Friends, many ministry or marketplace leaders go through periods of depression from time to time. There are many reasons for this, such as some type of loss or a series of losses. Events like the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of perceived success, loss of reputation, loss of self-image, and more.
If you find yourself in a state of prolonged sadness, suffice it to say you may be situationally depressed. If you find this is a regular, reoccurring state of mind, your situation may be chronic. This blog is not going to deal with the reasons for depression nor methods for diagnosing the problem. What I will attempt to do is to write about the cure from a Biblical perspective.
Before I get started, some cautions:
Throughout the Bible, we have examples of people who were suffering from depression. For example:
The Book of Psalms is a treasure trove of emotional expression. It contains numerous passages that resonate with the feelings of those battling depression. For instance, Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." These verses provide solace and a reminder that God is near in times of emotional turmoil.
Cure: Turn to Christ more than ever.
JEREMIAH THE PROPHET
In Lamentations 3:22-23, it's written, "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Even in a book filled with grief and mourning, there is a strong undercurrent of hope and faith in God's unwavering love and mercy.
Cure: Trust in Christ more than ever.
PAUL THE APOSTLE
In Romans 8:38-39, Paul speaks words of immense encouragement, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This passage reassures us of God's eternal love, which remains steadfast even in the darkest times.
Cure: Love Christ more than ever.
The New Testament, in particular, emphasizes the role of community in supporting one another. Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ." This verse highlights the importance of supporting one another, especially when one is burdened with the weight of depression. I’ve heard it said that “depression is anger turned inward.” If you are angry at yourself, sharing your situation with your intimate circle of trusted family members and advisors will help. If you have a pastoral or leadership coach, share this with them as well.
Cure: Lean on your support network more than ever.
In Revelation 21:4, there is a promise of ultimate restoration: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." This verse points to a future hope where pain and suffering are no more.
Cure: Have hope for “this too shall pass.”
Christ offers comfort, hope, and a sense of understanding for those experiencing depression. It's crucial to remember that seeking professional help is also important. Depression is a complex issue that often requires a multifaceted approach, including medical intervention, therapy, and Christ-centered support. The biblical perspective provides spiritual and emotional sustenance, offering a reminder that you are not alone, that your feelings are valid, and that there is hope and healing in the midst of the pain of depression.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
December 11, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.