Depression, usually refers to periods of unusual sadness, of prolonged fear or worry, or of feeling overwhelmed by stress or distress. Some of the great men in the Bible suffered from depression. The prophet Elijah became prey to depression when Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him. He was tired following a long period of stress, and this probably exacerbated his sense of discouragement and hopelessness. But the good news is that God healed Elijah’s condition completely (1 Kings 19:1-18).
As God dealt with Elijah in the Old Testament, so He deals with Christians today through His Holy Spirit. Jesus has deep compassion for His people (Hebrews 4:14-16). He knows that they are weak and prone to fears, doubts and worry that can lead to depression. And the Lord promised full healing and rest for the overburdened (Matthew 11:28-30).
The Son of God explained that lack of faith often leads to depression (Luke 12:22-31). Paul pointed out that faith comes through hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Therefore, those that suffer from depression will do well if they meditate on God’s Word which can bring real comfort in times of sorrow. The following scriptures can be very encouraging (John 3:16-17, Luke 12:32, Romans 8:18-39 and Revelation 21:1-7).
The apostle Paul stressed the necessity of controlling the negative thoughts and admonishes the believers to bring, “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). And the apostle also outlines the guidelines that should govern the thoughts, “brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
The Lord promised that the Christian will be filled with joy and peace (Romans 15:13). Joy is something the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a follower of Jesus (Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). It is not an effervescent happiness or lightness of mood but it is rather a peaceful state that comes from focusing on God’s love (John 3:16).
In addition to focusing on God’s care, to help fight depression believers should get involved in something that does not add further stress or anxiety but that improves the life such as ministering to others, constructive hobbies, and physical activity. For good mental health, there should be a healthy balance between work and rest.
Finally, clinical depression is a serious illness. Some mental problems could be due to chemical imbalances in the body or other physical conditions. Therefore, those suffering from severe or chronic depression should seek Christian counseling and specialized medical help in addition to faith in God.
In His service,