Lesson PDF link: A Study On Depression
What is depression?
The World English Dictionary States:
Depression: a mental disorder characterized by extreme gloom, feelings of inadequacy, and inability to concentrate
When one is depressed, there is a feeling of being trapped, demeaning one's self is common and it is hard to get things done. In other words, hopelessness and likening to imprisonment is part of this.
Although some depression might be caused by circumstance, a lot of depression doesn't have much physical reasoning. Spiritually speaking, there is an enemy at work. This enemy is known as the devil or Satan. This all too real spirit attacks in many ways. Satan has been at this from the beginning and will not stop until he is imprisoned in hell forever by God's own decree.
Now let's look at some scriptures that talk about the characterization of depression.
Let's look at I Samuel 16:14-23
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
15 Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better."
17 So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me."
18 One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him."
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep."
20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.
22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him."
23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
For some background, King Saul disobeyed God and didn't do what he was supposed to do concerning King Agag and the Amalekites. So, the Lord rejected Saul as king. Ever after that, Saul looks like he might have had a spiritual depression issue.
Look at all of the times that Israel went into exile for disobeying and that time that they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because they didn't want to listen to Moses. Sometimes, they still grumbled.
These are all circumstantial; however, if we look at our Lord Jesus, it looks like He was depressed at one time.
The Bible in Matthew 27:45-56
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"(which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?").
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
49 The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.
56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.
In this passage, Jesus felt forsaken by God. Jesus didn't see God because of the separation between the two was so great. God put the weight of our punishment on Jesus' shoulders.
Even though Jesus did nothing, he was depressed. Depression in itself is not wrong and sometimes it is hard to see God in one's life when depression is there. This is why a network of friends and family needs to be there for physical and spiritual support. Jesus had a lot of friends that cared deeply for him, but his depression couldn't be stopped because of why Jesus went to the cross to begin with. Sometimes depression can't be stopped with us either. This is why we need to be able to remember that if our Lord went through it, we will probably have to go through something derived from it. We need to remember God is there for us even if we don't see Him. If depression is circumstantial (meaning something that we did or someone did something to us), ask forgiveness from God and/or then forgive yourself and anyone who wronged you (in no particular order). If depression is not circumstantial, please remember friends and family, count your blessings, remember God is there for you. God is full of compassion and will seek to make things pale in comparison to His light.
Let's Read Psalms 34, Isaiah 61
Psalm 34 Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
The Year of the Lord's Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 "For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed."
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
We forever need to humble ourselves to God and ask for help in trials and heartache. Never forget to praise God in good times. Praise God always unceasingly. This will equip you to not falter in times of trouble.
Do you have any questions or comments?