By Dr. Timothy Juhnke
Recently, a psychologist from the UK made headlines when he announced that Monday, January 24, was the most depressing day of the year. Dr. Cliff Arnall devised a formula that was used to determine people’s lowest point. He used the Formula:
[W + (D-d)] x TO
M x NA
A Reporter explained the formula like this: “The equation is broken down into seven variables:
- (W) weather
- (D) debt
- (d) monthly salary
- (T) time since Christmas
- (Q) time since failed quit attempt [i.e. failed New Year’s resolutions]
- (M) low motivational levels
- (NA) the need to take action”
According to the article, Arnall devised the formula for a travel company that wanted to know the peak times that people book vacation getaways. Wow, nothing like adding an exotic vacation that you can’t afford to help you feel better when you are depressed!
I don’t mean to make fun of people’s depression and anxiety. It is a serious problem, especially if you suffer from it. But the truth is that the world has little hope of finding a lasting solution. Compiling debt to treat the blues only compounds the problem. Similarly, medicating depression and anxiety with pharmaceutical drugs or other substances only treats the symptoms, not the cause.
Christians are not immune from depression, especially if they engage in the same destructive financial and emotional behaviors as unbelievers. But the believer possesses a solution; we have a prescription from God Himself. When believers focus their attention on the Lord (and repent of sinful behaviors when necessary) they have this promise:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
This is the only lasting prescription for peace. I have used it in heavy doses. I am thankful for that the law of diminishing returns doesn’t apply to Scripture and that we could never overdose on it. I am a living testimony that the promise of this verse works better than any drug the world could offer. I have literally experienced physical relief from anxiety as I clung to that verse. And the beauty of it is that there are no side effects. Stay your mind on Jehovah and He will keep you in perfect peace.
Dr. Timothy Juhnke is the Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church