Americans spend billions of dollars a year trying to do something about depression. Even some of God’s greatest saints have gone through a dark, deep night of severe depression.
What Is Depression Like?
Psalm 42 pictures a true case of depression symptoms.
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:2). Here is a man saying, “God, I can’t find You. Have you forgotten me?”
When a person is in a depression, it’s like a front that moves in and camps overhead. He feels shame and defeat, like He has let God down. (See Psalm 42:3.)
All this is compounded by lingering memories of what used to be. “For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast” (Psalm 42:4b).
What Does the Bible Say About Depression?
How do you deal with depression as a Christian? Here is what Scripture says to do when you are depressed:
- Take a good look inward.
Your old flesh nature is constantly talking to you. “You deserve this…you can never be better…”
Talk back. That is what the Psalmist does: he takes his soul by the scruff of the neck, looks it in the face, and says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” (Psalm 42:5a).
Ask yourself, “Why am I depressed?” And be honest.
- Take a good look upward.
The Psalmist lets his deepest emotions cry out to God.
“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God my Rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’” (Psalm 42:8-9).
Abraham Maslow once said that the average American does not have a real friend in the world. But every Christian does. What a friend we have in Jesus! There is no lasting cure for depression other than looking to the Lord.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name” (Psalm 147:3-4). The God who runs this Universe attends the funeral of every sparrow (see Matthew 10:28-31). Do not think that God doesn’t care about you.
Does this mean that God will explain it all to you? Nope. Why did this happen? It’s not for you to worry about.
Your question should be, How am I going to react? Say, “God, I don’t understand it—but still, you are my Rock.” God is too good to be unkind, and too wise to make a mistake.
- Take a good look ahead.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11, emphasis added). The Psalmist is looking to the future. I am coming out! I do have hope, and I will hope.
If you are depressed today, hope in God. It may be that God is taking everything else away from you to bring you to Psalm 42:11—to trust and hope in Him alone. God is not finished with us until our chief delight is Him alone. When He is our chief desire, we will say, “I don’t care what happens. He is God! I will praise Him and seek His face.”