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Article Of The Week

What God's Word Says About...

Healing Depression and Suffering

Treating depression has become a multi-million dollar industry. Billions of dollars are spent each year on prescription drugs for depression and anxiety. While many of these prescriptions seem to comfort those in distress, abiding in God's word will give comfort to those afflicted. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" {2 Cor. 1:3-4). While some depression and anxiety are a result of a medical chemical imbalance and would need to be treated for some period of time with prescription medications, your hope and prayer should be that God would heal you of this chemical affliction.

Much of depression and anxiety that is often overlooked, and is dramatically on the rise in this country, -can be caused by our own sin and unrighteousness. Our conscience convicts us of sin in our lives with a feeling of distress. David admitted that his distress was caused by his sins and that he found relief in repentance. In Psalm 6:2-4 David said, "Be gracious to me, 0 Lord, for I am pining away ... and my soul is greatly dismayed." David did not rely on the wisdom of men in healing the great distress in his soul, but cried out to the Lord saying, "Heal me, O lord, for my bones are dismayed ... return, 0 lord, rescue my soul; save me because of Your loving kindness."

We notice the feeling expressed in verse 4 when David cried out, "Return!" David called for God to come back because it feels as if God has left him alone. There are many times in our lives when we feel distant from the Lord as if He were not watching out for us. The distress of sin causes us to feel lonely and separated from God {Isa. 59:1-2). David described in Psalm 6:6 that "I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with tears." Though sin seems to be a lasting pleasure, what we find is that the pleasure is temporary (Heb. 11:25). The consequences of sin are devastating to our spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. How many fornications and adulteries occur each day, each year, under the fantasy of lasting joy and true love? But consequences continue to be the opposite: broken families, devastated lives, scarred children, emptiness in life, and continual guilt. The same would apply to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. When we consider the godly men of the Bible we notice that many of them have had moments of despondency in their lives. Moses, who was considered a humble man, became overwhelmed by the constant complaints of the Israelites and he asked God to lift the burden, even if it meant his life (Numbers 11:4-15). In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul discusses what had been one of the lowest points in his life, a time filled with deep feelings of anxiety and despair. He reports that in Asia he was "burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life" (2 Cor. 1:8-9}. He spoke of how he had "no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within" (2 Cor. 7:5). As Paul reflected on his sufferings, he made several observations which will help us when we go through similar times of suffering. Paul said, "we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead" and "God, who comforts the depressed" (2 Cor. 1:9, 7:6).

According to scripture, what is the spiritual medicine that one can take to overcome sufferings, depression, or anxiety? First, understand that one who is "in Christ" has the promise of eternal life if he perseveres to the end. "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison" (2 Cor. 4:17). Therefore, we need to understand that the suffering, trials and tribulation of this life are short compared to eternity. If we have faith and perseverance in our trials, this pleases God and gives us peace. "We also ยท exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint" (Romans 5:1-5).

Secondly, good spiritual medicine is to quit looking inward, but outward to the needs of others and continue in good works {Titus 3:8). If one is an "effectual doer" of God's word, the promise is "this man will be blessed in what he does". Also "Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say rejoice! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus ... Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you" (James 1:21-25; Phil. 4:4-9). Thirdly, one should seek prayers from the saints (James 5:13, 16). Seek advice from other faithful Christians who may have faced similar difficulties (Prov. 15:22-23, 16:24). Be in the company of other faithful Christians and seek their fellowship advice (Prov. 27:17). Get involved with others who are struggling with similar circumstances, sharing the gospel and praying for each other.

Lastly, trust in the lord and believe that He is able to see you through any circumstances that occur in your life. "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock" (Isa. 26:3-4). Remember the prophet Jeremiah when he was in a depressed state of mind and said, "My soul has been rejected from peace; I have forgotten happiness. So I say, 'My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord'. Then he remembered God's promise, "The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion', says my soul, 'therefore I have hope in Him'. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him (Lam 3:17-26). Now that is good medicine for the heart and mind of men!

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Contact Information

San Juan church of Christ
  • 1414 Hawk Parkway Unit C
    Montrose, Colorado 81401
  • 970-249-8116
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