Depression is a common psychological disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. It usually occurs as a result of adverse life events, such as: losses of a significant person, object, relationship or health, but can also occur due to no apparent cause. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her every day responsibilities.
Depression is a common, yet very curable condition that affects many people in our world. Hitherto statistics tell us that only about one-third of those who are depressed actually receive treatment. This is unfortunate since 80-90% of those who do seek treatment often report feeling better within just a few weeks. It’s also known that depression is the linked cause for over two-thirds of suicides reported each year.
The depression became intense on me when people around me especially my wife started ignoring me and was giving attention to another man. At point in time, friends of my wife started calling me mad person, a devil in disguise etc. because they thought my attitude was intentional, they didn’t know I was going through depression and anxiety. My wife who was aware that am suffering from depression kept it to herself.
Perhaps you feel down today, thinking that all hope is gone, that God has abandoned you, that the end is has come. Yes, you may feel those things, but that doesn’t mean your feelings are true. The Lord of Heaven knows the pressure of your feelings. He understands the depths of your distress. Best of all, He is there. He cares. He understands: ‘the righteous will surround me, For Thou wilt deal bountifully with me’’ (Psalm142:7). What Faith! David is looking ahead and claiming, by faith, a time of genuine victory. He is declaring that God will again use him and cause others to surround him and look to him for leadership. Why, Because God will deal bountifully with him because God will use these distressing, difficult days to give him maturity and inner strength and stability. Inner healing will come, someday.
The Bible doesn’t make the usage of the word “depression” except in a few translations and verses, it’s often referenced by other similar words, such as “downcast,” “brokenhearted,” “troubled,” “miserable,” “despairing,” and “mourning,” among others. Throughout the Word, there are a number of stories about godly, influential men and women of faith, who struggled and battled through dark times of hopelessness and depression. Many of us may find ourselves struggling there today. But we don’t have to stay stuck there. There’s hope.
Moses was grieved over the sin of his people. In his feelings of anger and betrayal from his own people, Moses, as a leader, was about ready to quit. He came down from his mountaintop experience with God, commandments in hand, only to find the Israelites in complete chaos and sin. His heart-cry to God on their behalf was desperate: “But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” Ex. 32:32
Jeremiah wrestled with great loneliness, feelings of defeat, and insecurity. Also known as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah suffered from constant rejection by the people he loved and reached out to. God had called him to preach, yet forbidden him to marry and have children. He lived alone, he ministered alone, he was poor, ridiculed, and rejected by his people. In the midst of it, he displayed great spiritual faith and strength, and yet we also see his honesty as he wrestled with despair and a great sense of failure: “Cursed be the day I was born…why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?” Jer. 20:14, 18.
Jonah was angry and wanted to run away. Afterward God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to proclaim the good news to the societies; he fled as far away as he could. And after a storm at sea, being swallowed by a giant fish, and then being saved and given another chance, he conformed. He preached God’s message to the people of Nineveh. God’s mercy reached out to all people who turned to Him. But instead of rejoicing, Jonah got infuriated: “Now O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3. And even after God reached out to Jonah again with great compassion, he responded, “…I am angry enough to die.” Jonah 4:9
Even Jesus Himself was extremely anguished over what lay before Him. He knew what was to come. He knew that God had called him to a journey of great suffering; he knew what must happen in order for us to live truly free. Our Savior and Lord was willing to pay the price on our behalf, but it wasn’t an easy road. Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Is. 53:3.
We can be assured, that in whatever we face, Jesus understands our weakness and suffering, our greatest times of temptation and despair, because he too traveled that road, yet without sin.
In the garden, through the night, Jesus prayed, all alone, calling out to His Father, asking Him for another way: “And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.'” Mark 14:34-36.
The Bible says that so great was his anguish, that he sweats “drops of blood.” Luke 22:44
What’s true about all of these stories and many others is this: God was with them. Close. Near.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18
He was there in the good days and in the dark days too. He didn’t condemn them for their questions and pain. He didn’t tell them to just tough it out. He reached down to their deepest pit of suffering, and lifted them out. He showed compassion. He offered mercy. He brought hope. He instilled purpose. He gave victory. And He still works in the same way today.
If you are in the cave of depression, try your best to look up. Call upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Hold nothing back. You can trust Him to handle whatever you toss in His Direction. Tell Him exactly how your situation is affecting you. If you are able, spell out precisely what you need at this time. Rely on Him. Do not doubt and do not waver. Stand firm. My friend, He is preparing you for a unique message and an enviable ministry. Believe it or not, that dark cave of depression which seems endless is part of His divine plan. Who knows? The light you have been longing to see could return today.
What do you think about right in your depressed state? Do you think such things as “I’m no good,” or “I can’t do anything right “or” This situation will never change”? It’s vitally important for you to find out what God says is the truth about you and your life. Read the Bible closely to find out what is the real truth (Ephesians 1:18-19). Once you find out the wonderful things God says about you, stop repeating negative things to yourself. Instead, memorize and repeat to yourself the truths you find in the Bible that contradict the negative thoughts.
Fill your thoughts with such truths as : “For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 4:13); “It is he who will supply all (my) needs from his riches in glory, because of what Christ Jesus has done for (me)”
(Philippians 4:19); “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want (me) to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them” (II Timothy 1:7). “Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us” (Romans
8:37); “He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross, so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours!” (I Peter 2:24).
Our world desperately need joy-givers, hope-bringers, those in our lives who will help us remember what real grace is and where lasting help is found. The greatest truth is this, we have a Savior who understands our pain, who knows about every weakness and hurt, and reaches out with compassion and hope. He is Healer, Redeemer, Restorer and Friend.
He will never waste the seasons of suffering we face, but will use it, in some way, to bring good, to instill purpose, to help others, and to make us stronger. .
Help is available. Don’t feel the need to try to hide your pain, or struggle through on your own. Talk to a friend, a relative, a man of God or a counselor. Seek out professional treatment and care.
If you find yourself in dark places today, know that you’re not alone. Not ever. God knows your way and He is with you always.
By: Pius Kedem Sedofia