“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us, and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever.”
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NCV)
In a previous study we concluded that depression is a natural human reaction to bad news and events, but that we do not need to stay depressed if we look for the light at the end of the tunnel: Jesus, the light of the world. This is one source of encouragement to help us maintain a positive frame of mind. There are other things one can do to lift depression. In this study let’s look at a few of these.
1. Have a good cry. One study found that ‘happy tears’ were salt water, but that ‘sad tears’ contained the same chemicals and enzymes found in tumours and ulcers, etc. The study concluded crying is one of the body’s ways of flushing out the toxic-chemicals that accumulate and are part of the sadness experience.* Even Jesus wept sad tears, and many of the Psalms speak of King David’s tears.
2. Take a walk. Exercise replenishes the oxygen to the brain and brightens the attitude and perspective, as does sleep and proper nutrition.
3. Think about good things, as Paul exhorts in Philippians 4:8, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)
4. Count your blessings. Considering those worse off than yourself makes your situation look less bleak. Remember that I Corinthians 10:13 advises us that “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV)
Rejoice in the ‘Good News’ or Gospel that presents Jesus, the Light of the world, to give us hope.
Give us faith, give us encouragement, give us hope, Father in Heaven, and strengthen us in every good word and work when things look darkest, Lord.
Study by Nancy Silcox