“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.”  1 Samuel 30:6

One of the great truths of the Bible is that God is our Hope  when we are in trouble, including depression.

You won’t find the term “depression” in the Bible, except in the Voice Translation, where the word anguish is used.

Looking in a dictionary, I found this definition: ” Depression is a mood disorder characterized by an inability to experience pleasure, difficulty in concentrating,disturbance of sleep and appetite, and feelings of sadness, guilt, and helplessness.”

The Bible uses words such as downcast, sad, forlorn, discouraged, downhearted, mourning, troubled, miserable, despairing, and brokenhearted.

Depression can come as an emotional letdown after a great victory. remember in 1 Kings 18  where Elijah the prophet defeated the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel , where God did a stunning display of His power before an unbelieving audience?  You would think that after witnessing such an incredible event that Elijah would absolutely pumped up and greatly encouraged?   You Think?   Not so, instead of being encouraged, Elijah, fearing what Jezebel would do in revenge to him became weary and afraid.  He literally ran for the bushes to hide under a broom bush and proposed a  final prayer , asking God to take his life.

Even Jesus, who was like us in all things but sin, may have suffered depression. Remember when Herod Antipas  beheaded John the Baptist?  What was Jesus response?  Matthew writes in Chapter 14:13 that, “When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place”

There are many other characters throughout the Bible that the Holy Spirit reveals also had symptoms of depression.  Look them up for yourself, Hagar, Moses, Saul, David, Hannah, Solomon, Nehemiah, Job, Jeremiah, Paul and Judas Iscariot.

None of us are immune from Depression.   The fact is that depression can strike anyone, man, woman, brother, sister, uncle, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, rich, poor.  Naomi, the mother in law of Ruth, suffered through it.  Rich people like King Solomon all suffered from depression.   Young, like David, or old like Job were in this group.

The interesting likeness in someone suffering depression, a common likeness, if you will is that depression often comes not only after a great victory in your life, but also after a defeat.

One thing is for sure and guaranteed to His children who are suffering through depression, and that is that  God is NOT angry with you if you are depressed. Discouragement and depression are normal parts of  nature, of being human.

There are lots of things that can activate depression in your life. For some it can result from the death of someone you loved.   Sickness, or a prolonged illness can trigger it.  Losing your job, going through a divorce, financial worries, are but a few that can bring on this feeling of helplessness, guilt, and sadness, can all bring on this disease.

What can we do about it?  How can we be set free from it?   I have a friend that leaves a powerful message on her answering machine at home to help lead those that may be calling and fearful in their problems. She says” Hi, this is Connie, I’m not home right now, but why don’t you call Jesus? He’s ALWAYS waiting to hear from you!”

Good News! The Bible doe NOT show God punishing His children for their sadness, contrary, God responds to us as a Loving Father would.

God is our HOPE whenever we are in trouble, including depression.  What do we do?  When feel depression hitting our lives, look up!  Fix your eyes on Jesus, Depend upon His Omnipotent Power, and His never ending love towards you.

Check just a few verses I found that will encourage and help you to be lifted out of your depression.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”            Isaiah 41:10

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”   Jeremiah 29:11-12

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” John 14:16

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians, 5:7

I can personally tell you that during the last seven months working through my chemotherapy, the previous surgery, the initial diagnosis, throughout it all, I experienced several bouts of depression, and throughout it, my God was faithful to me to lift, each time the clouds of depression.  Often the Lord would remind me, “Marty, I am the Light of the World, nothing is too hard for Me, cast that burden upon Me, because I really do care for you.”  One of the most powerful words that prove to me that God has the authority, and the power to help is in found in my most favorite passage as God has led me by the waters, through the rivers, and I walked on the fire was all about who He is, and what He can do for me, even depression:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:14

Why not “call on Jesus? He’s always waiting for you to call Him?”

Here’s Today’s Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYeNfXpZ0pU

(Just press the purple icon and it will take you to the video)

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