North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Almost 19 million people suffer with depression every day. The triggers and symptoms of this problem are many. Sometimes a person with physical problems like chronic migraines, skin rashes, insomnia, decreased or increased appetite, lack of energy, or nervous habits can be suffering from depression. In a confirmatory way some people think that everything is hopeless and nothing is ever going to change. This kind of person can alienate themselves due to their pain. Because of the depressed attitudes few people want to be associated with the negativity. These people create the very situation they complain of; estrangement and isolation. It’s an interesting phenomena, but people can be surrounded by others and still feel alone. Find your dearest and most trusted friend and confide your worries, fears and concerns. A person must restructure their thoughts, challenging themselves to the point of doing something they’ve never thought they could do. It’s not important that you do it perfectly, but it’s important you have the desire to try. Choosing to live with regrets is a very painful state in life and one you should never accept as your lot in life.

Exercise can serve as a therapeutic function in the treatment of depression. You may be unable to do as much as you did earlier in your life, but the key is to accept what is now and to maximize this situation. Get up and get dressed every day. Don’t walk around in your sleeping clothes all day. Go outside for a stroll, walk, jog, or run (whatever is appropriate to your physical abilities). Observe the weather and scenery; watch the wind blow leaves on a tree. Note the subtle changes of the season. When you recognize the detailed changes in nature, it can help you see that changes are natural and you can adapt to the changes in your life as well. Invite a friend to enjoy your ventures and revel in what you can do.

All of us find ourselves troubled at times, yet we don’t have to be distressed. It’s easy to find ourselves perplexed, but we don’t have to live in despair (2 Cor. 4:8). Accept the fact that everyone has troubles, trials, and testing. You need not sink into despondency and depression. Let me suggest three things to help you overcome depression. Each one of them has two parts and can help when life seems hopeless to you.

First, “Stop Looking Downward—Start Looking Upward”. The Bible says, “Why are you sad, O my soul? Why have you become troubled within me? Hope in God, for I will praise Him again for His help” (Psalm 42:5). Discouragement is one of the greatest hindrances to wholesome living. Too often, people dwell on the dark and dreary rather than the bright and sunny side of life. Trust that the sun is always shining behind the clouds, even though rain, thunder, and chaos seems to be all around you. The more we look downward, the more depressed we become. And the more depressed we become, the more we look downward. Start looking upward now and say with the psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121: 1-2).

Secondly, “Stop Looking Inward—Start Looking Outward”. It’s true that a person who becomes self-centered will often become miserable, which can lead to depression. We can feel unimportant, unwanted, and unloved when we always think of ourselves. Start looking outward. God created you and loves you. Ask Him to forgive, cleanse, and fill you with His love and compassion. Lose yourself in service for God and others. Assist the needy, comfort the sick and lonely. Recognize your God-given talents and develop them by choosing to look outward. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, “Christ died for everyone so that they would live for him. They should not live to please themselves but for Christ who died on a cross and was raised from the dead for them”.

Finally, “Stop Looking Backward—Start Looking Forward”. It’s a rare thing to replicate your most crowning achievement in your vocation or hobby. A foundation for defeat and depression comes when you choose to look exclusively to past accomplishments. When you do this you’ll lack vision for the future and fail to advance what you have to offer the world. Philippians 3:13 says, “Forget everything behind and look forward to that which is ahead”. Start looking forward even when results are slow coming in. If you are faithful to God and the ones you love, God will send the increase in His own time and way. Choose to look forward and do something for others. A smile, hug, handshake, kind word, prayer—little can be much when God is in it. Look forward with anticipation and hope; know the best is yet to come. There will be no sorrow, suffering, or separation in our heavenly home. Keep on living for God and never cut short the pathway to God’s glory.

  • This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on Aug 24 2014. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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