Depression – an emotional condition, either neurotic or psychotic, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, gloominess, dejection, sadness, difficulty in thinking and concentration, and inactivity.
Both Christians and non-Christians can suffer depression. Neurotic depression can be linked to wrong conduct or behavior and wrong reactions to such conduct.
Putting your life in order spiritually will eventually eradicate the depression.
FOR THE NON-CHRISTIAN
- You may realize you have symptoms of depression as a result of such things as unresolved anger, resentment, real or imagined wrongs, self-pity, guilt, or immorality.
- Give assurance of your interest and your desire to help find solutions.
- Have you ever trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
- In order for you to experience forgiveness, there must be recognition and confession of sin.
- You are encouraged to read and study the Bible. (Isaiah 26:3)
- Learn to pray and do so daily.
- Friendships with people who will provide support and encouragement you are key.
- Think about seeking out a qualified pastor or Christian psychologist for continued counseling in order that all the facets of the depression may be dealt with in the light of Scripture.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN
Reasons Christians may suffer from depression:
- In reaction to adverse situations, defeats, and setbacks such as a death in the family, a rebellious son or daughter, or loss of employment.
- Remember that “You are not alone in your suffering”, “God cares and will not leave you alone”, “The Lord, Jesus not only bore our sins, but also our sorrows and heartaches”.
- The present depression might be due to an inability to trust God fully in all circumstances of life. (Romans 12:1-2)
- A recommitment to the discipline of Bible study and prayer may be needed (Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3).
- Faithfulness in worship and service through the church is encouraged.
Billy Graham has written: “Discouragement is the very opposite of faith. It is Satan’s device to thwart the work of God in our lives. Discouragement blinds our eyes to the mercy of God and makes us perceive only the unfavorable circumstances. I have never met a person who spent time in daily prayer, in the study of the Word of God, and who was strong in faith who was never discouraged for very long.”
- Spiritual disobedience and unresolved sin.
- As the problem is revealed, realize that you are right to seek a solution – the first step back to wholeness is spiritual renewal.
- A serious commitment to Bible study is encouraged (Rom. 12:2; Phil. 4:8).
- Becoming involved in a Bible-teaching church where worship, fellowship, and opportunities for service are available is important.
- A serious commitment to professional counseling with a qualified pastor or Christian psychologist until all issues are involved in the depression are resolved in the light of Scripture is suggested.
- Setting standards and goals beyond your ability to attain.
- Goals others set and may attain may not be the right for you.
- Success or failure cannot be measured by any human standard. Instead go by the following criteria:
- Does what I desire match God’s will or is it supported by Scripture?
- Is what I desire for the glory of God, or to satisfy some selfish ambition?
- Have I been motivated by spiritual pride?
- Is what I desire in line with the guidance given by the apostle Paul?
- Learn to live with my strengths and limitations (1 Cor. 15:10).
- Trying to copy someone else is spiritually undesirable and counterproductive (2 Cor. 10:12, NIV).
Other Helpful Scriptures
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Proverbs 18:14 (NIV)
- Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV)
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
- Galatians 2:20
- Psalm 38:1-4, 21-22 (NIV)