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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Depression Is Real And So Is Hope

I'm a Christian; I came to this realization very early in life and have lived a life aligned with the Christian faith. Some think that Christians don't get depressed, or depression is not real.

In reading the book of Job in the Bible, Job acknowledges that he was depressed. His troubles were weighing him down and he didn't understand why, so he suffered from bouts of depression during his trials.

Job had all of the conditions that were ripe for (situational) depression, and he expressed it to his friends and to God. In addition to Job there are many other Biblical figures that dealt with depression:
  • David - Psalms 37-40 David reflecting on instances when he was wronged. How often the psalms comfort us when we are down.
  • Jonah - Jonah 4 Jonah felt sorry for himself because of what God decided.
  • Elijah - 1 Kings 19 Elijah experienced an emotional letdown after defeating false gods.
  • King Saul - 1 Samuel 16:14-23 Saul was tormented in his spirit.

So it is foolhardy to act as if depression does not exist or to simply make light of our emotional state. Job was ill, lost his possessions and his children. He reasoned with God, questioned God and yet he was still depressed and his situation remained the same. But Job had something many depressed people may not have - he had HOPE. He did not go into a state of permanent despair, a place where many seem to be and can't seem to escape it. Job knew God had the final answer and he would continue to trust God in spite of his circumstances and no matter how he felt.

The point of this post is that depression exists but it doesn't have to be permanent. You don't need to remain depressed forever. I have been depressed at various points in life. Once I recognized it, I did everything I could to get past it. I researched remedies, went to my doctor, took more time for me, prayed more, and read my Bible more which led to amazing revelations for me that ultimately removed the depression. Like Job, even when I was depressed I never gave up hope. I chose to believe the truths of God's word vs. the lies of the devil. I shared with those closest to me and they were able to help, hold my hand and encourage me.

I've noticed that in marriage when one is up the other is down and vice versa - and it's good because we can be what the other needs at that point in time. In the rare or occasional moments when we're both down we talk it out, laugh it out or hug it out because sometimes nothing can be said. Job had his wife, who is often misunderstood and his friends who at some point became miserable comforters. But in all of this when humans failed Him, he held on to the faithfulness of God. He never gave up on God.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God! Psalms 42:11 [NLT]
If you're depressed don't give up hope, trust God and seek help.

[written by Nylse Esahc]
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