by CJ Zachariasen
Many of us have experienced depression ourselves, or know a loved one who has. When depression comes, we can feel helpless, hopeless and lost. We can also feel that as a Christian, we should not feel depressed. After all, we know Jesus died for us and whatever causes our hopelessness is a contradiction for all He has done for us. We may feel we should always be joyful and confident and productive. We ask ourselves, “Why can’t I shake this darkness? Why can’t I just put on a smile and get back to normal? Why do I feel like a failed Christian?”
There are many people in the bible who have suffered despair. Think of King David who was in the lineage of Jesus, Job who was described by God as blameless, upright and God-fearing, Elijah a faithful prophet, and Jeremiah whose name means “the LORD exalts”. God knows about depression, fear and anxiety. He understands it and He ministers to it. In the garden of Eden, there was no depression, no hopelessness. There was a perfect relationship between God and Adam and Eve until…sin smashed that perfect relationship. Adam and Eve took matters into their own hands and experienced emotions that weren’t part of God’s perfect plan.That’s when depression entered the world. It’s one of a million reasons God knew we would need a Savior. And that’s the reason the love of Jesus and your Christian brothers and sisters are so important. You are not alone or hopeless. And you are not a failed Christian. Your ultimate help for depression is HOPE.
Digging deeper into depression
What scripture says:
- Psalm 18:28 — God lightens our darkness
- Psalm 5:1-3 — David approaches God
- Psalm 43:5 — Hope in God
- Psalm 73:23-26 — God is continually with you
- Ephesians 3:19 — The Love of God
More resources that speak about depression:
- You may be tired and having trouble focusing. If you can only do one thing, read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Let your heart soak in Jesus’ loving understanding of your soul and how He ministered to the hurting people. He cares but also has the resurrection power to minister to your needs!
- READ/LISTEN to the laments of Psalms (sometimes listening rather than reading scripture is especially helpful. Check out apps such as YouVersion)
- READ the book titled “Feelings and Faith” by Brian S. Borgman (READ AN EXCERPT)
- LISTEN to this podcast titled “What Hope Does God Offer in My Depression”
- Consider purchasing and reading the following books:
- “Anxiety: Anatomy and Cure” by Robert W. Kellemen *Stonebridge has copies available. Suggested donation of $5. Call or email to claim yours*
- “Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety” by Elyse Fitzpatric
- “Suffering” by Paul Tripp
- “Six Stone Jars, God’s Remedy for Fear, Worry and Anxiety” by Dan Manningham
- “Anxiety, Knowing God’s Peace, 31-Day Devotionals for Life” by Paul Tautges
Application and exercise:
- Write a specific prayer request relating to your depression on a piece of paper and place it in a jar. Your request can be “beyond anything you can ask or imagine” about your situation, or something small like “help me read a psalm”. Then, write a specific blessing you notice from God for the same day and place it in a second jar. Your blessing can be something big such as a resolution to your situation or the taste of your favorite warm drink.
- Keep a journal of your depressive thoughts. Ask God to show you what you are responding to when you have those thoughts. What is the situation? What are you hoping for? What might God be teaching you?
- Share your prayer needs with a mature believer and trusted friend.
- Watch one (or both) of the following videos.
- Go to stonebridge.church/biblical-counseling to inquire about counseling if you desire more intense help.
Bible Reading Plans: