“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”Philippians 3:7-8
All people, but especially those who struggle with depression, must reflect on their past at some point. Such surveys of the past can be encouraging, like Paul’s reminder to Timothy to follow the example of his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). At other times, looking back is sobering and painful, as we read in Paul’s Philippians 3 list of his former accomplishments.
But we must go back to those places nonetheless. Christians are often tempted to explain God rather than experience Him with reference to the past. Family trauma like divorce or abuse might be at the root of our depression. On the flipside, fervent family love can be an encouragement and pathway out of it.
As difficult as it may be, moving ahead will be nearly impossible if you ignore the past. Every point of sin and suffering can then be made a matter of prayer. And once we see and own the brokenness, we can own the beauty of God’s love and grace, passing it along to others. If you want to go forward with Jesus, you must also go back with Him.
“I believe that the darkest and most dreadful experience of a child of God will help him to be a fisher of men if he will but follow Christ.” (C. H. Spurgeon, 1834-1892)
Bible In A Year
- Job 5-6
- Psalm 45
- Luke 8