The Cure for Spiritual Depression

13947234681_94a051e9daDear Christian,

Today, you will be tempted to live to meet someone’s expectations. And you’re liable to disappoint. It may be your boss, your spouse, your kids, your client, your friend, but most likely it will be yourself. Maybe you’ve already blown that New Year’s resolution to eat less, exercise more, or be more patient with people. Perhaps you just can’t shake the regret over past failures that continue to haunt you.

Don’t forget Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I have often called this the most neglected verse in the Bible. We are programmed by our emotions and that liar, the devil, that this truth from God’s Word is too good to be true! Maybe even worse than that, sometimes our own well-meaning religious friends become an obstacle to believing what God has written.

Here’s the truth: If you are “in Christ Jesus”- meaning that you have repented from your sin of going your own way and surrendered your life to Him and made Him your Lord – you are not condemned. If you have fallen into a sin pattern or practice, you need to confess that to God and accept his forgiveness (1 John 1:9), but your status as his beloved child has not changed. You are utterly incapable of  fixing yourself. You cannot be good enough. You need to fall at the mercy of Jesus.

 You are defined by your relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s acceptance of you is not based on your merit but on the merit of Christ.

I get it. Our lives are built around what we think of ourselves and what others think of us. We fear rejection and have experienced conditional love and acceptance as the norm. But here’s the deal: If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He has lifted the curse of judgment and paid the price for our failures. His love is unconditional, His acceptance is irreversible.

Denying this truth can send the disciple into what D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones referred to as “spiritual depression.” Hear his advice today:

Would you like to be rid of spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the blood of Christ.’ That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you. What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying. No! you just begin to say: ‘I rest my faith on Him alone, Who died for my transgressions to atone.’ Take that first step and you will find that immediately you will begin to experience a joy and a release that you have never known in your life before. (Spiritual Depression, 35).

So, don’t live under the specter of guilt, fear, and defeat today. Remember the sacrifice of Jesus and His promise that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!