Have you ever felt so bogged down by the cares of this world and the pressure of trying to live your best life, that you go numb? It could become such a familiar feeling that you resign yourself to sitting on the sidelines of your life. There's no real joy; you're just trying to get by.
I can't tell you how many times I've wondered why, as followers of Christ, we can feel overwhelmed and depressed. I know many Christians who feel massive guilt because of it. The truth is, even those who love and serve God can be burdened by depression. After all, just because we're Christians doesn't mean we're immune to the pressures of this world.
Here's an encouraging truth: it's possible to be anointed and still be weak. In this life, you will experience seasons where you feel fragile, but it doesn't change the authority you have in Christ in every situation. Weakness and divine anointing can stand together.
It's a feeling King David knew all too well. In fact, this man wrote most of the book of Psalms, a work of beautiful poetry using language that is not always optimistic but real and raw. If he felt alone, he said so. If he felt downcast, he was honest about it. If he felt dismayed, David was not ashamed to make it known.
I find it interesting that the Kingdom of God is one of opposites. It's possible to be poor yet rich, to have joy in the midst of sorrow and peace in the middle of a storm. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul said, "When I am weak, then I am strong." On the surface, that certainly doesn't make sense! His point was that when we're overwhelmed by the circumstances of this world and feel like we can't handle it anymore, it gives God room to work in our lives.
On those rare occasions when we feel like we have it all together, we tend to forget that we were meant to rely on His strength, not our own. Overwhelming seasons can draw us closer to Him if we humble ourselves and remember that we were never meant to handle things apart from His mercy and grace.
As Christ-followers, we can have troubles in our marriages, endure trials in our jobs or be overcome with worry when our kids seem off track. Sometimes, when we're groaning, "I'm weak, I'm depressed, I can't do this," God's greatest purpose is on its way into our life. He intends His greatest marvels to come when we're at our lowest.
When you feel overwhelmed by this world and depression sets in, you must remember to define yourself by your God-given identity, not your circumstances. You may be weak on the outside, but on the inside, you're anointed. Your truest identity is that you are part of a royal priesthood.
Dig Out of Depression
A powerful way to get out of the place you're in is to open your mouth and speak about Jesus. The last thing the devil wants you to do is to speak about the promises of God and praise the Lord. But that's the first thing we must do in order to overcome overwhelming discouragement or depression. We need to send our words out in the direction we want them to go.
In other words, we need to start speaking about victory when we're staring at defeat. We need to talk about healing when we're feeling sick. We need to speak about blessing when we don't have anything and we need to talk about marching when we feel like quitting. The power of faith is activated through your senses—through hearing and confessing.
This is why the enemy wants us to shut our mouth. He does not want you to praise the Lord and he certainly doesn't want you to talk about victory. He knows that if he can take you down mentally and emotionally, you'll be less effective for the Kingdom of God.
The Bible instructs us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). Renew your mind with what God says in His Word. Read the Bible. Soak in its truth. Memorize it. Meditate on these words of David in Psalm 18:1-2, "I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
We don't have a say in the conditions of this world, but we do have a say in the choices that we make in life. Refuse to get stuck in a permanent place of discouragement. When you feel weak, remember that you're an anointed child of the Most High, the member of a royal priesthood and deeply loved by your Creator.
Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multicampus church with a global reach. A New York Times bestselling author, Franklin's newest book, "Overcoming When You Feel Overwhelmed: 5 Steps to Surviving the Chaos of Life," offers a timely and relevant message of overcoming despite the fear, uncertainty and turmoil that surrounds us. Find out more at jentezenfranklin.org.