He Brought Joy!

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
-Luke 2:10

I’m grinning from ear to ear, as I stand before a room of wiggly little three year old preschoolers merrily singing, “He brought joy, joy, joy to the world, He brought joy, joy, joy to the world. A little bitty baby in Bethlehem, brought joy, joy, joy, to the world”. Their tiny faces are filled with wonder and excitement, as they sing about the birth of our Lord. Even though I’m smiling, I’m hurting on the inside.

This time of year is particularly difficult for hundreds of people like me. As a person who suffers from seasonal depression (SAD), this time of year can be hard to get through. When I’m feeling down, it helps me to stop and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I remind myself it’s not about the decorations or the gifts under the tree. Christmas is about Christ and the joy He brought to Earth through His birth. A joy, not to be confused with a happiness based solely on my current circumstances in life, but an inner peace that comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ. A Peace that passes all understanding.

When I feel overwhelmed by the burdens of this life, I’ll take a deep breath, join in the chorus of those three year olds, and focus on the gift Christ brought to you and me. He brought joy, joy, joy!!!

If you’re feeling “blue” this time of year, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Seek Him, wise men still do. If necessary and you can’t seem to shake the blues, seek the advice of a medical expert or therapist. There is no guilt in knowing when to ask for help, and Christ does not look down upon those who seek the advice of medical experts. Please dont let Satan tell you otherwise. Dont let him steal your JOY!

Discussion: Is this time of year difficult for you? Do you find yourself watching those around you wondering why you feel so tired and icky? What do you think the bible says about depression and how to combat it? Have you let Satan Steal your Joy?

8 Responses to He Brought Joy!
  1. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    December 7, 2006 | 7:12 am

    Paula, thank you for your honesty!!!

    So many people are scared to admit that they suffer from depression. And it’s sad because it is actually a very common struggle but so many of us go at it alone.

    I have suffered from depression since I was about 19. I had a few rough years in my early twenties, but since then (with the help of medication) it’s been just a mild depression that just kind of nags at me. I also have anxiety troubles and for the last couple years that has actually been more of a thorn for me.

    (My depression isn’t at all seasonal, but I definitely don’t like winter as much as summer… and I’ll be happy to have it end.)

    It’s amazing how hard it is even for me to type that and admit to the entire blogging world that I take medication for depression. I am resisting the urge to backspace over it all… but I won’t. I believe it is important that we all admit our struggles and join together to help each other.

    Thank you Paula!!!

  2. Paula
    December 7, 2006 | 7:47 am


    God bless you. I want to state here in this comment that I too take medication. It took me a long time to realize I needed it just like the Diabetic needs insulin. I wish there wasn’t such shame associated with the need for depression medications. As a Christian, it’s particularly hard to admit we need “that” kind of help. Thanks for your honesty and letting me know that I’m not alone. I think it’s important to be real and that’s what I hope to bring to Faith Lifts. Love and hugs!

  3. Sandy
    December 7, 2006 | 11:25 am

    I suffered from depression after my divorce. I was on medication for a year and had counselling from a wonderful Christian therapist. I sought out a Christian therapist on purpose so that “faith” would be a part of my healing. One of the main things I found out was that I knew a lot of people who suffered from depression, anxiety, etc. We were all together, in the same church, same town, but were all too nervous to share it. What a wonderful support we became to each other – talking to people who knew what we were trying to say, people to understand what others didn’t, talk about meds, dosages, etc. And now several years later we can keep tabs on each other, just making sure each one is alright and loved. It was hard for me to come to terms with my depression and I always wonder if it will come back. But if it ever does, I am so much more prepared and ready and have resources that I can turn to. Anytime of the year is hard. When I was depressed, it happened over a Christmas season and that was so hard because I had a little girl at the time but I didn’t really care about the holiday. All I could see was the mess to clean up. But I let people take care of me and the days marched on and eventually it was over and the pressure was gone. Depression can be difficult and the things that helped me the best were the people who loved me and God, who never let go of me.

  4. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    December 7, 2006 | 1:31 pm


    How wonderful to hear that you found such great resources to help you through your time of depression. That’s so great that you were able to lean on those around you and get through that rough patch.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Jennifer, Snapshot
    December 7, 2006 | 1:38 pm

    Paula–welcome to Faithlifts! It comforts me to know that I can feel joy in spite of my circumstances. When I get in one of those “ruts” where I feel down in the dumps, but can’t pinpoint anything, I try to remind myself that it’s okay to feel that way, and I should let it pass, while remembering that Jesus has never changed. I do often let Satan steal my joy by letting little things irritate me or by blaming myself for those down times, when in fact they are probably due to hormones.

  6. Brandilyn Collins
    December 7, 2006 | 1:43 pm

    Paula, depression is so hard. It’s not something I suffer from–I’ve seen those I love suffer from it. I did undergo depression when I was so sick and crippled from Lyme disease. Pretty often, depression and illness go hand in hand.

    It was during that time that God taught me to pray the Psalms aloud, turning them into personal prayers for myself. He taught me that praising him is an act of will, not emotion. Sometimes I prayed those praises and petitions with tears running down my face, but doggone it, I PRAYED ’em.

    You are so right in encouraging others not to let Satan steal their joy. And even if happiness (as a result of circumstances, as opposed to a soul’s joy in God) is not to be found at the moment, we can still praise God. Emotion aside, just do it through WILL. And God is so amazingly merciful in return.

    Blessings to you and your readers.

  7. Chris
    December 7, 2006 | 10:41 pm

    Thanks for being so honest! Sometimes knowing you are not alone is half the battle. We as women are so hard on ourselves and I have easily fell into the trap of thinking I am the only one in this place.

  8. Katrina
    December 10, 2006 | 10:08 pm

    I really appreciate this post, Paula. I’ve dealt with postpartum depression, and I often find myself in major seasonal funks as well… I usually do fine through Christmas, but January and February often find me struggling to remember what joy looks like. It’s true – I’ve allowed gray days and my own disposition to steal the joy that God wants me to have. Thank you for the encouragement to keep my focus on Him!