When Life Gets You Down
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."1
A Daily Encounter reader, who had anything but peace in her heart, writes, "I'm a follower of Jesus, but I'm tired of being lonely, depressed and stressed out. I want to be happy and enjoy life, and not be so miserable. I also want to be a better mother to my children, and to have my family back together again."
Hello Susan (name changed), unfortunately, both for Christians and non-Christians, there are times when life does get us down, and we need help to get up again. When we are down and feel miserable, we need to understand the causes for our blahs—causes that may be physical, spiritual, relational, and/or emotional, or a combination of any or all of these. Let's take a quick look at each of these areas:
Physical. At times like this, it pays to have a good physical examination by your doctor to make sure there is nothing wrong physically, or if there is a chemical imbalance in your body. Either one of these can be a cause of misery and depression.
Spiritual. It is also important to make sure your life is right with God and that you are living in harmony with his will. For instance, unresolved guilt can cause havoc with one's emotions. Thus, any and all sins need to be confessed and resolved so that you know in your heart that you have been forgiven by God. See below for further help in this area.
Relational. Quite possibly, the number one reason for unhappiness in life is impaired relationships. Thus, wherever possible, it is critical that any and all impaired relationships are resolved. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to resolve broken relationships especially when the other person involved isn't interested in fixing the relationship or has died. Even the Bible acknowledges that it isn't always possible to live at peace with everyone.2 When this is the case, it is imperative that we do all that we can to resolve our side of the conflict and not harbor any negative, hurt, or angry feelings. Sometimes professional counseling is needed at times like this.
Emotional. Furthermore, if one's depression is long-standing and the cause is not physical, relational, or spiritual, it is advisable to see a skilled professional counselor. For suggested helps in this area check our website for counseling resources at: http://www.actsweb.org/counseling_resources.php
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I am feeling down, miserable, lonely, sick and/or depressed, please help me to see the real cause/s—including any unresolved issues within me—and lead me to the help I need to resolve my problem. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
For additional helps:
For spiritual help be sure to read "Forgiveness: the Power That Heals" at: http://tinyurl.com/forgive-to-heal and/or the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at www.actsweb.org/christian.
For emotional help, see articles on our website at: www.actsweb.org/recovery.
1. Colossians 3:15 (NIV).
2. Romans 12:18 (NIV), "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."