Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
As followers of Christ, we know that He holds the world. We have a purpose here on earth that He made specifically for us. We have hope of eternal life with Him. We can have joy because of who He is and what He has given us. But what about those who don’t follow Him? What about those who don’t believe, or are overwhelmed with doubt?
This verse says that all who do not follow Christ walk in darkness. That is most evident in, or obvious to, those with depression. Having struggled with it myself in the past I can say that it really does feel like you are surrounded by darkness. You may be standing in the sun physically, but life feels dark. There is no hope, no purpose, no joy. It is beyond gloomy, lonely, and discouraging. It feels like there is no way out.
In truth, the only way out is Jesus. He is the only true answer to this problem. I don’t know how many times in the past year I have thought, “I don’t know how I would survive if I didn’t believe in God.” There are so many times that I would have given up because it would have seemed so hopeless without Him. Think of how impossible it would feel to see no alternative humanly possible, to only see pain, sorrow, loss, defeat and condemnation.
There are so many people in our world who are lost, who feel hopeless, who see no way out. Some deal with that emptiness by pursuing careers and filling their lives with work or hobbies. Others turn to drugs, alcohol or extreme adrenaline activities. And some turn to suicide. Either because they have already tried to fill the void and have failed, or because they didn’t have the energy to try in the first place for whatever reason, they have been defeated.
As Christians, no matter what we have done or who we are, we are saved, safe and secure because of what Jesus has done for us and no one can take that away from us.
John 10:27-28 NASB
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
As Christians, we should not give in to depressing thoughts or despair. That does not mean that they won’t come, but we should not wallow in them. We have victory through Christ, and because of that victory we have hope, joy and a purpose.
But we also should not condemn or look down on those who have not grasped that. When we see someone struggling with depression and hopelessness, we should be moved to compassion not criticism. Yes, focusing on self is the root of the problem, but pointing that out will only make it worse (trust me). Often, those caught in depression are bound by self condemnation. They do not need us to add to it.
Because of the Light that we have, we should share it with them. We should come along side and say, “I know you are hurting, I know you feel lost, but I care about you and I know Someone else Who loves you deeply and can remove the darkness from your life.” If you have that joy and hope, but do not care about those who are lost then you need to examine your heart and rediscover God’s love. It is not only for you but for all.
If you have the Light, share it! There are so many who desperately need to hear what you have to say.