Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Overcoming Depression, Anxiety, and Regret

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 
 -Psalm 8:3,4 

This June, I will turn 54, and I was contemplating how this makes me feel.  I recall being a teenager and people in their 50's seemed old to me.  Now that I am there, 54 doesn't seem old at all. In fact, 60 and 70 are beginning to look younger to me all the time.  The psalmist looked at his life and his seemingly insignificant status when compared with the vastness of the universe, and he wondered why God bothered to consider him at all.  From a purely human standpoint, we are merely specs in the incomprehensible expanse of time and space.  A faith stance is altogether different and was the psalmist's stated position.  

Without God and His power in our lives, we can easily grow discouraged, depressed, and questioning our place in the world.  Even people of faith struggle with such thoughts as well.  How much more if we are lacking faith in God as our solid foundation.  Consider the fact that we have all made mistakes.  We all have regrets.  We all have difficulties and problems of one kind or another. Somehow it can all build up until we grow exhausted with life and its stresses.  Let me challenge you to move forward in faith.  Seek a closer walk with God as a means of confronting life's challenges.  

As I type, I am certain someone reading this is struggling with depression or anxiety.  I have battled depression myself, so I have an idea of what you are going through.  So severe was my battle with this illness and so powerful was God's deliverance, I wrote a book about my experience, which you can order from this blog ("The Invitation: Embracing a Happier Life").  I hope you will read the book, but even if you do not, please know there is hope in Jesus Christ.  Life is hard, but the Lord is our greatest resource for spiritual power and strength.  God empowers us to move forward in faith rather than fear and spiritual power rather than the paralysis of regret.

Let me share with you what I recently told someone who was having problems with past regrets.  Do not allow past mistakes to define who you are right now.  Grace, mercy, and new life are found in Christ.  I trust all this is helpful to you.

So, how about you?  How can I pray for you today?  What advice would you give someone struggling with depression and / or anxiety?  I would love to hear from you.  Your testimony will encourage others.

God bless you today.


  1. Thanks, Pastor Dan for bringing this subject up. I am battling Depression, Fibromyalgia & Migraines along with other health issues. I'd like to know if the pain & fatigue causes the depression or if the depression causes the pain & fatigue. I don't think anyone knows, except God of course. I try to focus on what I CAN do & not what I cannot. God willing, I will have more good days than bad.

    1. God bless you Jayne, for sharing your heart. No doubt the illnesses you are facing is overwhelming to the point of bringing you down emotionally as well. I spoke of my own battle with depression, yet I am blessed with overall good physical health. Along with daily prayer and time in God's Word, I strive to maintain a daily routine, eat right, and exercise. The illnesses you described would interfere with the exercise part. Your doctor can advise you on how much exercise you can safely do. Those of us who battle depression all seem to agree that sunshine, exercise (even moderate exercise such as a daily walk), and a healthy diet are wonderful strategies for dealing with depression. I will pray for you.
      Thanks so much for sharing as I know this will encourage someone else. Countless people are facing this also. You are not alone. Keep going and with God's help resolve to not give up. Brighter days are indeed ahead - they will outnumber the dark ones.
      God bless you.