Eight Reasons why Believers need to be aware of Depression:
By Lucas Stoltz
Depression is part of the Fall. It can be caused by one’s own, the consequences of another’s sin, or might even be unrelated. However, Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (NKJV). This verse gives us the diagnosis and prescription that can help people grow beyond depression. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to give believers a better understanding of depression by looking at eight reasons why we need to be more aware.
The Bible Speaks about it
Firstly, there are various verses that refer to the causes, consequences, and cures of depression and perhaps severe anxiety. It may not mention or address them all, but the Bible plays an important role in the treatment of Christians who are suffering from depression. It may never mention that a specific character struggled with depression, but the Bible does describe men and women who showed symptoms of depression. These examples can be borrowed from Moses (Numbers 11:14), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:7 & 16), and the expected Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14-18). More persuasive cases for depression can be drawn from Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-18), and of course, Job (6:2-3).
It is Common
One study shows that an estimated 121 million people suffer from depression. We would also assume that this refers to the world. However, depression among professing Christians is not uncommon. This is influenced by the dealings of the world and its impact on the church. Therefore, Christians may and do get depressed about themselves, their families, their local church, and the world we live in.
It Impacts Our Spiritual Life
Man is a dichotomy, dichotomy should be understood as the teaching that a human consists of two parts: body and soul. Sometimes the soul is also referred to as spirit. Now notice when our body is sick, often our spiritual life, our feeling, and our thinking are affected as well. And so when our spiritual life is in poor condition, it should be no surprise that our thinking & feeling process goes askew. This could lead to darker & darker thoughts & feelings.
It May be Prevented or Softened
There is also a genetic predisposition to depression which is traced back to one’s parents. And in other cases, folks with no genetic predisposition can fall into it by experiencing traumatic events. Therefore we need to know more about depression in order to help prevent, or work through, factors that cause such depression. Having the necessary information regarding depression can help prevent it or soften one’s experience.
It Can be Purposeful
A better understanding of depression will help us be more sympathetic and useful to those suffering. And so a general rule to show our care is to ‘listen most and speak least’, as this might be most useful for sufferers.
It Has Been Misunderstood
There is a sad stigma attached to depression. It is frowned upon as a weakness, as an excuse. But being a believer does not mean we won’t experience fear, worry, upset, or depression. We still do, therefore we need to understand more.
It Creates An Awareness for Our Health
With assumption, many try to take preventative measures to enjoy good health and a joyful spiritual life. However, very few consider the state of their mental health. This should cause for alarm as there are more and more issues resulted from poor mental health. Therefore we need to know the biblical strategies to help overcome and deal with depression.
And we have a real hope as we learn more about depression. Jesus said:
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”.
For more helpful resources, check out:
David Murray – Christians Get Depressed Too