Living in the past is the main obstacle that stops us from being able to move forward.
When you find yourself depressed, let the word of God guide your thoughts and pray consistently. Ephesians 3:16-19 talks about having an understanding of God’s love that enables you to stand tall regardless of your past mistakes.
There was a period in my life where I lived in depression. Despite the fact that my career and finance were doing well and I was getting results, I was void of happiness and hated myself for the mistakes I made in the past.
The self-condemnation made me feel that the disappointing events in my past had permanently altered my future.
I felt I could no longer fulfil my destiny because God disapproves of me and wasn’t happy with me.
The strength to move forward or get out of the prison hole of depression was a mirage.
I remember so vividly, the day my healing process began. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and I decided to voice out and open up to my friend whom I’d gone to visit with my daughter.
I began to explain how I felt so little, insignificant, and that God didn’t love me anymore.
In other words, if your understanding and ability to receive God’s love is diminished, you will be unable to love yourself and certainly find it impossible to love anyone else.
The recommendation from my friend literally triggered the healing process and journey that broke me free from living in the past.
Interestingly, God wants to exchange any ill memories to the point that it no longer evokes pain, bitterness, or regret when they flash back into your mind.
Amidst all of that darkness, God got hold of me and made me realise that I’m the master of my own life, that my past has nothing to do with my present or future.
I learnt how not to allow my past to dominate my life or make me feel that God wasn’t concerned about my happiness and mental health.
The story of Samuel and Saul is a perfect example of what it takes to beat depression and enjoy your life again.
Samuel and Saul had quite a unique and special bond. Samuel saw Saul as his protegee, who had zero confidence.
But Samuel raised him, guided and mentored him to become the king that God wanted him to become.
Nevertheless, God rejected Saul as a result of his disobedience. Samuel was devastated and moaned constantly for Saul.
In modern terms, that’s been likened to depression where your mind is so bombarded with images and thoughts from a negative past, moaning over something so dear to your heart.
The amazing thing about God is that He never leaves us in the past. There’s always something new, his mercies are new every single day.
God intervened and said to Samuel you have stayed here long enough, I have rejected Saul and that can’t be changed, meaning you can’t go back and change the past, it can’t be undone.
Depression proceeds out of the thoughts. Whatever you focus your mind on grows and multiplies and eventually takes hold of you in a deeper way.
At times we logically think that if we replay the past in our mind we will figure out a way to break out of it and move forward.
Forgetting that God already has something new and beautiful for you in the future. All you need to do is get up and move forward.
Now, I will show you three strategies that will practically help you move forward into the new future that God has for you.
Embrace these strategies whenever you find yourself heading into a place where the clutches of depression are calling and trying to put their tentacles on you.
Strategy 1: Turn to God, seek him right in the middle of the mess and begin to paint a picture of a glorious new future.
Right where you are, cry out to God.
Part of the deception is the belief that until a situation changes, happiness is void. That’s incorrect because the joy that God gives has absolutely nothing to do with your environment.
God doesn’t need to change things on the outside to make you happy. You can be happy regardless of what’s going on around you by the joy that God gives.
Don’t wait until you feel better or things begin to change amid those negative emotions or depression, begin to pray and ask God to open your eyes to see the beautiful future he has for you.
God is our present help in the time of trouble. So in the middle of that mess that looks hopeless, God is able to give you a new vision and a brand new dream.
Strategy 2: Focus on your glorious future until it becomes established in your heart.
As God begins to show you this beautiful future through flashes of an image he brings to your mind or scriptures that come alive when you read them, immediately grab it with your heart.
Set time aside daily to focus on those scriptures, confess them aloud to yourself, and pray to God in the spirit to retain that word and to keep it established in your heart.
You have a part to play, God will not just break you out of depression. You have to control your thoughts by intentionally focusing on the future that God is bringing you into.
Over a while, those strongholds of depression and negative feelings will begin to crumble and lose their hold on you.
Strategy 3: Adopt a lifestyle of gratitude.
No matter how terrible your past or presence is, there’s always something good to be grateful for.
Create a gratitude list. Begin to find gratitude, particularly everything that God has done for you in the past. No matter how dark the darkness is, there’s always a glimmer of light.
If God came through for you in the past he would definitely come through for you now. He’s no respecter of persons and he doesn’t change.
Every single day, document three things that you are grateful to God for as it would help push back the negative thoughts that make you feel nothing in your life is working.
Think about the benefits that situation has directly contributed to your life. Quieten yourself with an open mind and see the good that God brought out of you during that period, the good seed that situation sowed into your life, and give God thanks.
You need to change your perception of that situation from something that has been sent to harm you to something that will deliver your glorious future to you.