Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Biblical Depression – Part 2 of 2
Yesterday’s examination of depression focused on Old Testament servants. Today we will finish up the Old Testament and take a look at New Testament servants, seeing how even the New Covenant is not a total protection against depression.
Despite the hype of the world, great wealth will not insulate you from depression. A perfect example of this is Solomon, the wisest, most prosperous man who ever lived, but who also suffered from bouts of relentless depression. In fact, he wrote a book expressing his feelings of hopelessness – the Book of Ecclesiastes. Listen to the opening words of Ecclesiastes, the words that become the resounding theme of all 12 chapters of the book, “’Meaningless! Meaningless!’, says the teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
Similarly, youth offers no sure protection against depression. Look at Jeremiah. Here is a young man who was one of the premier prophets of the Old Testament. And yet, when he encountered persecution for preaching the Truth, and when he witnessed the fulfillment of his own prophecy in the destruction of Jerusalem, he was driven to utter despair. He also wrote a book recording his feelings of despair and pain – the Book of Lamentations. It is a book of laments and woes, which caused Jeremiah to become known as “The Weeping Prophet”.
Have you considered His servant Job? Don’t you know he went through a time of anger and depression? After losing everything of Earthly value in his life, with no explanation or reason being given to him, Job fell victim to depression. Remember, Job did not know about the discussions going on between God and Satan. He had no idea why the tragedies he faced had befallen him. “After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day he was born.” (Job 3:26). But eventually God released His servant Job from his misery.
Even with rock-solid faith and unswerving devotion and commitment, the Apostle Paul records his trials with depression. In 2 Corinthians 1:8, he writes, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead.”
Perhaps Paul was experiencing some discouragement and maybe some depression when he writes his last letter to Timothy. He is fully expecting to be executed by the Roman government. He feels all alone and deserted. “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.” (2 Timothy 4:16). With all Paul endured on behalf of our LORD Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-29), it is not surprising he felt weary at times.
Maybe most important of all, it is helpful to know how our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ experienced and dealt with the very same spectrum of painful emotions we experience. Did Jesus experience moments of depression? Scripture is not clear, but we do know the Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering (KJV – ‘Grief’).” (Isaiah 53:3). In John 12:27, facing His own death on the Cross, Jesus declared, “My soul is troubled.”
Even a perfectly normal man felt the impact of “the blues”, weeping before He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:35). Christ felt our sorrows, our depression, and our temptations so He could know the depressing hopelessness of our condition. Anyone in the flesh will be subject to the affliction of depression, it is just a part of our being human.
If our LORD could not escape this condition, it means that even Christians are not given an antidote to discouragement and depression when they get saved. All Christians will face moments of discouragement and sadness, even periods of depression. But God can use these times of human weakness to accomplish His normal purposes in our lives. He can use even depression to draw us closer to Him and to teach us total dependence on Him.
There is no simple, “quick fix” to depression, but there is hope. You can feel better. Your healing begins with a refreshing, redemptive relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our Wonderful Counselor and all true counseling is totally and exclusively dependent upon the absolute sufficiency of Jesus Christ and the Truth of Holy Scripture. Beating depression is never easy. Be comforted by knowing the One with all power is on your side and will someday release you from this trouble.
“I’m Normal.™ I AM.”
It’s God Talking to You
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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