Depression is a mental illness, which can be crippling and debilitating. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (2015), depression is the third most common cause of hospitalization in adults ranging in age from 18-44. It causes people to lose relationships, marriages, and even jobs. Yet, it goes undetected in others as they walk around, put on a smile, and hide it away from the world, saying all the right words and doing all the right actions.
Depression can hinder even the strongest people. In fact, Moses, Elijah, and King David all suffered from depression at some period.
A spirit of fear overtook the prophet, Elijah, when Jezebel threatened his life. Tired of hiding and living in terror, he prayed for death to come. Although Elijah constantly slept and had no desire to go on, the angel of the Lord provided for him (1 Kings 19: 3-8) and remained his source of comfort and strength.
Fear is a tactic the enemy uses to destroy you; therefore, when you feel it settling onto you, you must bind it to break its power over your life. Paul’s letter to Timothy encouraged him in what appeared to be a difficult time. In 2 Timothy 1:7, the Amplified version says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” Therefore, the spirit of depression or things (fear, sin, guilt, loss of worldly items or relationships) leading to that depression does not come from our Savior, but the enemy.
King David sunk into depression after committing adultery with Bathsheba. He prayed for the Lord to wash his sins and not take away His Holy Spirit or cast him from His Presence (Psalm 51:7;11).
We often succumb to feelings of guilt over poor choices in our lives. We beat ourselves up and fail to forgive ourselves, believing others could not possibly do so. How can the Lord? All we have to do is ask. He promises to deliver us (Psalm 34:17-18) and we can stand on those promises (Numbers 23:19).
Moses was so overwhelmed by the stress of leadership that he, too, became depressed. He questioned why the Lord placed Him in authority over the people, who continually complained and refused to listen. His spirit was so disturbed that he asked the Lord to kill him (Numbers 11:15).
I believe many factors can contribute to depression; yet I also believe it is a spiritual battle. If you’re battling depression, it is imperative you seek a physician’s care for medical issues. However, you also need to ascertain the root cause of depression. You cannot deal with it if you are not real with yourself about why and how it exists. Almighty God invites you to lay those burdens at His feet, which empowers you to be restored and renewed (Matthew 11:28-30).
Battling depression alone can feel like a losing battle. Staying within a body of believers gives you encouragement through their prayers for you. His strength and ability is far greater than yours. Bring your worries and cares to Him in prayer, and He will give you great peace (Philippians 4:6-7). It doesn’t matter how big the situation is, the Heavenly Father we serve is greater. He is an omnipotent, all-powerful, invincible, supreme, unstoppable God!
Because depression is a mental illness, which grips you in a spiritual battle, your mindset has to change (Romans 12:2). Changing your environment, and perhaps the people you are around, is essential to overcoming depression. If people continually put you down or speak negative words into your life, they are likely a contributing factor to your depression. Escape! Situate yourself around people and environments, which inspire, motivate, and encourage you.
As believers in the Body of Christ, we have authority over every area of our lives. He has given us authority through His Holy Spirit. It is not a mere thing to simply pray, but we must speak authority over our lives. Speak life in dead areas such as your marriage, finances, health, and relationships, and cause them to move. Command joy and healing in your marriage; prosperity and stability in your finances; strength in your body and mind; and peace and favor in your relationships.
While you should seek medical guidance, a relationship with the Sovereign Lord is essential to recovering from depression. Meditate on Scriptures in times of fear, guilt, shame, and stress. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 91. It has brought great peace to me.
Take authority over your mental health through prayer, declaration, and meditation. (Read: Philippians 4:6-8, John 14:27; Jonah 2:5-7; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 41:10; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 8:6).
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