The title of today’s devotion is Living with Fear. As someone else who also suffers with depression, the author asks questions I have often asked of myself. Does my faith really exist when I hurt? Is God really working in my life when I feel such sadness? Where is the peace God promises? Why do I need to take medicine when God has called me to a spirit of love and joy? There have been times when I have felt woefully inadequate in my faith walk because I haven’t been able to answer these questions.
I agree with the author of the devotion when she says that more time spent in prayer and Scripture eases her spirit. It eases my spirit too. Some of my favorite verses are among the verses she mentions. Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
I also like these verses from Lamentations. Chapter 3, Verses 22-26 say, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
These are good verses, and there are many more that come to mind about giving our anxieties to the Lord. God gave me something else to consider though as I was thinking about this topic. What are we supposed to do when we come in contact with someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression? Do we show them where in Scripture it says not to worry and leave them alone? Do we make them feel inadequate in their faith because they suffer from this? Do we puff ourselves up and make ourselves seem like we’re more important because we don’t have problems with anxiety or depression?
No, no, and no! There needs to be a willingness to listen and to pray with people who are hurting without condemning them. People need to know their hearts are safe with those they choose to share their hurts with. There are also Scriptures that say we are to hold each other up. Scriptures like 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
I also like Romans 15:5-6 which says, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice, you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And finally, from John 15:12. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
God calls us to love each other and hold each other up and not make it seem like we’re better than anyone else if we don’t suffer from anxiety or depression. He also calls us not to have a spirit of fear, but I think we can do that much better when we are listening to each other and praying for each other; in other words, holding each other up.
God’s blessings on all of you today!