You want to be happy. I want to be happy. Everyone wants to be happy, I mean, who wouldn’t want to be happy? The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as being unalienable rights of humanity. What can we conclude from all of this? Happiness is a central objective and desire that belongs to all. Having said that...why aren’t we happy? Why are so many of us frustrated, disappointed and anxious about our lives? Why do we overeat, binge, eat chocolate, shop or do any number of other things to hide from our lack of happiness? Why can’t we just be happy? Why can’t we stop comparing, stop wishing, stop regretting, stop rationalizing and just start living today for the glory of it being our present? There is hope because happiness is attainable! We just need to know where and how to look for it and how to recognize it when we see it.
Life can get heavy sometimes. It can happen for all kinds of reasons – our own poor judgment or mistakes, circumstances beyond our control, accidents or a tragedy. Whatever the reason, the fact is that sometimes life just becomes a heavy burden. When life does get heavy we begin to doubt and to fear, which opens the door to begin down that ever-consuming road of discouragement and even depression. So, how do we fight this? How do we find a formula that will help us to stand up and walk under the weight, to fight through the fear and to persevere through the pain? How can we transform the heaviest experiences of our lives into the best growing experiences of our lives?
We all have experiences in our lives that hurt. Sometimes the pain in our lives can feel like a flood - an overwhelming tide that is sweeping us away and we feel all alone. So we try to cope. We try to find something to hold onto or something to do that takes our minds away from the pain of our lives. For some of us, especially for teenagers, what they find to mask their heartache is physical pain they can control and inflict upon themselves. As we invest our time today in discussing positive and negative ways to cope, we dedicate our conversation to those who find themselves coping through self-injury. Our message is simple – there is hope and it can be found!
Every one of us has been depressed at one time or another. We have all had the experience of that feeling of hopelessness or uselessness, that feeling of both physical and emotional lethargy that holds us captive to a “might as well give up” attitude. For some of us, we experience it, get over it and move forward. For others, it is an entirely different story. For these people, the darkness of depression is an unwelcome yet constant companion, showing up uninvited and staying for far too long a time. For a Christian, this issue can be an even greater challenge than for others. How do you deal with such an issue? Is this battle against depression winnable? Stay with us as we look into this difficult subject and what the Bible says about fighting this battle.