“Depression is as old as human history. The Bible has many examples of people struggling with despondency and despair. In his depression and fatigue, Elijah asked for his life to be taken. Jonah felt deeply despondent after God did not destroy Nineveh. Jeremiah regretted the day he was born. Job’s wife advised him to curse God and die in the midst of the suffering and pain. Well-known church leaders like Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and J.B. Phillips struggled with depression and so did political leaders such as Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln.
Depression is no respecter of persons. It has been called the common cold of emotional disorders, and it appears to be on the rise. In the United States it is one of the most prevalent and serious mental disorders, affecting about 20 percent of the population at some time in their lives. People of both genders get depressed, although women are twice as likely as men to suffer from major depressive and dysthymic disorders.”
From Understanding and Coping with Depression
What are we to do when we are depressed? There are not any easy answers and we have to realize that depression is very complex and comes from multiple factors. But this we can know - that God is there, He understands and wants to help you.
Psalm 77 gives a a great reference to depression in the bible - the psalmist in this psalm described all the thoughts we have when we are depressed.
1I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2When I was
in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul
refused to be comforted. 3I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused,
and my spirit grew faint.
As you read on in the psalm you see that the psalmist asked these questions:
- Is this ever going to end?
- Will life never get better?
- Does God not love me anymore?
- Is God angry at me?
- Is there something I did that I don't understand ?
- Where is God and where are His promises ?
1. Times of depression are something even the most godly wrestle with on occasion. (it is normal and it happens to everyone at sometime.)
2. Taking time to recall God’s specific blessings in our past, provides perspective and peace in the present.
Next post - The symptoms and reasons for depression