Years ago God whispered to me when I was sinking into depression over family problems. On certain days back then I wished I could die—that God would take home, so I didn’t have to deal with the heartaches of my life. Here is what the Lord said:
The difference between a man of joy and the one who longs to die is not the what of his troubles, but where he keeps his eyes.
Since then I have made laminated cards with that truth printed on them. I pass them out to those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts and those who are locked into a negative attitude toward life. On the back of these “pass-it-on” cards I have three Bible verses. They are:
My eyes are ever on the Lord. Psalm 25:15 NIV
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2
When I think of fixing my eyes on Jesus, I think of the cross. My suffering and my times of depression and grief cannot compare with the suffering Jesus endured there. I am reminded that he died on the cross to set me free from the hurts and heartaches this life throws my way. I still have to go through them, but because of Him I don’t have to be defeated by them.
In my experience the reason I fall into depression has to do with sin—my own and the sin of people around me.
The good news is that Jesus took all that sin on Himself on the cross. Yes, we still have to deal with the effects of sin in this world, but Jesus defeated the lasting effect of sin. It no longer sends us to hell, and it need no longer keep us bound on this earth.
These days I’m battling depression again. I’m still going through suicide grief and I’m grieving over unwise choices made by loved ones that are still living.
Another reason is that when we as writers choose to share truths about a subject to help set others free, the enemy tries to move in and tempt us with that very issue. I refuse to give in.
Instead of feeling depressed, I will return to being impressed by how much Jesus loves me and by all I am and all I have because of Him and what He did on the cross.
Are you still impressed by the love of Jesus–despite hard times?