Some days getting out of bed is almost too much of a chore. Some days feel like wading though Elmer’s glue. Some days there is no motivation, to do anything. Some days inspiring someone else is impossible, because it seems impossible to be inspired.

Is this depression?

Is depression a sin for God’s child?

Sooner or later most of us experience some form of depression. In our world right now depression seems to be epidemic. Believers who would never have imagined they could be depressed — are depressed.

It can descend slowly, like the coming of an evening rain. It can overwhelm like an avalanche of darkness. It can be the result of a real situation, failure or loss, or it can invade our minds for no discernable reason.

The Bible includes characters who experience depression of all kinds, and parts of the Scripture was written by people in the midst of feelings closely akin to depression. The good news is that God does not regard depression as a sin but rather responds to those who suffer its darkness with great tenderness and compassion.

Sometimes feelings of depression can leave us believing God doesn’t care and we should “just get it together.” We can never descend to such a depth that God will not be present with us. In times of depression we must remember that even though we cannot see or feel his presence, God has not, nor will He ever, abandon us.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. 3 You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. 4 You know what I am going to say before I even say it. 5 You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! 7 I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. 9 If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. 11 If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. 12 For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

Psalm 139:1-12
Living Bible (also read the Message and Passion Translations)

We can cry out to God in prayer even from the darkest night of despair. He will hear us.

O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help: 2 “Hear me! Answer! Help me!”

3-4 Lord, if you keep in mind our sins, then who can ever get an answer to his prayers? But you forgive! What an awesome thing this is! 5 That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised. 6 I long for him more than sentinels long for the dawn.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; for he is loving and kind and comes to us with armloads of salvation. 8 He himself shall ransom Israel from her slavery to sin.

Psalm 130:1-8
Living Bible (also read the Message and Passion Translations)

We know that through Christ our Father understands the pain of human life.

He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, “He is a nobody!”

Isaiah 53.3 CEV

Jesus care deeply for us, even in depression, and He provides rest for the weary, acceptance and love.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For 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.”

Matthew 11.28 PHILLIPS

Not even life’s worst depression can separate us from the love of Christ.

I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 8:39 PHILLIPS

Sometimes, deep in depression, we can become convinced something is wrong with our faith.

So Elijah fled for his life; he went to Beersheba, a city of Judah, and left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day, and sat down under a broom bush and prayed that he might die.

“I’ve had enough,” he told the Lord. “Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now.”

1 Kings 19:3-4
Living Bible

Even for the people of God, depression can cloud spiritual understanding, but as the Psalmist King David knew, God is able to lift us out of the pit of depression and fear.

I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him.

Psalm 40:1-3
Living Bible

I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.
Psalm 40:1-3
The Message

When depression, discouragement or sorrow assault us, may we take the initiative and go on the offensive, abandoning ourselves to God, singing His praises and resting in His love.

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