Hi there. My name is Pat Stream, Pastor of Counseling at Faith Community Church. 

We are now 6.5 weeks into life under COVID-19measures. Everyone is asking about when restrictions will be lifted and things will open up. I am curious about that, too. Yet, so many aspects of COVID-19 are out of my individual control and easily overwhelm my thoughts and emotions. In times like this, it is necessary to focus our hearts on those things we can control.   

Of all the questions you may have about COVID-19, here is a very important one to consider: “What does God want to do with in you at this time?”  

As a Pastor of Counseling, I am concerned about people suffering from depression as a result of the extreme life stressors brought about by COVID-19. Right now, feelings of self-worth and purpose are being stripped away by grief from the losses, debilitating loneliness from prolonged isolation, family conflict, and financial difficulties. All of these are risk factors for depression.   

One thing you can definitely control is how you will come out on the other side of COVID-19 stronger by intentionally fighting off depression. I know from personal experience that depression is hard. It does not leave without a fight.  

Psalm 42:5 says this: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.” All of Psalm 42 isa song about feeling like God is absent during high stress and oppressing circumstances, like COVID-19. The word picture in Psalm 42 is one of someone drowning, feeling like they are breathing in water that is suffocating. 

It may seem odd to hear this, but grief and sadness are a normal part of life. 

If you meditate on Gods instructions, He will shape your thoughts and emotions and your life will bear fruit and you will not go into depression when turmoil comes. Or maybe you’re thinking “I have no fight left in me.” You can be encouraged because God has given us these words so that you can think about depression like he does. 

God wants you to know that despite how you feel, He has not abandoned you. God fights for you when you are depressed, because he is for you. 

I have used Psalm 42 many times in my life to fight off the heaviness of depression. I would have to tell myself over and over “Hope inGod, Pat. Hope in God. This awful emotion will pass. There is hope beyond my circumstance.  Praise God.  He is good.” 

The path out of depression begins with a fight of faith. Hope comes when you begin to fix your eyes on Jesus. He claims to be the way, the truth and the life, the source of hope, lover of our souls, servant, brother, friend, the one who hears and acts, and the one who never leaves. 

If in this COVID-19 season you’re experiencing a sense of loss of self-worth and purpose, isolation, or financial pressures that can lead to depression, we can help you! 

On Tuesday, April 28 from 7:00-8:00pm, I’ll be offering an online event called Faith & Life Conversations. 

I’ll be teaching more on overcoming grief, sadness, and depression as well as answering questions and praying for those in attendance. Registration is required and is limited to 100 people. You can register by clicking here.

Before you move on with your day will you please share this video to spread the hope of Jesus Christ with others? We will see you back here next week for the next edition of Faith andLife.


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