Depression is a serious thing that can affect many people, especially (for some reason) this time of year. I've always wondered why that is. Haven't you?
Maybe it's because we're heading into the colder winter months when daylight hours are shorter. Or maybe this time of year stirs hurtful memories from the past that we would much rather suppress than deal with.
Whether you deal with depression yourself, or you know someone who does, there's an important concept that can help REFOCUS and REDIRECT our minds in the right direction and keep those dangerous feelings from grabbing hold of us...
"The seeds of depression cannot take root in a grateful heart!" - Andy Andrews
This important phrase is more than just a clever quote from a motivational speaker. When we dig deeper we realize there is a lot of truth contained within these simple words.
First, someone doesn't just start out being depressed. Things happen or words are said, and those things turn into thoughts in our heads that can "take root" IF we allow them to. Well, how do we keep them from taking root? By maintaining a grateful heart and attitude.
We've all heard this phrase..."Count your blessings"...haven't we? It's much the same thing. When we're down about this, or grumpy about that...if we'll practice the exercise of writing out a list of all the things we have to be thankful for, we'll realize we have many more positive things in our lives than negative. It helps us put things into perspective.
God tells us in His Word, Philippians 4:4, to "Rejoice in the Lord always: and AGAIN I say rejoice!" Not only does He tell us to rejoice; but He says it again...REJOICE. In other words: RE-JOY. When thoughts of depression try to find a home in your mind do what God says: Re-JOY and if once isn't enough...do it again!
The JOY of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and joy
resides in the heart of every born again believer, every person who has made Jesus their Lord and Savior. Joy, along with all the other fruit of the spirit: love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control, all become part of you when Jesus takes residence in your heart. If you haven't done that, what better time to do it then at Christmas?
(Salvation Prayer to Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior) After all, that is why we celebrate Christmas!
Jesus came to give life and life more abundantly (John 10:10)...part of that life is JOY. Jesus bore our grief on the cross when He died for us (Isaiah 53: 4-6). Depression is a form of grief; Jesus defeated that at the cross and you don't have to live a life of depression. Now that is good news! That is something to be grateful and thankful for; in fact...that is something to rejoice and re-joy about!
So when negative or depressing thoughts come your way (in the form of seeds) keep them from taking root in YOUR heart by having and maintaining a grateful heart. Rejoice and again I say RE-JOY!
The seeds (thoughts) will still come, but if they can't find a place to become rooted, they won't grow and they won't stay around. A grateful heart is one where those negative/depressing thoughts simply can not take root. Choose Joy this Christmas!