~Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Not all depression revolves around our spiritual condition, I have found. My husband is a recovering cancer patient and the chemotherapy and radiation messed with his immune system. He was low on all vitamins and minerals, as well as various hormones. The body is an intricate network and when one part is out of whack, it can play havoc on a person. Once my husband was nursed back to health by a wonderful naturopathic doctor, the depression subsided.
But let’s talk about depression with the physically healthy Christian. The terminology for depression in Scripture was the word “fainting.”
~Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
When one is weak in his faith, worry sets in. One loses hope of a solution to their circumstances. The new believer has the zeal that comes with new found faith. However, that new zeal wears down because of the cares of this world, unless the new believer has grounded himself through the living words of the Scriptures. He will find himself falling into the depression trap and his hope will wear thin. Some stay in the trap longer than others – some are quick to recognize their weak spiritual condition and remedy it by drowning their sorrows in the Word of God (not alcohol, drugs, or any other distractions of the world).
Our sins can lead us to depression. When we get in a blue state of mind and we don’t keep it in check, we will find ourselves depressed before we know it. How do we keep ourselves in check? We do moral inventory – keep our list of sins short with the Lord – acknowledging each one and striving toward eliminating them from our lives. Romans 14:23 tells us that whatever is not of faith is sin. If our faith is weak and we do not exercise our faith like we do a weak muscle, we sin against God. The result of this is sadness, blueness and depression. We do not rely on God to take care of our circumstances. We do not hope for His work in our lives. Instead, we look to ourselves to take care of the problem or we look to outside worldly help.
~Lamentations 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
We do not have to worry about eternity but we will be “spanked” by the Lord if we continue in habitual sin. For example, if you are still smoking as a born-again believer, surely you don’t think that God would keep you from lung cancer or some type of lung ailment, right? This is where moral inventory is good. When the Lord brings a sin to mind or you know right off that you have sinned, get it behind you, confess it, forsake it and move forward. Dwelling in our past mistakes can lead us to depression. However, the Christian who has confessed and forsaken his sin must press forward and look to Christ to strengthen him during his weak and dark moments. Dwelling on our circumstances is not a sign of faith. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by the Word of God. So Christian, dig into your Scriptures and build your faith so that you do not faint in difficult times.
Luke 18:1 encourages us to pray so that we do not faint. What a great remedy! If our thoughts are focused on prayer, they are removed from the current circumstances. When we are discouraged and depressed, it is because we have lack of hope. But the born again Christian has more to hope for than the lost soul! Take charge of your thought life and focus on your hope!
~Psalms 146:1-10 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
Christian, if you are one of those who struggle with blueness or depression, train yourself to read the Psalms that encourage the heart and the soul. Train yourself to dig into God’s Word! Feed yourself with the Living Waters of the Word of God. God’s Word is alive and can encourage and strengthen the weak! Christ promised us that He will help us through our burdens. Why not take Him up on His offer?
~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.