We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish (Hebrews 12:2).
Jim grew up in Kenya, the only son of a missionary family. He came to America for the first time when he entered college at 18 years of age. Although he was fascinated by life in the United States, he was terribly homesick, and longed to return to East Africa's simpler way of life.
A few months before graduation, however, Jim met Carol, a lovely Christian girl who wanted to serve the Lord. The two fell in love and married. Before long they were expecting their first child, and their move to Kenya was postponed. Then little by little, Jim realized that Carol did not really share his dream to return to Africa and carry on his parents' ministry.
She loved him, and dearly loved the Lord Jesus, but living in Africa frightened her.
As years went by, Jim's hopes of returning to Kenya faded. He gradually became distant and depressed. He began to gain weight, and the migraine headaches that had always troubled him grew increasingly severe. For a brief period of time, he became dependent upon a prescription drug.
Fortunately, Jim received good counsel from his pastor, and through prayer and love, was eventually restored to joy and peace in our Lord.
Although Jim's circumstances were unique, his symptoms were not. Christians are not immune to depression. It is not something to feel guilty about. But unless the depression is caused by some chemical imbalance, there is something we can do about it.
Jim's problem came from unfilled personal desires. Depression can be triggered by disappointments in life, or tragic events, such as the loss of a loved one. All these things are understandable.
But if anyone ever had a reason to be depressed, it was our Lord Jesus Christ. "He was despised and rejected -- a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief" (Isaiah 53:3, NLT). He knew that as only a young man at age 33, He was going to be tortured and publicly executed by the most painful method of execution ever devised by man -- the dreaded crucifixion.
If depression ever tries to come upon you, think about our Lord, what He did, and the victory He has given us to overcome the world. Negative attitudes leading to depression can severely handicap us in our witness to others, and God has given us the way to deal with it.
"Every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4-5, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.