How to overcome gloom is a question best answered when the gloom has lifted, and best digested before a next episode arises.
Gloom is that dark, oppressive sense we have when something hits us emotionally or spiritually. It’s like our car being sideswiped while we’re in it: unexpected, without warning, hard!
Triggers are small but explosive: a tiny difference of opinion with someone dear (or even one not-so-dear) to us; a bit of foreboding news, whether in the paper or on tv (there’s so much news at the moment that is negative) or more family-oriented; realising we’ve made a wrong choice which we cannot change. As you’re reading, I expect you’re thinking of something right now and wondering, “Could that be a trigger?” Yes, probably.
Gloom is temporary: that’s the first and most important thing to realise when you’re in it. The dark sense of hopelessness will not remain; and that knowledge is the first step to getting through it.
Gloom is separate from us: it is external or biochemical but it is not a part of you. It may be demonic, in which case you pray it off, bind it or cast it out (getting others to help can be useful). It may be biochemical, in which case eat healthy, drink fluids, exercise (endorphins lift us naturally). It may be based on a thought, so to trace the gloom to a particular mindset or discovery which has brought you down can constructively help you through it.
Gloom is down so look up!: Jesus and worship music lift us from the heaviness of worry, desperation, listlessness and gloom. It may take some effort to get to a point of celebration, but putting on positive, life-giving worship music is sound advice (pardon the pun!) Singing is even more powerful. Dancing is a great option. The point is to look up to our GOD, lift up our voice (even if it’s to cry out rather than to sing), and move out of our misery physically. Writing it out, using creative expression of any kind, helps to move the gloom out and away from us.
Gloom is oppressive: it’s not GOD. Is is flesh and we have overcome the flesh, the devil and the world through Jesus. It is not to be condemned when we feel gloom, but rather to know we’ve been rescued from it and He can overcome it for us.
Gloom may be prophetic: What we experience may be only a piece of what others are experiencing. Elijah experienced serious fear and futility when confronted with Jezebel. And yet, GOD said he was not the only one for GOD’s word but there were 7000 others (see 1 Kings 19:1-18). We are not alone in our gloom and in fact, we may experience it for the sake of prayer for others. You are not alone, we are not alone; and we stand for others so they may not fall.
We best play our part by asking GOD to take the gloom and to help us through it. Knowing it is temporary, separate from us, oppressive, and knowing that looking up and away is not denial but sound strategy helps us through. Whether external forces and circumstances or internal dismay has brought about the gloom, facing it, working through it, trusting GOD is in even this, will help us until it passes.
Know this: we can rejoice in all circumstances, and when circumstances take away our joy, we can allow GOD to carry us. Surrender in everything makes anything possible.
Love, Sarah xx