1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Depression is a growing problem. One thing I do not believe all depression is sin based, there is chemical stuff that can happen to the human body that can affect the brain and it's moods. Hormones, the endocrine system and nutrition can play havoc with moods. Physical health problems with pain and more can take a toll. Anyone who has ever suffered hypothyroidism where the thyroid produces reduced hormone can tell you that condition alone in itself can bring on sadness and lethargy. I have faced depression in my own life. No, I never have been bundled off by the men in white coats or anything like that, though I don't judge those who have faced even more serious depression though as many here know one has to be cautious about many aspects of Psychology. God is my Comforter and has rescued me from many bad situations. I've had to take my sadness to Him many times.
Now one thing even if one is a depressed Christian, the Lord should provide you with a refuge for you to flee to in prayer. The Lord has allowed that despair not destroy me in the undergirding of joy in His promises. There is always joy to be found in one's relationship with the Lord. For many, it is God who keeps them putting one foot in front of another, in this painful exercise called life. Satan seeks to destroy and can use despair and depression to do it. I am at risk because of certain extreme circumstances and life events but have the Holy Spirit as my Protector. [Isaiah 59:19] For myself and for you, my advice is to battle on and seek dependence on God.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Life can be very hard. Especially if you are one of those people in society who doesn't fit in. Maybe you had to leave a wicked family behind. Maybe you became ostracized due to rejecting your family's religion and choosing Jesus Christ. Maybe you don't even have a family. Maybe you were seriously abused as a child and not loved. In an odd way, my being laid solitary in the family I ended up in, made this blog possible. This is how a stand alone personality willing to take this task on was formed. God can use the bad for good.
Psalm 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
Maybe you are homeless reading this at the library or bordering on homeless? Maybe you are so poor, that you fear the streets awaiting as they try to squeeze every last dime out of you. I have written about my own problems in this area. Maybe you woke up this morning thinking why is my life so messed up? Sin can mess up a life and chastisement bring pain, but there are many who have the rain fall on them too, who are innocent. The rain falls on the just and unjust [Matt. 5:45] There is little hope as far as worldly life goes when poverty becomes chronic and for millions of Americans it's entering that place despite all our lying news.
Maybe your body is betraying you or you are dying of a terminal illness or have severe or rare chronic illnesses that were not healed. Crushing poverty also brings ostracization and worse in our society.
People are given hopes and expectations in a society that is mad for consumerism. The way life is in modern America is built for depression. Our social connections are breaking down. The pressures are immense. The lies about life never end. Old people don't suffer pain and breakdown of their bodies but ride horses on the beach and take Botox to get rid of their wrinkles on TV. The constant battle to fit in, measure up and "be somebody" wears out many people. It seems only people with the picket fence and perfect nuclear family count in some circles. Please take a second look at society's many carrots on the stick, and take a look at what God asks of you. God may have a job for you to do in this life that others will never understand. Those caught in the matrix of this world, may even consider you a "bum" or "loser" because they don't value what you do. They will judge you by the things of this world.
You may be someone who feels worn out and depressed from endless work responsibilities or having to take care of an ill spouse or disabled child. Life is not easy. Our society worsens depression with the media lies that present happy shining faces where every dream comes immediately true. The "be positive" brigades also lay a "heavy burden" like Pharisees demanding unreal emotions and feigned states. The "succeed or else" crowd, make us all worn out with the endless expectations that never can be fulfilled. They have this false bubble world that denies reality and to be frank it is messing people up MORE. False expectations lead to more depression too. Resiliency in the young is not formed in the womb of false delusions. Please if you have children, be careful to balance protecting them from things they can't handle and keeping them in an uninformed bubble. Disneyworld and the rest all form the false dreams. The Bible gives us truth that life here is tough.
Romans 8:18 - For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
One thing I have faced in this world is that a lot of my friends have died. One friend in my old town died at the age of 46 this week. This was not one of my best friends but close enough for me to feel grief and immense sadness. The death was a shock. She expected to get out of the hospital within the day in a message she wrote.
Another friend in my old town, a few years younger has almost died of blood clots twice. Time is shortening. I believe Generation X in America will not achieve the same life spans as the Baby Boom Generation. I'm one of those people who does worry about being left on earth alone losing everyone I love. I have already lost so many and had to face grief. Some of the losses I have faced were due to death but others were due to religious division and departing from the wicked. I am separated even from young people within my family. Online, I saw a picture of one kneeling before a huge wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, a Catholic priest by her side. I prayed for her, but such things can cause sadness.
Psalm 147:3King James Version (KJV)
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
This is why when I see all that God has a great plan for your life stuff, I want to vomit! It isn't necessarily true on this earth. Selling out and becoming at one with the powers that be and defending their agendas, usually brings the most financial security at least in America. There are some good wealthy Christians but that applies to many situations. The reality in this world is selling out pays off not spiritually but financially. Some do bet on this world and it's rotting baubles instead of eternity. They will lose. I had those cross-roads in my life where I refused to sell out.
Proverbs 19:7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth them with words, yet they are wanting to him.
Some of us may be poor for life. We will have to wait for the mansions in heaven. Don't let poverty lead you to despair. It can be one of the worse tests out there. Any of you feeling crushed by bills? I sure am. It is God's provision that has kept me from the streets, but I am weary. Of course here in America poverty will be made even more depressing because everyone moved away and now you have no money to see them. You are condemned for being poor unlike other countries where you have a majority of poor friends and family to work with you, who understand and help you out. They want poor people isolated and alone and thinking they are the "only one" as the economy crumbles around us. Of course the ones making the decisions are all living in gated complexes and neighborhoods full of chain stores and bustling business where reality doesn't have to bother them one iota. Surely the poor in other countries are suffering even worse now, as the global elite create wars and food shortages. Thank God for having a roof and dinner to eat, do that! Many go even without that.
