Listen:  77 Question 3

Clinical depression is a medical condition that can cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in things that normally was fulfilling. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. A person suffering from depression may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.  It’s more than just having the blues.  Depression isn’t a weakness; and it’s not something that you can simply snap out of. Depression is a chronic illness that usually requires long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure.  Depression is an illness that can occur in anyone, Christian or not.

Just like any other illness, depression should be treated with dependence upon the Lord and using true medical procedures that treat the illness.  While some medicines tend to mask the condition, like any other illness, the desire is for a cure, even if the treatments are long-term.  The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  Whatever our burdens are, whether it be physical, emotional, medical, or spiritual, we are invited to cast all our cares on the Lord because He cares for us.  The Apostle James wrote in James 5:13-15, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”  It is so important that we pray for any illnesses we may have and ask others to pray for us as well.

After exhibiting great wonders in manifesting the presence and power of the Lord, Elijah became depressed when he learned that Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, had threatened his life.  We read of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4 where it says, “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”  You would think that after such victories that Elijah would rejoice in the things of the Lord, instead he became depressed and afraid when he was threatened by Jezebel.

We find a similar story concerning Jonah.  The Lord sent Jonah to the city of Nineveh to proclaim God’s judgment in forty days because of the great evil of that city.  However, the people repented of their sins and the Lord did not judge them.  Surprisingly, the grace of God towards these people angered and depressed Jonah to the point that his desire was to die as we read in Jonah 4:1-3, “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”

So, we see by example that these two heroes of the faith went through periods of depression.  This is not the Lord’s will for us.  He desires that we be full of joy and praise as we read in Philippians 4:4 which says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”  The Lord Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”  It is quite possible for a saint of God to suffer from depression.  Commit this to Him, solicit the prayers of others, and seek medical help if it is necessary.  Depression does not have to rule your life.  Colossians 3:15 tells us to, “…let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”  (77.3)