Feel God's Comfort
Wrap up in a Warm Blanket from the Dryer
A woman once told me how she spends time with God each day. First, she throws a blanket in the dryer to warm it up. Then she wraps herself in the warm blanket to read her Bible and pray because it’s like receiving a warm hug from God each day. I hope this message is like a warm hug from God to you.
Go ahead, grab a warm blanket from the dryer if you want one.
Depression can take you lower than you ever thought possible and can last longer than you think you can endure. I know, because I’ve suffered through the depths and lengths of depression for more than thirty years.
I feel your pain. I really do. I’m sorry you feel this way, but I’m glad you’re seeking help. The fact that you are reading this indicates you want to get well. That’s a hopeful step. At least you have hope that you can get better and you’re trying to learn how. That’s a huge step. Welcome to the world of hope!
If you struggle with depression, I want you to know four things.
God loves you.
God knows you.
God is with you.
God is in control.
Before we begin, let me pray for you:
Lord, you see the one reading this text and you know his or her name. You see the darkness clouding his or her life. It makes you sad. You feel the pain, too. You know how this child of yours feels right now. You are the source of all hope, so begin to part the clouds of depression enough for your child to see a ray of hope. As you penetrate the darkness, clear the mental fog to help the reader concentrate on these words and comprehend them. Thank you that you are always with us, even in darkness and that nothing can separate us from your love. Amen.
God Loves You
No matter how depressed you feel, God loves you. We have the mistaken assumption that when life is going well, it’s a sign of God’s blessing, and when life is not going well, it’s somehow the removal of God’s hand of blessing on our lives. That’s simply not true.
This lie goes back so far that the Apostle Paul addressed this point in his letter to the Roman Christians who were suffering persecution. They wanted to know, if we’re experiencing trouble of any kind, does that mean God doesn’t love us?
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? . . . No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37, NLT).
Paul’s answer? Baloney. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from God’s love. God loves us whether life is smooth sailing and starry skies or whether we’re in the midst of the mother of all storms. Our circumstances are not a reflection of God’s love for us.
Cling to the truth of God’s love. No matter how dark your life seems, God’s love for you is a light for your soul. Hold on to the light and don’t let go.
I don’t know where you’re at in your relationship with God, but your ability to feel and comprehend God’s love will grow over time. God loves you more than you can imagine so ask him to increase your awareness of his love. Again, I pray for you, with the words of the Apostle Paul:
God Knows You
Depression often comes with isolation. Feeling lonely and forgotten is a miserable feeling. It’s valid to feel lonely, but you don’t have to stay in that awful place. God knows you more intimately than you know yourself. He knew you before he even formed you in the womb. He knows your thoughts. He knows where you are. He knows the number of your days and what each one holds in store. God knows you and loves you. That’s a powerful combination.
Yes, you feel depressed and lonely, but the God of the Universe calls you his friend (John 15:15). That’s a powerful friend to have on your side!
I know what you’re thinking because I’ve thought it, too: But God doesn’t have skin and can’t give me a hug. How can I have a relationship with someone I can’t see or feel?
Okay, God doesn’t have skin, but he does want to engage in two-way conversation with you. He wants to assure you of his love and presence, just like any good friend. Now is a great time to listen for God’s voice. It’s quiet and probably buried under the noise of negative thoughts. Quiet your mind and ask God, “Do you love me? What do you want to say to me?”
For now, let me leave you with the wonderful words of David:
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” (Psalm 139:1-6, NLT).
God Is with You
Not only does God love you and know you intimately, he is with you even in the darkness of depression. He will not abandon you in the darkness: “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5, NLT).
When we’re in the depths of depression, it feels like we need to find our way back to God. We grope around in the darkness wondering where God is, but he’s right there with you. In fact, you couldn’t run away from God if you tried!
Continuing the thoughts in Psalm 139, David writes:
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grace, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you” (Psalm 139:7-12, NLT).
I want you to make note of those words. “Even in darkness I cannot hide form you” Even in the darkness of depression, God is there with you. Any thoughts to the contrary are lies of the devil.
God is with you. Have we settled this matter yet? No matter how bad it gets for you—and depression can be rough—God is with you. Take a look at these beautiful words of reassurance from God:
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your Savior. . . . you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:2-4, NLT).
No matter how bad it gets, God will be with you. You are precious to him and he loves you.
God Is in Control
Sometimes it easier to accept that God loves me, knows me, and is with me, than it is to accept this one, but no matter how bad it gets, God is in control.
Does that mean God is in control of my depression? Yes. He already knows when it will end, how you will cope with it, and what will help you most.
Why might God allow us to go through periods of depression? Perhaps he wants to use this time to deepen your relationship with him. After all, we tend to rely on ourselves until we run out of options so sometimes God has to let us run out of options to get us to come to him.
He also uses depression to help us grow into the person he wants us to become and so we can later come alongside others with the words of encouragement God has given us when we experienced trouble.
God knows you can get through this or he never would put you in this situation. He knows how much you can handle and for how long. God knows you, remember? God also loves you! So, if the God who knows and loves you is in control of your depression, then don’t you think you can relax a little?
Stop struggling against the darkness. Rest. Let God love you. Let God help you grow through this time. This experience is part of God’s grace for you. It’s part of the process of shaping you into the person he wants you to be.
Imagine God is carving an ugly piece of stone to reveal the shining diamond inside—YOU! Sometimes it takes a few hard knocks to reveal your sparkle.
Peter wrote to Christians suffering persecution, explaining:
“My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12b, NLT).
You might also be interested in Gratitude Breakthrough: Let God Transform You by Changing the Way You Think. Available at Amazon and other booksellers.