For many, the holiday season can be a time of great depression. It can bring about a great swirling cloud of emotions that threaten to take over. The good news is, you are not alone, and you are not helplessly stuck in this bog.
Depression does not have to be your normal during this holiday season. With the help of Jesus Christ, you can create a new normal for your life that is filled with hope and joy. Here are some simple steps to take action and take control over your holiday depression.
Step One: Recognize Your Depression
Recognizing you are under attack is as simple as realizing what you are feeling. If you are feeling hopeless, despair, sorrow, out of control or just down in the dumps, it is important to give voice to these feelings. Often times when the feelings begin to come, we try to push them down and ignore them. It seems easier to deal with life when we can ignore these hard to deal with feelings.
That is exactly what the enemy would have you do. When we suffer in silence and ignore our pain, the enemy uses it to attack us and bring us further down into the pit. As soon as we give a voice to our pain, we are bringing it into the light. (Ps. 42:5). Journaling or making a collage are two great ways to work through unprocessed emotions.
Step Two: Take Every Thought Captive
Depression is a sign from your soul that something is wrong, and it's important not to ignore it. Often times we have pain or trauma from our past that has not been healed, and it bubbles up in the form of anxiety or depression.
We must submit all of our thoughts and feelings to the Lord, (2 Cor 10:5) and ask Him to help us and heal us. When we give our thoughts and feelings to Jesus, we allow Him to show us what is true and what the lies we have believed are. When we are clinging to lies of the enemy that feel real, we are not being grounded in God's truth.
Write down the thoughts and feelings you are having, and then find the Scripture that combats any lies you are facing. If you feel hopeless, then look for verses on hope. If you are sad, look for verses of God's promises to the brokenhearted.
Step Three: Choose Joy
Once you have given a voice to your feelings and allowed Jesus to help you process through them, you need to step into joy. Joy is not from material things, or even from people. True joy is only from the Lord.
We must hold onto the promises Scripture is filled with. You are here for a purpose, and that purpose is greater than any suffering you may endure. Connect with God's truths and meditate on them. Even if you don't emotionally connect with the truth, keep meditating on them.
The truth is what transforms our way of thinking and renews our mind. The truth is what sets us free from bondage (John 8:32) and releases us into our identity in Christ. We must keep bringing ourselves back around to truth.
Step Four: Pray Against Attack
The devil is a prowling lion looking for someone to devour. He will use any means necessary to bring down his prey: you. If you have gone through the previous three steps and are still struggling, it is time to fight back.
Pray: Jesus Christ, the true and living Son of God, stand between me and the attack of the enemy that wishes to consume me and be my shield. Put on my armor and be the filter in which I see things through right now. Break down any barriers that are keeping me from connecting with Your love.
Jesus wants nothing more than to intercede for you (Rom. 8:34). Allow His love to bring you strength and healing and most importantly, joy. You are not alone in this battle. Jesus is with you, and His love is greater than any depression or struggle we will ever face. Jesus faced the cross so that He could take all of our pain in this world.
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