Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Jesus promised His followers joy and Paul said the Christian life was about ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ But of course millions of Iranians have never heard about Christ and so cannot experience the unique joy a believer has.
Rather than joy there is an alarming amount of depression prevalent in Iran. In October 2005, an official Iranian Ministry of Health report said 21% of the population (15 million people) suffers from depression. According to a survey conducted by the Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health over 10% of the population suffers from at least one psychiatric disorder.
Depression is caused by a host of reasons including financial pressure, the lack of job opportunities, tensions in families, the claustrophobic intellectual atmosphere, and the fact that thousands of young people cannot afford to marry. And now there is dark shadow of war.
The answer to all this depression is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Iranians do not need more pills or psychiatric clinics – they need Jesus Christ who brings us to the living God, in whose presence ‘there is fullness of joy.’
Today let us thank our living Jesus that His joy will never leave us and let us ask Him to lead us to intercede for the depressed of Iran.
- Pray for those who are chronically depressed. Pray that they will meet Christ. Pray that the Word of God will bring healing to their anxious minds. And pray for their families to have grace to keep on supporting them.
- Pray for those who even today might be listening to the whisper of despair telling them to end their lives. Pray in Jesus's name that the Holy Spirit will lead them to Christians who can minister to them.
- Pray for all Christians who come across depressed people, especially medical professionals. Pray first that Christians will shine with the joy of Jesus and help the depressed see that this same Jesus can fill their hearts with joy too.
- Pray for millions to hear the Gospel of Joy. Pray especially for all evangelists and preachers, that the joy of the Lord will be their strength, and that today they will bring that joy into a sinner’s life.
May joy be yours today.
Lyrics to the song:
In the sorrow and difficulties,
And the sharp thorns of life,
You think of me,
So what have I to fear from, because you think of me,
The thoughts or the worries of this life struggle in my soul,
But I will overcome any sadness because you are thinking of me,
Dark clouds come and go, the darkness attacks me,
but I wont get depressed in difficulties because you are thinking of me,
In the storms of life, in sadness and depression then I will sing with you,
Because you are thinking of me.