Depression and anxiety are at plague proportions in our modern, affluent land, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to get the joy we need.
Even though we have greater wealth, improved health, longer life-expectancy, and the opportunities to connect with countries across the globe, we seem to be sadder than ever.
I was reminded that a great antidote to many mental ailments is becoming drawn into a partnership with something much bigger than the individual.
On the one level, this means that joining an outwardly-focused club or community organisation will mean we are led to focus less on ourselves and more on others.
But on a greater level, this means that when you come to be a follower of the maker of the heavens and the earth—God, who holds the universe in his hands—you then have an invitation to see your own concerns deeply met as you lift up your head to worship the one who loves you deeply and gave his son to die for you.
Yet, even those who are followers of Jesus will find themselves in times of depression, when joy seems hard to find.
Psalm 51 tells us that in times of sin, we can be overwhelmed with guilt and sadness… and that as we humbly ask God to forgive our sin, we need to then seek something more: joy.
As David prayed,
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice.” (Psalm 51:7-8).
As the burden of sin is lifted from our shoulders, we can know afresh the deep, deep love of Jesus, and can experience true, deep joy in the forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.