Depression can be a crippling element. One may not know how to deal with depression or who to turn to. There are individuals in the Bible who we can look to for assistance in dealing with this issue.
Probably the most prominent example that most people would be familiar with is Job. First, someone came to Job and told him that a band of thieves stole a whole flock of Job’s animals and killed all of those who were looking after the animals.1
While this person was still telling Job about what had happened, another person came in and told Job that “The very fire of God fell from the heavens” and destroyed a flock of sheep and the shepherds watching them.2
While that person was still talking, yet another person came in and told Job that another band of thieves stole a flock of Job’s camels and killed the attendants watching them.3
As if that was not enough, one more bearer of bad news entered and told Job that all of his children were having a feast when a fierce wind storm came. He told Job that the force of the wind storm caused the house to collapse and all of Job’s children were killed.4
That poor man. Just think of the despondency he must have felt. Imagine if someone came to you and told you that a tree had fallen on your car. Imagine that while that person was talking, another person ran up and told you your house had burned down. Then, just as that person was finishing, suppose your cell phone rang and you were told that the stock market fell and you lost all of your investments. Then, to top things off while you were still on the phone your call waiting beeped, and when you answered the second call your wife told you that your children were killed in a car crash. Just think of how you would feel. You may feel like you want to die. Just one of these things could be enough to turn your world upside down, but all of them would be devastating.
Oh but wait! There’s more! Next, Job got sick. He developed a malignant boil- from head to toe. His flesh was infested with maggots. He began to stink and his breath became repulsive.5 He must have wondered what could happen next. What a dreadful situation. How did Job cope?
His wife was no hope. She told Job, “Curse God and die.” His so called friends were no hope either. They basically ridiculed him and told him that what was happening was all his fault. How would he ever make it through this? The first thing he did was sit in ashes and scrape himself with pottery. He dwelled on his situation, debated with his “friends”, and prayed. In time, Job received comfort, understanding, and relief from God.6
Another person who suffered depression in Bible times was Naomi. Her husband and her two sons had died. She felt so bad that she wanted to change her name to Mara, which means bitter. Even though she was very sad and felt alone, she relied on God and trusted in him. Her daughter-in-law stuck with her. Naomi’s faithful reliance on God resulted in her being an ancestress to our Savior, Jesus.7
Paul is one who had good reason to be depressed. During his lifetime he was severely beaten five times- three times with rods, and twice pelted with stones. He had multiple near-death experiences. He experienced shipwreck. He faced dangerous situations- from people, even of his own race, from animals and natural elements, from false friends. He went without food and water, suffered from sleepless nights, and even went without sufficient material needs at times. Plus, he was repeatedly imprisoned. What a treacherous life. Yet, he was able to sustain himself by relying on God.8
Peter was very close to Jesus when He was on earth. The night Jesus was being interrogated before His death; Peter denied he knew Jesus three different times. He did so because he was afraid for his life. He became very depressed, distraught, over this. He had to rely heavily on God to endure his feelings of sadness and worthlessness.9
The thing all of these people had in common was they remained faithful to God and relied on Him.
You possibly have dealt with situations similar to these. While it may seem at times you just can’t deal with things anymore, there is always hope. There are many passages in the Bible that give encouragement. Psalms and Proverbs contain many uplifting scriptures. If you would like more information to assist you with your depression, you may send me a message and I would be happy to help you.
4Job , 19
82 Corinthians 11:23-27, Ephesians 6:20, Philippians 1:7, 12-14