Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Depression: Do We Have a Choice?

Did you know that we CAN (and do) choose how we are going to feel?  I put this chart together as a way to visualize what I have learned in God's word so far about how stress plays into our lives and how we can choose to respond.  The paths we have to choose from lead to two very different places.  Here's the hard truth that we MUST realize:  If I choose to worry, then I have chosen to NOT trust God.  If those of us that battle with depression could truly grab a hold of that one truth, it would revolutionize our walk with the Lord and He would cure the depression.  I STRONGLY encourage you to look up each of these verses and let the Word of God change your life!  I have this chart hanging in my office at work to remind me what choices I need to make every day so that I experience peace instead of depression.  Feel free to print one for yourself as a constant reminder to choose peace!    This is not an exhaustive list.  One thing that I have found critical is being quick to repent when I find myself going down path 2.  When I choose worry instead of trust, I have sinned and immediate repentance is the only thing that will pull me off that path.  Do you trust God?  Let's show our trust by having joy in trials instead of worrying about them.  Worry is NEVER OK.  Do we have a choice?  Absolutely!  These verses merely scratch the surface. I would love to hear from you!  What are some verses that you have found helpful as you deal with stress in your life?  Share them in the comments space!


  1. Melissa, I agree with your article to a certain extent. However, choosing not to worry is not always the answer. People who struggle with anxiety disorders or OCD can't just turn off the worry. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes the brain to replay the thoughts in their head over and over again.
    I have struggled with this condition for years. I have felt so guilty because people have told me the same thing that you said above. Why can't I just forget it? Why can't I just trust God.I went through 3 years of depression brought on by the sheer guilt of what my anxiety was doing to me.
    I didn't want to struggle, didn't want to doubt, I prayed and would beg God to take the thoughts from me, and they would not go away.
    Yet I knew he was with me and he was helping me through my struggle.

    I agree with you if you are struggling with depression or worry because life has just gone crazy that you need to just turn things over to God. That you have a choice in those situations to choose to trust, or choose to sin.

    I trust God to help me with my struggle. I trust him to give me strength, and I trust him to lift me up. I know he is always with me and that he is taking care of my situation. I probably pray more than most because of the fear my brain generates. I refuse to let my anxiety control my life.

    I have come to realize through the years that my anxiety disorder and the stress that it causes me is not a sin. It is a medical condition, and God knows my struggle. God is my loving and generous father who helps me to find strength and peace amidst my struggle. The sin would be if I ever stop leaning on him in the midst of my struggle.

    My anxiety is my thorn in the flesh, that God has used to draw and keep me close to him.

  2. Thank you for sharing that hope for others who struggle with medical conditions. I in no way intended to downplay that, as I deal with my own issues. I know there is definitely a time for medication. I don't believe for a second that an uncontrollable physical disorder is a sin. God is the great physician who can carry you through that. I do believe, as in your life, that medical help must be done in tandem with spiritual help. I should have included that in my blog in hindsight and apologize for appearing insensitive. :(

    What you said at the end is exactly what my point is.... choose to let it draw you closer to God so you can have His peace as you go through the storm. For me, that involves a moment by moment choice to not worry and quick repentance when I do according to Philippians 4:6-7 and Proverbs 12:25.

  3. I also have four other blog posts from July and August where I began this "series" that explains a lot better where I'm coming from if you'd like to read them. This was more of a follow-up to those, and again is simply what my story is and how God is helping me through.

  4. I will read them Melissa. =) I was not offended, nor did I think you were being insensitive. I merely wanted to point out the medical side of things as well. I love your chart and I actually cling to many verses to help me cope.

  5. Thanks Joni, I sincerely appreciate the feedback! :)