‘Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.’ Jeremiah 15:16 NAS
People in Bible times dealt with depression too. Consider Elijah. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said, ‘Take my life.’ (1 Kings 19:4 NIV). Job said, ‘I loathe my very life.’ (Job 10:1 NIV) The psalmist wrote, ‘My soul is downcast.’ (Psalm 42:6 NIV) Now, when you’re clinically depressed you should seek professional help. But the kind of depression we’re talking about here is when your motivation is drained, your desire to pursue God is gone, your conversations have turned sour, you’re blind to your blessings, your enthusiasm is forced, and you’re in a daze regarding the future.
Here are some possible causes:
(1) Sin. Sin is like a stone in your shoe; you’ll have no peace until you get it out. No holiday, job change, relationship change, or doctor will heal it. But the blood of Jesus will cleanse it (1 John 1:7).
(2) Greed. King Ahab’s obsession with owning Naboth’s vineyard made him miserable and affected his entire family (1 Kings 21:4).
(3) Comparisons. Constantly comparing yourself to others will depress you (2 Corinthians 10:12).
(4) Speaking negatively. ‘The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.’ (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)
(5) Fatigue. Jesus called His disciples aside to rest. Why? Because He recognized that when fatigue walks in, faith walks out (see Mark 6:31).
(6) Unforgiveness. When you refuse to forgive someone, you carry them like an albatross around your neck. So, what’s the remedy for depression? Often it starts with prayer and Bible reading. Jeremiah, who battled depression, wrote, ‘When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.’ (Jeremiah 15:16 NIV)