By Sarah Frazer, Crosswalk.com
Why am I so tired? I looked at the clock and sighed. Most of the morning was gone and I had to fix my family breakfast before I even had time to breathe or pour my coffee.
Maybe it was the weather with the rain and dark clouds. Either way, I was tired of being tired. The coffee wouldn’t give me the boost of energy I needed. So I just went to my desk and opened my Bible. The reading plan had me in Numbers and 1 Corinthians. Both passages felt dry, uninteresting, and definitely didn’t encourage my heart.
Depression has a tendency to make everything dreary, worn, and just plain hard. It’s hard to go to sleep at night. It’s hard to get up in the morning. The daily mundane tasks feel lifeless and completely pointless.
Depression Is Only a Chapter, Not the Whole Story
Depression has been part of my story, but it is not the whole story. As a writer, I think in terms of words, sentences, paragraphs, and plot lines. Looking over my life, I wonder what God is up to when He pens certain chapters of my story. In the season of deep depression I didn’t see God’s hand. In fact, I wondered whether He even existed and if He did, did He care?
Have you ever felt this way? Like depression is taking over your ability to feel anything good?
Much like the disciples in the boat in Mark 4:35-41, I asked the Lord, “Do you even care that I’m going to die?” Jesus’ response to His friends, whom He loved, is the same answer He gives us. Don’t be afraid.
One night some years ago I was really struggling with the depression. It was overwhelming me and I could feel the anxiety stir inside my heart. I got up and opened up my journal. I was desperate.
My life had been turned upside down. The circumstances surrounding our family were crazy and I couldn’t see the light for the life of me. I questioned every single decision I had made leading up to that night. Where was God? I thought He had led me here. Instead of feeling secure and safe, I felt afraid and abandoned.
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Keep a Gratitude Journal Especially When Darkness Creeps In
So I took out my pen and began to write out 100 things I was thankful for. They were simple things at first. Then I began to look at who God was. I saw He was still good, still promised to be with me, and His love would never abandoned me. My feelings would come and go, and the depression might linger, but God would never leave.
On that dark night He gave me Micah 7:8 “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” You see, God sits with us in the dark. I felt alone in my dark season, but God was with me. I couldn’t see His hand or understand the path He had taken me on, but I could trust He was there. The Bible was true and I could choose to trust, even when my heart doubted.
Can we begin to practice radical gratitude in our daily lives? Will you commit to writing down things you’re thankful for, right in the midst of your depression?
Depression may linger, but it doesn’t have to win.Our hearts can be radically grateful because of God’s radical love.
7 Reasons for Gratitude from Psalm 107
Psalm 107 gives us a blueprint for how to give thanks even in the hardest of seasons. Vanquish depression in your heart today with these seven simple truths:
1. Gratitude for Grace
2. Gratitude for Guidance
Psalm 107:7 says, “And He led them forth by the right way...” God will never leave us to find the way on our own. What a great God to give us direction when we ask for it.
3. Gratitude for Goodness
Psalm 107:8 says, “O that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness..” God’s goodness is not tied to blessings. God’s goodness is good whether we can see it or not. He is good because that’s just who He is.
4. Gratitude for Freedom
Psalm 107:14 says, “He brought them out of darkness…” God will shine a light into our night and we can praise Him as He reveals little specks of light.
5. Gratitude for Gushes of Water
Psalm 107:35 says, “He turns wilderness into pools of water…” What do you need right now that you feel God is withholding? Friendship? Healing? Relief? Is God possibly sending you waters of refreshment in new ways? Give thanks for those sweet waters of mercy right now in your life.
6. Gratitude for Generations
Psalm 107:38 says, “He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly…” God has given you many people in your life. Maybe not all blood-relatives, but there are people in your life who love you. Give God praise for those people!
7. Gratitude for Graciousness
Psalm 107:43 says, “And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.” God’s gracious, lovingkindness to us is immeasurable. We can see it more clearly as we give thanks and praise to God for who He is and what He has done in our lives.
Will you give yourself the gift of a Gratitude Journal today? My friend Lisa has a wonderful free resource hereto get you started. Depression doesn’t have to have the final word. It doesn’t have to define your life or determine where you go from here.
Let’s take the advice from Psalm 107 and Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Even in depression, His mercy endures forever. He will satisfy, fill, save, break your chains, forgive your sins, calm your storms, and bring you out of your distresses. Our God turns rivers into wilderness and gives us a home with Him.
Praise Him and let the darkness vanish with the gratitude that springs up in your heart.
Sarah Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five. Although she serves in her local church, holds in-home Bible studies, and is preparing to be a full-time missionary to Honduras, her passion is to encourage women fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is also an author of several self-published resources for women. She share tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram.
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