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God’s Work in Depression: What Does the Bible Say?

Depression has an unique darkness that imprisons its victims. One who experiences it might wonder if the light will come. If you are praying for help, then do not lose heart, because help will come. 


“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2


What does the Bible say about depression? 


The Bible does not speak directly about depression. It does, however, provide examples from real people and their internal battles. Here are a few people in the Bible to whom you can look for hope during seasons of depression. 

A lesson from Solomon

History remembers Solomon as the wisest man to walk the earth, but he learned that with knowledge comes grief. You can learn a lot from the teacher who constantly reminds you that everything is meaningless.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 1:2

Solomon gives believers a great vantage point. He can show you how to deal with depression as a Christian.

In the twelve chapters of Ecclesiastes, Solomon walks you through a rigorous list of everything he believes is meaningless. He mentions wealth, pleasure, work, and even wisdom itself. He wants the reader to understand one crucial point: He “tried it all.”

Those who struggle with depression often ask themselves, “What is the point?” You might run through the best possible scenario of how your life could turn out. However, you come full circle to the same hopeless thought: It is meaningless.

This is why Ecclesiastes is so crucial. Solomon has been there, and he has done everything he wanted to do. He experienced the most pleasurable things he could find. He acquired vineyard after vineyard and gained the whole world you might say, but for him, it was not enough.

Solomon concludes in poet-like fashion. He builds up for twelve chapters and places the key to his hope in the last verses, Ecclesiastes 12:13. He tells his readers to fear God and keep God’s commandments.

Solomon realizes that life does not always make sense. He understands that sometimes wickedness prevails, and the needy are forgotten. Yet he ends on a strong note, telling you to “fear God.” He reminds you that God is near. Through all the confusion, doubts, and dark days, God is there. Solomon points you to Christ, who in Matthew 11:29-30 says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

If like Solomon you feel at times that everything is meaningless, then read these Ten Steps to Increase Your Spiritual Passion.

Psalms from King David

King David is known as a man after God’s own heart. He slew a giant, conquered armies, and led the nation of Israel. Yet David was humble enough to write about his inmost struggles. Psalm chapter 13 gives insight into his turmoil. He writes verses like, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”


David was a mighty warrior, but the battles in his heart proved the ugliest. If you read through the Psalms, then you will find how David coped with the chaos in his soul. He continually drew near to the Lord and cried out for help. 


“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord I have no good apart from you.” Psalm 13:2

Apostle Paul’s thorn

The New Testament has a different literary style from the Old Testament. However, you find words of encouragement speckled throughout it. Many of the writers encourage their readers to bring to light their hardships. They call the Church to pray for one another and carry one another burdens. 


Paul gives you a glimpse into his heart in 2 Corinthians. Paul may have not suffered from depression, but he struggled with something that tormented him. He writes, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” 2 Cor 7:7-9


Paul reveals the heart of God in the following verse. Paul shows Christians how they can handle the weight of depression. 

 

“But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor 7:9


God assures you that even if you begin to break, his grace will sustain you. As fierce as the storm in your soul might rage, you have a King who can say “cease,” and the storm will quite. God can use your weakness for his glory. Paul reminds the Church that sometimes God will not withhold dark days from his children, but he will light the path through them.


Depression is not something you should not tackle alone. Reach out for help. GTKYB has a forum where you can submit a prayer request. There is a body of believers ready to pray for you. GTKYB offers many online resources and a free online devotional to guide you through scripture.

God’s Lessons

Getting To Know Your Bible has multiple ways to connect with God’s word. If you have any questions on where to start, please visit the contact page and send a note. If you are wrestling with depression, then remember to reach up, reach in, and reach out.

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