Handling Sadness & Depression
Tip 1: Find a caring person and let them know what you’re feeling. Sadness should not be felt alone. Often when we feel sad we want to hide from others or at least hide our emotions. But when Jesus felt sad, He took His three closest friends aside and told them openly, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). After talking with His closest friends, Jesus withdrew to talk with God alone.
Tip 2: Make time to sit alone with God and pour out your heart. Often when we feel sad, we distract ourselves with entertainment or busy-ness. This covers up the feeling but doesn't deal with it. Jesus dealt with His sorrow by taking honest feelings to the Father directly. He asked God to change the situation. The Father said no. Yet even though Jesus’ situation didn't change, His heart did. Jesus left that time of prayer empowered to face everything ahead of Him, including the cross.
Tip 3: Strengthen yourself in the Lord. After you've poured out your heart to God, let Him pour into you. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:8). There are a thousand things about God that can comfort us in our trouble, but the best is simply His presence. He will not abandon you. His Spirit lives inside you. He is with you (Isaiah 41:10). If He is for you, no one can be against you (Romans 8:31).
But don’t content yourself with merely reading these truths. Take them to God in prayer. He is the source of life, love and strength. Go to Him directly.
Tip 4: Find three good things in your life to thank God for. This exercise sounds simple, but it accesses incredible power. When you feel sad, look for at least three things you’re grateful for and thank God for each. This re-orients your mind in positive directions based on genuine gratitude.