The Christmas holiday season is a wonderful time of year for most people. Those who celebrate this season get excited about Christmas for various reasons. For some it is the idea of giving & receiving gifts. For others it is about the smells of delicious food that fills the air (soon to be eaten). Yet for others the Christmas season is about the various activities that range from singing Christmas carols, holiday parties, giving & receiving gifts, going to church, or volunteering at a shelter or nursing home. All of these are wonderful ways of expressing, sharing, and celebrating the birth of JESUS CHRIST and the tremendous love displayed through his sacrifice. However there is one very important aspect of the Christmas holidays which is often overlooked . . . depression!
Unfortunately depression among people is often at its highest during the Christmas season. There are many reasons for this. Some people are depressed because they went over their budget in their holiday shopping and now are unsure how they will pay their bills. Other are depressed because they have lost their job, business, or perhaps their home. They cannot provide for their families as they would like to. Some people have lost loved ones (either through death or separation) and the pain of their loss is often refreshed (even intensified) during this time of the year. Yet others are lonely with no one to share and enjoy the holidays with. These are just a few of the many reasons people tend to become deeply depressed during the Christmas season. Many documented studies have shown that suicide rates dramatically increase during the Christmas holidays. The Christmas season itself is such a wonderful time of the year and it almost seems impossible that such sadness and pain exist. Especially in today's world with a host of problems that range from the economy, war, politics and countless issues of great importance, many people have lost hope and thus the spirit of depression settles in.
For those who are feeling depressed, it may seem like you are all alone in your pain, but GOD is actually right there with you. The devil wants you to believe you are alone and there is no hope for things to get better. Remember the devil is a liar (there is NO truth in him). I know from personal experience it can be hard to see the sunshine when the storm is raging around you. It is important to know that even if you feel you have no strength to fight your way out of depression, GOD will help you. In fact HE is already fighting for you. Do not take my word for it . . . here is GOD's word to you . . .
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)
"He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's."
Here are more scriptures to encourage and give you hope . . .
Psalm 34:17 (NIV)
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Psalm 30:5 (NIV)
"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."
1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
"and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
Romans 8:32-39 (NIV)
"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
"I can do all this through HIM who gives me strength."
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Luke 18:1 (NIV)
"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."
Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
"Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Isaiah 51:11 (NIV)
"Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away."
Each one of us knows at least one person who is feeling down and depressed. Let's remember and pray for those who may be having a hard time seeing and feeling joy in their hearts during Christmas. May GOD's love, peace, grace, and mercy be comforting to all those who are feeling down at this moment. May their trust in GOD be strengthened knowing that HE has the power to take their situation and use it for good.
Be encouraged knowing that GOD loves you and HE has a wonderful plan for your future. Things will get better for you. If you want to believe this but have trouble finding hope, take time to find little things to thank GOD for. Go out and find someone you can help. This will help change your perspective. Perhaps you think there is nothing in your life to be thankful for. Well if you are reading this message you can be thankful you are alive, thankful you can see, thankful you can read, thankful you can understand the words . . . you can even be thankful you have access to the internet to view this message.
My friend, GOD has wonderful things ahead of you. If you believe but just are not sure what to do, just stand still, pray, watch and see the salvation of the LORD. HE is going to move positively on your behalf. There is a song called, "Always" in which the lyrics say, "forever GOD loves you always . . . Don't worry, HE will be there always . . . and just because you've had some bad days . . . It doesn't mean it's going to be this way always." More simply quoted, "trouble don't last always!" It's going to be ok! You are going to be ok!
Therefore in the spirit of positive thinking, may you and your loved ones have a wonderful, joyful, peaceful, loving, merry Christmas!
I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."
If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in the name of JESUS, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.
If you have any questions please send an email to: email@example.com
GOD bless you!