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working through depression

 By Niki Behrikis Shanahan

 

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.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

 

One thing I think most of us struggle with in some form and some degree is depression.  We’ve all lost a beloved animal companion and had to deal with sick little ones.  Some of you are going through these things right now.  In addition, we all have other issues to deal with each day.  We all have situations with other family members and friends.  We all deal with financial issues, job loss, ailments.  Many of us don’t feel that good physically, and would just like to have a day when there aren’t any aches or pains.  There are so many things that we deal with such as stress from jobs, car repairs, loneliness, and endless situations we find ourselves in everyday.

We need to look to someone higher than us to help us cope with all these things.  Jesus did say that in this world we would have trouble.  So we know we live in an imperfect world, but He also told us to go to Him for help and to have faith in God.   I’m convinced that even though we have troubles we are much better off to have a personal relationship with the Lord, than not to know Him.  I believe that He keeps us from many troubles we would have had, and rescues us out of difficulties we are in.

Regarding pet loss I feel it is half the battle to know that they are alive and well in Heaven.  We can be sure that we will be reunited with them again someday.  However, we still have to live with a hurting heart while we are here.  This seems to improve over time, but never completely goes away.  So we really have to keep our eye on the prize of Heaven and our future life with our babies. 

There are three things that come to mind as tools to help us day to day.

1)  The Bible.  We have a treasure trove (spiritually speaking) in all the Scriptures that we have at our disposal for salvation, prayer, comfort, healing, and assistance for daily life.  There are many comforting verses such as Psalm chapters 23, 40, 91, 103, and John 14 just to name a few.  Reading the Bible daily helps to keep those blessings and promises close to us, and is very good therapy.  Romans 15:4 says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”  Remember this verse, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)  So it is beneficial to us, and a good habit to read the Bible every day. 

2)  Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Knowing that we have the Lord to help us in day to day situations makes all the difference in the world.  Jesus came to this earth to make a way for us to be free from sin and reunite us with the Heavenly Father through which we can enjoy eternal life.  The Holy Spirit lives within us when we accept Jesus as Lord, and Savior and we have the Holy Spirit to guide us at all times.  We are never alone.  Regarding accepting Jesus into our lives, often referred to as being born again, there’s a prayer below called Joining Our Animal Companions in Heaven for reference.  We can pray and talk to the Lord each and every day, and He is interested in every part of our lives and cares about us.

3)  Angels to help us.  The angels have been sent to us by God to assist us in everyday life.  Angels are very real even though we usually cannot see them.  When we pray God very often uses angels to help us and bring the answer to us.  God has given the angels employment and the responsibility of helping us in an array of functions.  He commands them to minister to us, guard, deliver, protect, and encamp around us.  “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14 (NIV)

As we have our ups and downs in life I believe we will be far better off leaning on the Lord for help.  The Lord is our shield and protector, and He is there for us in good times and bad.  Someday we’ll be in Heaven with our family and precious little ones, and the struggles of life will be over for good.

 

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 54:4 (NIV)

Notes: 

The book, The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven’s Gain includes a chapter on “Overcoming Depression.”  Also, Joyce Meyer has some CDs that you might find helpful such as, “Understanding and Overcoming Depression,” “Emotional Healing,” and Thinking Your Way Out Of Bondage.”  I’m sure if you look on her website at http://www.joycemeyer.org/ you will be able to find some helpful CDs and books.

For more information on angels and how they help us, reference my book, Angels Are Watching Over Us.  I think it will encourage you to know that these Heavenly beings are here to help, protect and bless us.

Copyright 2014 Niki Behrikis Shanahan

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