Depression and the child of God
How to fight against depression
By David Cox
[PC15] v1 ©2008 www.coxtracts.com
This tract can be freely reproduced for non-profit use.
Psa 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Depression is probably one of the worst problems of mental health in our day. Scientists say that everybody will at some time be affected by depression directly or by someone close to them. Approximately 15% of the general population will have a strong problem with depression needing medicine and treatment, and 80% of these people will not receive any medical treatment.
What is depression?
Medically speaking, depression is defined as being sad, worrying, or losing hope, feeling empty and pessimistic, feelings of guilty, personally feeling you have no worth or dignity, being under a mental stress or fatigue, an inability to function normally, or being irritable and unstable. Nothing suits you, and you simply cannot be happy with life. It is being discouraged. Depression always begins in the mind, and then if it is not treated with success, it has a tendency to manifest itself with physical effects in the body which grow more serious with time, and finally it affects the soul.
Depression is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of Satan to attack the soul of every human being, in other words, it is first and foremost a spiritual problem. Satan opposes God, and he advises us to leave God, and to find another “better” road. But when we take this other road, we get lost, and find ourselves in endless problems and conflicts, condemned and suffering for our own stupidity. Satan then returns to accuse God of having abandoned us in our time of need, saying God does not exist, or if He does exist, He doesn’t want us or care about us, or even worst that God actually hates us. Depression is simply the lack of realizing how much God really does love us. It is a spiritual state that affects everybody at some time, and depression is always a very short step away from suicide.
Depression is when we pay attention to Satan, when we ignore God, and when we are convinced that God no longer loves us, or has interest in us. But all of this ignores how God functions. God leaves us in desperate situations because we have left God out of our lives, and God never really leaves us, but we always are the ones who do the leaving (of God). Desperation and depression should call us back to the fact we are leaving God out of our daily lives, and then we should redouble our efforts to seek God, and place Him in the center of our lives.
Drugs used for Depression
According to doctors and medical researchers, the drugs used in the treatment of depression only work in 35% to 40% of patients, and according to some studies, this number can be as low as 30%, and almost all these drugs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc) have dangerous side effects (suicide, violence, psychosis, bleeding, and brain tumors). Moreover when this medicine is successful in helping the depressed, 80% of these patients will have the same ailment in the near future. Even in cases when they appear to function, there is not much difference between their effects and placebos (sugar pills given to patients who think it is real medicine). Depression has its roots in the spiritual, and the remedies which make it hard for people to even think, or just make them extremely sleepy is not going to solve any of their real problems, just cause more complications.
The Peace of God
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
If we accept that depression is a spiritual problem, then it will never be healed with drugs but only with the Word of God which is trusted and well applied to your life, because it is actually a spiritual sickness, a problem of the soul. Because of this, doctors cannot even study it well, neither can they understand it; much less can they treat it. It is of the soul, not of the body. Many of their suggestions will be almost exactly what spiritual advice a good pastor would recommend. The weakness that allows depression to enter our lives is the lack of spiritual interest and obedience. Truthfully, the human solution to depression is simply to leave our problems and worries in the hands of the Lord (1Pet 5:7), and do not carry that burden ourselves. People with depression typically take drugs and alcohol, or if they go to doctors, the doctors prescribe strong drugs that put that person in euphoria or cause a strong sleep (like Valium for example). The avoidance of dealing with the root problems or just not thinking about the causes of depression IS NOT A REAL SOLUTION! Depression is caused by problems that the person has to understand and correctly deal with. But many problems in your life are simple situations which are not caused by errors in your character (for example like the problems Job had), but are just what God has decided in divine providence you should bear. For example Hannah in 1Sam 1:10-18, had a problem with not getting pregnant. She carried her problem to the Lord in prayer. David had a situation where the people he governed wanted to kill him, and 1Sa 30:6 says “David was greatly distressed… but David encouraged himself in the LORD.” The secret of getting out of depression and winning over the problems that caused it, is in our God, to pay careful attention to Him, and trust in Him. God gives you work to do in relation to your problems, and equally He gives you promises in which you must trust and obey, and then be content with what God decides and gives as an answer.
Steps for Winning over Depression
An Intense Spiritual Relationship with God
If depression is caused from lack of communion and fellowship with God, then the solution is the just opposite, to seek God intensely and to daily live with God. Never allow a day God is not in the center of everything in your life, where you depend and confide in God, (we say, he “has faith in God”), and God takes care of you (always if we walk in His will).
Psa 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Psa 31:22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Heb 13:5 be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Now we know that God loves us a lot (John 3:16), and that God cares for us 1Pet 5:7 (just as He has promised us), but this is not without some conditions. First, this security is only for those who have their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Moreover we must be walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh. We must seek the will of God (through Bible study, meditation on the Word, and attending a good church that explains the Scriptures). We must do our part. But in the end, it is trusting in God.
Service to Others
2Co 8:4 Praying us … (to) take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. Part of the problem with depression is an introspection (always thinking about one’s own self, and never seeing the needs of others). We should “lose ourselves” in service to God and to the saints. God wants us to focus on service and being a blessing to others rather than constantly focusing on our own lives. God has commanded us to do this, but many simply don’t see it as important.
The Word of God
The best remedy comes from saturating oneself in the Word of God.
Psa 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. We should “rest” from worries and cares about our daily lives and problems. We should do what God commands us to do, and then leave them in God’s hands from there.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Psa 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. We should not lose hope in the help of God.
Prayer to God
Without asking help from God, we will never receive of His help. Prayer gives us spiritual strength and peace (quietness and tranquility).
Psa 138:3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
Within salvation, there is “peace” that is a type of rest and refraining from worrying about our problems, trusting that God will take care of you.
Take Control of our Thoughts.
This is refusing to think in things that cause you to be depressed. We should add that music has an especially strong effect upon the soul, and worldly music, like Rock, will in itself cause spiritual problems and depression. Hymns and spiritual songs, on the other hand, give us peace and tranquility, helping us to trust more in our God. Get out a hymnal and sing hymns when you are depressed. It is an excellent remedy.
Praises and Worship of God.
Part of the spiritual condition of depression is the feeling (just a feeling because it is not true) that God is not interested in us. Make a notebook and write everything you can think of that God does for you every day in your daily devotions. Take it out and read it when you are depressed and it will work better than any drug. To be reminded of God’s profound love of us is what fights strongest against depression. A good church will help in this aspect by dedicating part of their services for praises and thanksgiving, where the brethren will share God’s goodness towards us. Hearing this will reinforce also God’s love to you. Worship is reflecting on God’s good character towards us. Praise is publicly identifying God’s hand in your life in an individual way. Never take lightly the importance of these elements in your spiritual life. They protect you from spiritual depression.
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|Date:||January 26, 2016|
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