“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28-30
This evening I began thinking about why I started my blog a couple of years ago, and I knew it was for encouragement and strength using God’s Word. I just wanted to help people. God’s Word is the road map of our life and a great guide that we should heed too. Through His Word, we are able seek the aid that we need on all things, especially things we struggle with on a daily basis. As I write each blog, I always speak from the heart, because people generally seek honesty and openness. People are always looking for stories and people that relate to their own life experiences because we want to know that we are not alone.
For this reason, I am taking a different turn on this blog and want to discuss something that is sensitive for people to talk about, and that is depression. For those afflicted with depression, please understand you are not alone. A sad truth is that many Christians suffer from depression and either do not know it or cannot admit it because they think that would mean they lack faith. So many may suffer in silence hoping and praying for help. But I want you to know, before we move forward, that depression is NOT a lack of faith or spirituality. The most well known biblical leaders suffered with deep depression, as we will discuss further down.
Depression is so much more than having a sad day. It’s not something you can just blink and it’s over. It goes much deeper than that. It is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, along with other factors. I am going to admit something to those who read this. I was very hesitant to mention this, but I suffer from depression and have for many years. It took me a long time to realize this, but it is not something I can control on my own. For me, along with traditional medical treatment the Bible is a source of help during bouts of depression or anxiety. I lean on God so much in His Word and in prayer. I look to the Bible for help in knowledge, peace, direction and comfort. In 1 Peter 5:7, it says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
I read of so many examples in the Bible on this topic. Some people probably do not know of the examples we have. One example is King David. David was troubled and battled deep despair. In many of the Psalms, he writes of his anguish, loneliness, fear of the enemy, his cries over sin, and the guilt he struggled with because of it. Even though David struggled, he leaned on God to help him through it all, and God was with him every step of the way. It is wonderful to know God is right beside me through everything.
We recently studied the book of Job in our Wednesday night class and our ladies Bible class, and he is another example of someone who suffered so much anguish. If you remember, Job suffered through great loss, devastation, and physical illness. This righteous man of God lost literally everything. His suffering and tragedy was so great, that even his own wife told him to “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9) Though Job maintained his faithfulness to God throughout his life, he still struggled deeply through the pain: “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:11)” I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:26) His cries for understanding, peace and relief were finally answered at the end of Job. It was a humbling book to study.
So please remember, God hears your cries. He sees your anguish and struggles. It’s easy to feel like God is silent or far away from the troubles of your life. Psalm 34:17-18, says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”. Life is not always easy, but God is with us always and we are never alone. Don’t let anyone tell you that you lack faith in God because of depression, if anything we rely on Him so much more and know He is there.