Those Dreadful Ds ~ Depression
Depression. The final D. The place where the disappointments and discouragements of life lead. The place where the devil delights. The place where you do not want to be.
If you have not read the previous two Ds, I suggest you go back and do that now. Start with disappointment, then read discouragement, and then come back here. This is a progression that you need to understand. Besides, they are a much lighter read. There is nothing about depression that I can put a lighthearted spin on.
I'm starting off with Scripture. There are no human tools that will have any effect here.
Psalm 42:11– Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Read that a couple of times. We will come back to it. But let's define depression. We all know what it feels like. I could give you Webster's definition, but you can look that up yourself. Let me instead give you the Biblical definition of depression.
Depression is sorrowing without hope.
Read it again. Sorrowing without hope. Why is that so important? Because that causes depression to be seen in a light that the world will not show you and that the devil does not want you to see. Situational depression is spiritual. Whether you are lost or a Christian, it all comes down to the same thing. When we don't have or we lose our focus on our hope in God, we suffer. We suffer depression.
Now let me say quickly that there are some mental and emotional disorders that are chemical and/or physical illnesses. Let's set those aside, because that's not what we are talking about here. Those cases are comparatively few, and they require the skill of a physician, of which I am not.
However, most depression is caused by our responses to the situations that we are in, and that's why the management of those disappointments and discouragements is so important. Again, most depression is caused by the situation we find ourselves in and our response to it. And we need to see it for what it is.
Sorrow without hope.
If you are lost, you have good reason to be depressed. You have no Hope to hope in. Life is empty and without purpose. You are right to be depressed. But Jesus is your Blessed Hope! Go back and read the blog post entitled 'Redeemed'. It's pinned to the bottom of the 'Home' page of this site. Trust Christ today. Best cure ever!
But as for us Christians, we are without excuse. We have no reason or right to sorrow without hope. Jesus is our Blessed Hope. We are His and He is ours! I wonder how we make Him feel when we sorrow without hope as blood bought Christians. I know we grieve the heart of God. But yet we still go there.
I can't type that without crying. I so don't want to hurt Him, and I feel such a need to run to Him and tell Him how sorry I am for making Him sad. How can I possibly sorrow without hope?
I've skirted all around calling this sin, but that's what it is, isn't it? If we were honest, we would call depression sin. So why do we all battle it? Because we are all sinners. Pretty simple, right?
Let's look at Psalm 42:11. We began with it.
Psalm 42:11 – Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
God begins with two questions asking us why we are depressed. Then God tells us what to do.
Hope thou in God! Jesus is our precious Blessed Hope.
Then God tells us how to do it. We need to praise Him. That's what He said. Hope thou in God by praising Him. Wasn't that our purpose for being here in the first place? And didn't we establish that no one can ever be happy without fulfilling their purpose? So, now we've come full circle.
Then, look what He says. God is the health of my countenance. That's the expression on my face. A healthy expression. God gives us a happy, healthy face when we praise Him. The depression is set aside and the joy that we have in Christ shows as we hope in God and praise Him! Oh my word, this makes me so very happy! God tells us just what to do!
And then, He reminds me again. Look at the end of the verse. My God. MY God! I am His and He is mine! What in the world is wrong with us? How can we be so self-centered?
Now we should look at sorrow for a moment. Do a word study on sorrow and grief. The Bible talks about it a lot. Sorrow is not sin, and we are all going to face sadness and sorrow in this life. Lots of it. Accept that. Jesus sorrowed. He felt sadness and He wept. Sorrow is not the problem. Sorrowing without hope is the problem. I Thessalonians 4:13 tells us not to sorrow as those who have no hope. The Bible is so clear about this. We will have sorrow and great troubles. It's the without hope part that gets us.
If you have been in a depression for a long time, it may take you a while to shake free. But you can. God promises that you can. There are dozens of verses that will help. Another thing that really helps me is singing hymns and spiritual songs. We will talk about that another day.
This is just a blog post, but it is a start. Don't sorrow without hope. Hope thou in God. Praise Him. And just watch and see what He will do to your face!
I leave you with a great verse.
II Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
And now I need to snuggle up real close to the Lord. The devil is gonna be after me; round two.