Gratitude: A Good Antidepressant

Thank you, just thank you.

Medical doctors and psychiatrists have told us for years that one of the best ways to combat depression is to have a thankful heart. So in the season of thankfulness, it’s time for you to count ‘em up. In Christendom, I guess we’re supposed to say count your blessings, but I say again, count ‘em up.

Regardless of who you are or where you come from, you can always find something to be thankful for. I know that might sound hard. You might be reading this and thinking, “Now Bob, you don’t know what I’m going through.” But let’s just think for a second. Think about your family, your spouse, your children. Your grandchildren (I know mine make me grateful). Or maybe it’s your parents, your aunts and your uncles, etc. Could possibly be your coworkers, a close friend or two. Whoever it is you share your secrets and struggles, your dreams and your fears with. Maybe it’s your church. I hope and pray we can all find company in the body of Christ.

Whoever comes to mind, praise God for them.

For me this year I have too many blessings to count. All of those relationships above, for sure, but also, I have been reminded not to take living for granted. Most of you know my story, and if you don’t tune in from 6-8 am on Joy620 AM and you’re sure to hear it eventually.

But after a scary Christmas to cap off the stresses of 2020, I finally realized that God owes me nothing. Out of His love and grace He created me, has blessed me with many wonderful years and a beautiful family. He has walked with me and forgiven me, stretched me, consoled me. I have been allowed to see His glory in creation, His majesty throughout our reality. I have been allowed to sit at His table, eat more than bread, and drink from the wellspring of living water. I have been saved to continue the work of His kingdom.

It is good to be alive. And yet it is also good to know that there is no fear in death. “For me to live is Christ; for me to die is gain,” Paul explains in Philippians 1:27.

No matter how dark it gets, in our world or in your mind there is always a reason to praise God for the day He has given me and the life He has planned for me.

My soul longs to glorify the one who knows it best. And it is physically beneficial to cry out to the Lord, in anguish or joy, in frustration or exaltation. Allow your lungs to swell and expel. Take in deep breaths of God’s peace and exhale His praise. It works wonders, I promise. It’s a great antidepressant to throw your head back and release the sound of praise.

And don’t be put off by the witnesses who find you disdainful. The Lord is your audience, and He adores you. There shall be no fear.

Now let ‘er rip,

Your friend,

Bob Bell

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