Depression

A Psychological Problem With Spiritual Roots

Many people suffer from depression. Some don’t even know it because it’s been with them so long it feels normal. Here are the most common symptoms (from WebMD):

Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ feelings

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

Fatigue and decreased energy

Irritability, restlessness

Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once pleasurable

Overeating or appetite loss

Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts

Of course, everyone feels sad, lonely or depressed at times as a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or protracted medical issues.

But when these symptoms become overwhelming and involve physical symptoms and last for long periods of time, then it’s time to seek help. If left untreated, symptoms of clinical or major depression may worsen and last for months or sometimes even years

Depression saps the will and drains the victim of hope. The Bible says:

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)

The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit? (Proverbs 18:14)

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Psychological counseling and drugs can be of help, but ignores the spiritual roots.

Science has shown that depression can be passed on to succeeding generations through the DNA

This confirms what the Bible says about the iniquities of the fathers being passed on to the third and fourth generations (see Exodus 20:4 and separate topic about Generational Predispositions under Soulful Healing)

Depression becomes oppression when Satan and his demons become involved

The Bible offers spiritually powerful words of God to counteract the physical, mental, emotional and oppressive effects of depression:

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)

But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. (Psalm 59:16)

Praise opens us up to receive God’s love and healing in the midst of our suffering

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. (Psalm 22:1-5)

The first line above was what Jesus uttered just before His death on the cross as he bore the weight of all our sins. But these words also point to the verses that follow, which show that we can move from suffering to praise to deliverance

Even before dealing with the roots of depression, we must appropriate and apply Scripture to counteract depression and oppression 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

He has sent Me [Jesus] to heal the brokenhearted. (Luke 4:18)

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. (Psalm 55:22)

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, And, with my song I will praise Him. (Psalm 28:7)

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5)

The spiritual antidote to depression is joy – which is available through the Holy Spirit

To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 39:5)

Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:8-9)

No matter how difficult your life may be, you can always find joy in knowing what awaits us in Heaven

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (2Corinthians 4:17)

Compared to eternity, this life (no matter how troublesome) is but the blink of an eye within the broader scope of life everlasting in Heaven

So, when you’re feeling down, remember who you are in Christ 

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirsheirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)

And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. (2Corinthians 1:7)

But when depression still doesn’t lift, we must deal with the spiritual roots

Click on Page 2 below for Dealing With Chronic Depression