Recently, I saw an interview with Michelle Obama, former First Lady, in which she spoke about her struggle with depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. As I listened to Mrs. Obama speak I thought, depression knows no boundaries. It affects us all the same.
The loneliness, the isolation, the uncertainty of what may happen to us or to our family members can be overwhelming. Therefore, as I always do on a Monday, I would like to give you some measure of assurance that will help you make it through the rest of the week and even the weeks and months ahead. I hope these biblical tips outlined below will help you avoid becoming depressed, or develop some coping skills during this pandemic.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 6 This a well known verse of scripture advising us to trust in the Lord with our whole heart. There are so many conflicting reports and conspiracy theories floating around that sometimes we don’t know which ones to believe; but if we trust in the Lord, He will point us in the right direction.
- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4: 28 – We must be careful what we allow our minds to focus on. If we focus on good things, we would have good outcomes, if we allow our thoughts to be consumed with all that we see on television, then we would surely become depressed.
- Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6: 26 – During this pandemic, many people have lost jobs, some businesses no longer exist, and the future looks grim. But Jesus is saying that just as His Father takes care of the birds who do not work, in the same way He will take care of us. Think of the times when you were worried sick about something and it was resolved without you even realizing how it happened.
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4: 6 – Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. There have been reports of people committing suicide as a result of the anxiety and hopelessness they feel. It may seem difficult, even impossible, to avoid being anxious during a pandemic but if you get into the habit of praying and meditating on God’s word, you can overcome anxiety.
- And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7 – Meditating and praying to God is the way to find peace during trying times such as this. Many times I have felt anxious about something, but when I pray, the anxiety goes away and I feel a peace I don’t even understand. It can be the same for you.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with lives all over the world, but like everything else, the end is in sight. By reading and meditating on the scriptures above, you will find “the peace that transcends all understanding” and can look to the future with hope.