The Pit of Depression
The question often comes up: Why are women more prone to depression than men? According to one study, women have twice the risk. Why? Men and women share identical family backgrounds, have similar bodies and genetics, and have access to the same emotions. What's more, challenges, heartaches and trauma come to both sexes. Although many factors may be in play, one highly instructive distinction should be considered: the difference between oppression and depression.
Oppression and depression are conditions that can occur in any life "under attack" by unwanted events, unhealthy relationships, or as-yet-unhealed abuse from the past. Both conditions describe a heart and mind weighed down by a wide array of negative emotions. Nevertheless, a crucial difference exists.
If persons under emotional assault holds onto hope of any kind, they can bear up under the pressure and keep moving forward with their lives. Life for them, though not ideal, still feels doable and holds the promise of a better day. This describes oppression. The shift into depression happens when an oppressed individual begins losing hope that things will ever change for the better. Could it be that men, due to their work orientation, tend to believe that they can work their way through any set of problems? And that this hope (right or wrong) protects them against feeling depressed. The power of hope is even more powerfully applied when it is anchored in the Lord.
For the person letting go of hope, each new assault slides them deeper into the pit of depression. How different it is for those who refuse to let go of hope! They can withstand the same load of problems and emotional assault without sinking into despair or depression, because they are learning how to persevere with an active faith that keeps their hope alive. Despite the weight of troubles upon them, they are living as genuine overcomers and are actually climbing out the other side of the pit.[i] Anyone can do this!
Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 ESV
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
So that... we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:18-19 ESV
Forgive me Father that in the pain and darkness of depression and despair, I have been letting go of the hope that You have given me. My hope was never meant to be in me or in my circumstances; it is in You and in the reality of Your unending love and never-failing plans to give me a future and a hope. I renounce all my previous unbelief in You and Your promises of love and redemption. I repent of focusing on myself in self-pity. I choose by an act of my will to fight to hold on to every hope that Jesus shows me in Your Word.
[i] 1 John 5:4: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith; Revelation 21:7 WEB: He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.
Next Illustrated Insight
Plans A, B and C
Illustrating how God's plans always include a fresh start from any fresh disaster.
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