• Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
  • Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Other references: Psalm 4:8, 16:11, 19:8, 21:1, 21:6, 29:11, 30:11, 33:1, 33:3, 37:11, 43:4, 47:1, 47:5, 65:8, 66:1, 67:4, 68:3, 71:23, 81:1, 85:8, 92:4, 94:19, 95:1, 97:11, 98:4, 98:6, 100:1-2, 107:22, 126:3, 145:7, 149:5, Isaiah 12:6, Habakkuk 3:18, Matthew 13:44, Luke 10:21, 19:37, 24:52, 1 John 3:29, John 16:24, 17:13, Acts 2:28, 13:52, Romans 15:13 and many more.

Discouragement, depression, sadness and the likes are oppressions from the enemy. Praise the Lord that Jesus came to do good and to heal all that were under the power of the devil (Acts 10:38). Joy and peace belong to the believer. It is actually a fruit of the Spirit that has been given to the born-again Christian. Like a muscle, it needs to be developed. Romans 14:17 states: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…”

The psalms command us to be joyful. Our spirit needs to lead our feelings, emotions, and thinking and not the other way around. It’s a choice to be joyful even in the midst of tragedy. Jesus had just heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded and, when a crowd needed Him, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We have a responsibility to not let our hearts be troubled. Jesus never gave us a command we couldn’t put in practice. We can fight depression, heaviness, discouragement, sadness in different ways but it is a spiritual battle. Choose a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).

(See topic Rejoice.)

How to fight depression:
  1. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). Pray in the Spirit for hours until you break the hold of the enemy on your life where depression or the likes is concerned. Command depression to go in the Name of Jesus. (If you don’t know what praying in the Spirit means, see topic Holy Spirit Baptism.)
  2. You have been given a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. When you sense depression, discouragement or heaviness, resist it and command it to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When you feel discouragement, renew your mind and take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Do as instructed in Philippians 4:8 and think of what is pure, admirable, etc. Think of your wonderful Savior who came to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18). Romans 8:6: “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Discipline yourself to do as the Word says.
  3. Meditate on scriptures related to joy such as the joy of the Lord is your strength. Let them take root in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you revelation on them and on your fight with depression. Let the revelation of the Word and your right and privilege as a child of God to live at peace wash over you.
  4. Praise Him and worship Him for extended periods of time (1 hour) to break the hold. As you behold Him and surrender to Him, you’ll enter His presence.
  5. Develop your trust in God by spending time in the Word and in prayer daily. Isaiah 26:3 states: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
  6. If depression is a stronghold in your life and you can’t shake it off on your own, ask your church leadership if there’s a freedom or deliverance ministry and seek their assistance.

Call to action:
Determine to be set free from depression and live the life Christ has paid for you to have – a life of joy and peace always.