Sorrow or Joy?
“I’m Tired, I’m worn. My heart is heavy, from the work it takes, to keep on breathing. I've made mistakes. I've let my hope fail. My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world. (Tenth Avenue North, Worn). These lyrics exemplify the burden of depression felt by many Christians across the globe. If you battle this monster too, then let me show you how to win with Jesus. “I know that you can give me rest. So I cry out with all that I have left.”
I had just come from the doctor. I was tired of crying in secret. I had a strong and seemingly happy persona that I couldn't maintain any longer. I left that office with a script for antidepressants. Surely there was hope and happiness in this little pill. After months of taking this, I felt no sadness, nor happiness. One day I sat on the side of my bed and stared at the tiny elixir. I thought, “Is there anything better than this?” A gentle and kind voice answered, “Yes, my child, let me show you.” It startled me to the point that the white concoction fell from my pale hand and onto the floor, never to enter my body again. Jesus sent me on a journey that I pray you will take.
I battled moderate depression from childhood. I also did not believe that the Savior of the world understood anything about depression or could deliver me of it. But that morning led me to a way out. The answer was in Matthew 26: 36-42. Jesus went to the garden with his disciples to pray. He was about ready to pay the ultimate price for our sins. Jesus, in his flesh, didn't want to do it. Let’s look at verse 38. “Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (NIV) The Amplified says he was sad and deeply grieved. New Living says crushed with grief and the King James says exceedingly sorrowful. Depression is defined as a state of feeling sad, unimportant, and hopeless. Jesus was depressed about what he had to do. However, Jesus didn't stay there.
I had to know. What did Jesus do to get out of this heaviness, this worrisome state of mind? Read on to verse 39. “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Oh, did you catch that? Let me show you again. “GOING A LITTLE FARTHER, HE FELL WITH HIS FACE TO THE GROUND AND PRAYED.” If you were sitting with me now, we could jump up and down with excitement and thankfulness. The answer to this battle is so simple. Fall on your face; fall on the grounded Word of God and pray!
Jesus was given grace. He wasn't delivered from the cross and persecution that you and I put him through. He asked for deliverance and was given peace, comfort, love and grace. These last for eternity. Our circumstances are temporary. Remember Psalms 30:5, “Weeping may come in the night but joy comes in the morning.”
Don’t stay in your sadness. Jesus fought the battle of depression already. Walk by his example. Get on your face in the Word of God and pray often. Then dance, sing and get ecstatic. Because of Jesus, I will never be the same again. Peace and joy will always be mine. It can be yours too!