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UCB Word For You

Feeling depressed (5)

10 November 2021
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’

Depression can be very lonely. We can be good at hiding our true feelings, so nobody realises that we’re struggling. And unlike a broken leg in plaster or a sprained wrist that’s been strapped up, depression doesn’t always have obvious physical signs, so some people might not be as sympathetic as they ought to be. But God knows everything about us and He opens His arms to us. When others have been unkind (perhaps without realising), or we feel unloved, let’s try to turn our minds to remembering how much God loves and values us. We don’t want to appear weak, so we might think things like, ‘If somebody criticises me, it means I’m worthless,’ or ‘I can’t admit an area of weakness; I must be perfect or else I’m a failure.’ But let’s take another look at Elijah’s story. His feelings of depression weren’t fleeting. We’re told that after he ate and rested, he ‘travelled for forty days and forty nights’ (1 Kings 19:8 NIVUK), then God spoke to him. The Bible doesn’t say when Elijah was completely recovered, but it’s clear it wasn’t a quick fix; it was a long process. And all through that time, God never criticised, treated him unfairly or unkindly, or got frustrated with him. Instead, He accepted Elijah just as he was, and still had great plans for him. In God’s eyes, Elijah’s value never changed. He didn’t see Elijah as worthless; He saw someone who needed encouragement and time for restoration. God’s love for Elijah never wavered. His words in Jeremiah 31:3 – ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (NIV) – were just as relevant to Elijah as they were to the Israelites who heard them. And they’re just as relevant to us today.

What Now?

Make a list of your favourite Bible verses that speak of God’s love for us. When you’re feeling hurt or unloved, read the verses out loud to yourself, asking God to draw near you and give you a deeper understanding of the truth of each word.

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