8.27.2007

Faith-filled Optimism

Let’s face it, we all get depressed at times, it is part of being human. However, as with all things, when it becomes excessive, depression characterized by dramatic mood swings, loss of interest in things one used to do and becoming lethargic is very detrimental to our overall health. In recent years, I have heard depression in the confessional many times.

Unfortunately, those of us who do suffer from this ailment and have been diagnosed as being clinically depressed, question the reason for living. Some might ask, "Is there hope?" Yes, there is. It is summed up in one word; FAITH. And what is Faith?

Well, according to Hebrews; "It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen"(11.1), in layman's terms, it is believing in what you can't necessarily see, feel or touch, but knowing that it is there and will be beneficial for you.

Remember when you may have fallen of your bike as a kid and after your mom nursed the bruise she tells you "let me kiss it so the pain goes away..."? Well as adults, we know that didn't necessarily make the hurting stop...per se, but in being told that, as kids we automatically believed "Well, if mommy says it'll go away by kissing it, then I believe it will...” The trick is the second part of that thought is what made it happen! Believing that what mom said she'd bring about will happen!

Evidently, kids in their innocence come by a natural ability to live by faith. We all were graced with this gift at our birth, but sadly the it dissipates, leaving room for such negative forces as depression, doubt, self-hatred, you name it.

It's no wonder Jesus said "To enter the Kingdom of heaven, you must be like little children..." He went on to say: "The kingdom of Heaven is within you" (Luke 17:20-21) Wow...what a statement! Now as powerful as faith is and as necessary as it is to overcoming depression, it needs to be exercised wisely to be strengthened.

Here are some tips:
1. Always act like it is impossible to fail, believe that it always works.
2. Pre-condition your mind to success in all things.
3. Realize that even the most positive people have losses, set-backs, etc.
4. Try, really try! Think, really think! Believe, really believe!
5. Perhaps most importantly, some things are are too much to bear alone and sound medical advice and counsel are always aids to a healthy you. (Please check Comment below from Tiber Jumper)

You are what you are and will be where you want to be based on your thoughts. Admittedly, it may not always be easy, but that is what life is all about and one comforting fact is God has promised in His word: “No temptation (problem) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (tested) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (problem) will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Think on that, strengthen your faith with the tips above and you too will soon be overcoming depression.