I recently had a person ask me how to deal with the depression that so often besets people during the holidays… I thought the question and answer might be helpful to many, so here they are!
Q: The Holidays are a very bad time for me ,I suffer depression,anger,hurt, etc. (In short I dread to see them come & would like to hide in a hole till they are over)! Could you give me some advice & readings on how I can get through this time of the year better & easier? I try to be a good Christian but this time of year is very stressful ! Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated ! Thank You !
- God loves us! So much so, that He sent His Son Jesus to bear the penalty of our sin! That is a tremendous love – that outweighs all other loves AND all disappointments. “If God is FOR us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 – read the whole chapter to re-emphasize this truth in your mind!)
- Jesus took our punishment – there is no more for us to bear! Our guilt is gone and we stand “naked and unashamed” before our Creator! To enable us to be completely free of our sin so that nothing stands in the way of us being WITH God in genuine fellowship is the reason Jesus came as a little baby! It’s ample reason to celebrate!
- Jesus has given us HIS righteousness! When the Father looks at us, He only sees the goodness of Jesus – imputed/given to us as OURS! (2 Corinthians 5:21). Soak yourself in this passage as well, and see how the Lord begins to refresh your spirit with the good news of what He has made of you through Jesus!
- You have a wonderful future ahead, all because of Christ! The eternity that is ahead for believers in Jesus, will far outweigh any difficulties or depressions we face. Our hope is secure and sure! (Colossians 3:4, 1 Timothy 4:10, Hebrews 10:23, Philippians 3:13-15)
- If any of your depression stems from unresolved “wrongs” that have been done to you, go to 1 Peter 2:21-23 and soak in the truth of how Jesus handled the same thing. He was mistreated, but did not do the same in return. Instead He entrusted Himself to the Father, who is ultimately faithful to judge such things. You can rest, assured that God knows, and God will take care of the wrongs done in due time.
- Get out and do something FOR someone else this holiday season. Let the power of Jesus’ life in you reach out to impact somebody else. It’s hard to stay focused on your own sadness when you see others blessed by tangible things you’ve done for them through your faith in Christ. Make this kind of outreach an exciting thing… maybe even doing your best to keep it all completely secret! Become a distributor of Jesus’ grace to those in need – and see what Jesus does with your depression as a result!
- Adopt a new “family” if you need that. You’ve actually been given a new family in the church. Spend time with others who know Jesus well and express His joy. Enjoy the season together, truly celebrating the season of Christ’s arrival to the earth. Make some new memories of Christmas that in time, will help you to overcome the depressive feelings.