Did you know that Christians can get depressed too? Many people think that if you are saved and serving the Lord it is not possible for you to be depressed.
We would like to examine depression in the bible, give you the warning signs of depression, offer you a test to tell if you are in fact depressed and then give you some biblical solutions to get out of it.
First, let’s look at some of the signs of depression, a yes answer to more than 5 of these would be positive depression symptoms:
- Are you always feeling sad?
- Do you feel hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty?
- Have you lost interest in hobbies and activities that you once loved?
- Are you always tired?
- Are you having trouble concentrating and remembering details?
- Do you have insomnia ? Or you over sleep most of the time?
- Have you had a drastic change in your weight due to overeating or not eating at all?
- Do you harbor suicidal thoughts or think about death and going to heaven a lot?
- Does your body ache, do you have headaches, digestive problems or cramps?.
If you would like to do an online depression test click here
In the bible several great men and women of God also battled bouts of depression. Here is a Psalm written by King David that describes what he felt as he was going through his depression.
Psalm 42 (NLT)
1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”
4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and 6 my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
9 “O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”
11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
We see that David was broken hearted, deeply discouraged, his body ached, he was crying and sad. We also see his solution to his depression which was to praise God. Worshiping God brought him out of his depression. We know that while you are going through the depression you may not feel like worshiping God but if the bible offers it as a solution I think it is something we should do!
Another great man of God who suffered from depression is Elijah. He had just come out of the major victory of calling down fire on the false prophets and now Jezebel was after him. What we learn from this is that after a great victory, or even sometimes going into a great victory, you may face depression.
1 Kings 19:4-5 (NLT)
4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”
5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!”
We see that Elijah was suicidal and the solution to Elijah getting out of his depression was basically for him to eat something. We are not saying that it will be this simple for everyone because each person’s process is different but we are saying that there is a solution for you and God can show you what it is.
We see in this following verse the Apostle Paul’s discouragement and that God sent Titus to encourage him and his joy returned.
2 Corinthians 7:5-7 (NLT)
5 When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. 6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. 7 His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!
Know that in the midst of your depression, God’s word offers hope and insight on how to get out of it. Put your hope and trust in God. Praise Him. Worship Him. Put on some worship music and sing to God, ask Him to deliver you from that spirit of depression and know that He will do it. If He did it for the great men of the bible, He will do it for you as well.
Say what you will about Joel Osteen, you would have to be blind to not see that he has the gift of encouragement. Regardless of your denominational affiliation, watching one or two of his sermons if you feel depressed will surely lift you out of it! That is his spiritual gift at work in the body of Christ and at times when you feel like you need it getting a word of encouragement from him will help. Here are some of Joel Osteen’s sermons
Here are some scriptures for you to meditate on to help you out of the depression:
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Psalm 3:3 (NKJV)
3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
Psalm 34:18 (NLT)
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.
John 16:33 (NLT)
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Psalm 118:17 (NLT)
Here is a Prayer for Depression:
Holy Spirit you are the Comforter and I ask you to comfort my heart at this time. Fill my mind with your wisdom and enlightenment to see a way out of this state of depression. I ask that you would send forth your warring angels to bind the spirit of depression and evil around me. Close every door that I have left open to this spirit. Send your ministering angels to speak life, truth and hope to me. Guide me on a path of revival and renewal. Refresh my spirit and fill me anew with your joy. May the joy of the Lord be my strength. I repent for not trusting and putting my hope in you. I pray that your grace will fill me and that I will have a renewed hope in Your word and Your promises. Give me the gift of discerning spirits so that will see where and when this spirit of depression comes in and bind it up before it attacks. No weapons that are ever formed against me shall prosper and I know that I shall live and not die to declare the salvation of the Lord. Fill me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes with your Holy Spirit, with Your peace and Your presence, in Jesus name. Amen