1:9) and most importantly that he has adopted us into his kingdom, and the freedom it brings (Ephesians 1:3–14). There are so many moments in the bible steering us away from depression, and releasing us in Jesus’ name from the things that once had us bound. He calls us into something so much greater, and it is this attitude and power we as young christians should be taking on and encouraging one another with.
“…he heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds…”
Depression and anxiety are so prevelant in our society, and young people are so quick to rely upon alcohol, drugs and lust to relieve themselves of the despair, loneliness or cloud of emotions that so frequently clouds their judgement. They do this instead of jumping into Gods word, and forget to daily remind themselves that he heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds (Pslams 147:3) offering them unlimited freedom and grace is Jesus’ name.
Overall the bible makes it clearer than what we realise. Jesus has not only come, but Jesus has overcome, and he has given us the spirit to fill us with the joy and peace that those struggling so desperately long for. So if you are struggling with depression, or know someone who is, be encouraged and be proactive about pursuing a relationship with the father, because his word says that he loves you with an everlasting love and he has called you to more than what you are feeling. He is waiting for you, and the journey can start today.
You are called by name, instantly feel loved, you are home.
You are face to face with Jesus.