Since sharing about my depression (click here to read it), I’ve heard from a number of you.

Thank you for reaching out to me. Your messages thanking me for being open about my struggles along with your thoughtful expressions of love and support have meant a lot to me

You’ve confirmed something I’ve believed – it’s a pretty widespread problem. Many of you are dealing with it as well. And most of us are good at hiding it.

I’m not sure why we’re so resistant to good suggestions either.

My dear wife, who only has my best interest at heart, has made some good, practical, and sensible suggestions. But, even though I would give someone else the same counsel, I don’t want to think I need it and find I’m emotionally apposed to following her advice. I guess I can’t always trust my feelings – I already knew that anyway.

I don’t know yet what my next steps will be. I’ve not heard from my doctor and it appears the earliest appointment I can get with a counselor is sometime in July – they’re kind of busy right now.

In prayer meeting, we’ve been slowly working our way through James 1. Here are a couple of verses that caught my attention:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4, NLT)

Not exactly what I want to hear when I’m in the middle of something I’d like to be done with. But, I do understand this principle. In my life, I’ve learned more from difficult times than from good ones.

So, rather than fighting difficulty, I should embrace it and learn from it. When I trust God I can relax in His care knowing He will guide the outcome.

While “perfect and complete” may be a long time coming – most likely not fully expressed until Jesus comes – as long as I follow Him through troubled times, I will come out on the other side more like Jesus.

And then in the middle of the chapter we find this:

He …

“He …” refers to “God our Father”:

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. (James 1:18, NLT)

His true word is Jesus (see John 1). We are born into God’s family when we take Jesus into our life. And then we become His prized possession – the thing He values the most.

We read this next passage so often, it’s so familiar it often loses its punch.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)

God loves you so much that He gave His Son for you.

Do you understand what this means?

To God, you have the same value as His only begotten Son. That’s how much you’re worth to Him.

God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.

He wants you to be with Him for eternity as much as He wants Jesus to be with Him for eternity.

You are His prized possession with the same value to Him as Jesus.

Don’t ever forget this!

Knowing I am this important to God helps me trust Him. And when I’m focused on Him and what He has done for me, it helps me look away from myself and my depression.

Yes, it keeps coming back.

Yes, I’m still going to need some help getting through this thing – maybe even some medication.

But the process doesn’t seem as hard knowing He loves me and is walking along this path with me (Isaiah 41:10, 13)