That said, wealth is no cure for depression. Look at all the celebrities who seem to commit suicide and go into full blown destruction. Drug abuse, sold out to the Satanic system as Mk Ultras with handlers or even just spoiled, and degenerate, one knows for a fact even the ones with "have it all" lifestyles is just another illusion. I know wealthier sad and lonely and people and if they lack the Lord, their suffering is even worse. All the shopping in the world isn't going to fill the hole in one's heart if the Holy Spirit is not there.
The folks putting this picture together with the lion and martyrs was making a good point. One insidious thing about that "God has a wonderful plan for your life stuff" is if life on this earth doesn't pan out too well, and you get sick or your spouse gets sick, or friends die, or some other hardship hits, what then? How many with false conversions fall away then? How many refuse God, thinking God has cursed them as the world beats them down? This is the kind of junk that makes people not trust Christians or think Christianity is a religion for the well-heeled "proper" people with nice homes and close families and not for them. It delayed my conversion, seeing loved "Christian" women with close families and stable finances telling me I was being punished by God due to my "misfortunes and ill health". I know I never want to make the mistakes with the lost that were made on me. I almost did die in my sins. False prosperity gospels are the extreme of this, but that message can filter down even in unexpected places. It also leads to self righteousness. This is why in many areas of the right, depression increases as the false Christian world becomes not one of refuge and hope for the broken hearted or the poor but one of the false judgment of man.
I have warned about this before, and to me it is an important one. I see it as a destroyer of faith, especially in the young. They will say "We have tried everything, our life still stinks, where is God?" God did not bring me a spouse, or a good job, or a baby, or my son is disabled or my loved ones died." They are led into depression and despair and many state as a result, that there is no God. I have heard others tell me of a tragedy that had them walk away from God [that seed in shallow soil]. I know others who have rejected God due to having "bad lives", this includes one person who has struggled for their entire adult life financially who thinks God does not love them because of this.
If the churches teach that being a Christian will "give you a good and proper" life here on this earth, what are the young to think? One tragedy will be enough for such folks to loose their moorings. Often people told me that evidence of good faith was to have a good life on this earth. If I had not been reading my Bible and praying, taking a look around at my own multitude of adverse circumstances, I would have thought God had abandoned me. Here is where a relationship with God better be personal via true salvation in Jesus Christ. What about teaching people to have faith no matter what? And that life in this world is HARD. Why monkey around and lie? This sets people up for disaster. Dealing with reality builds resiliency. It helps people deal with the emotions that can lead to depression. Denial of reality ensures more depression.
Some smiling church people often will say, the depressed are all wicked. I had a conversation at my old church where one church member told me, "All depression is a sin." This isn't necessarily true. There are chemical brain disorders and physical illness that can cause depression. There is chemical depression. I know myself from having thyroid disease how that affected my emotions. There are people who may need real medical help out there and the last thing they need is more condemnation which keeps them from seeking it. Grieving and broken people need support, love and compassion. The Bible repeats this over and over. They do not need those who lack empathy and wield "being positive" or being a "super Christian" full of self righteousness to kick them in the face when they are already down.
It is false religions and churches that tells people all depression is a sin and that God's will is for you to have a fake smile on your face plastered night and day. Human beings are not robots. The Duggars may tell their children they have to always have a smile on their face but this is not living honestly. If anything the Bible makes it clear, that if you are not sleeping away and know what's real, that there will be some emotion about it.
Now depression can arise from sin. There is no doubt of it. Substance abuse, committing wicked deeds with no repentance, renouncing God, all can lead one down into a pit of despair and misery. Gloom can rule in the darkness when there is no light! If you turn your back on God and refuse His gospel and mercies, the room will indeed darken. It is whirlwind that almost took me down for good when I was young, and with wicked unloving people around me, almost much more so.
How many teens and young people are denied the gospel, and told that they are only worth something if they succeed? And when inevitable failure comes, told it is their fault and they are nobody? Too many want trophies instead of children they want to raise with love and the training of the Lord. Some seek to destroy their own children and do so with cruel words and wickedness and deny them love they need to be healthy and grow even as adults. Hopefully those folks will find God and survive, but some do not. For me, God's Word was literally a lifeline that got thrown into the abyss.
Here one has to be careful of their mind. We must protect our minds. Young people need to be told to protect their minds. Old people too. We have to study the Word. What does "Gird up the loins" of one's mind mean? This means you have to protect your mind and even pray to God once you see things going the wrong way.
Look at the wicked, they love the darkness, they revel in it. All that Walking Dead garbage and the Halloween stuff tells us that. I was saved as a young adult but remember the days before and the thinking that led to watching disgusting horror movies. There is a difference between godly mourning, and grief over our own sins and the lost of the world and the depression that can come from sin. The wages of sins is death but on the way there, is despair, and darkness.
Romans 6:23King James Version (KJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here is a picture of youthful depression where rejection of God is part of the picture. How many depressed young people say there is no God out there?
Young people often fall into this pit of despair via sin, that can lead to destruction. While some have chemical problems and have faced abuse, others in a world where they glamorize evil and get led into a darkness of spirit. Detachment from other people, selfishness, self-pity, are all dangers that await on the drug infused way to hell. It shows in the music too and not just in the obvious emo or goth subcultures but the mainstream too. The music is not to uplift but to tear down. There is a reason we are not hearing happy songs today like there used to be but "dark" Satanic lust or despair filled music.
Satan desires to give a seductive tinge to darkness and in our society darkness is outwardly celebrated. Two days ago celebrating Satan's holiday, many otherwise even happy suburbanites wore the plastic masks of serial killers as they dressed their little children up as witches or vampires. What is "happy" about that? But they love that holiday don't they? I am happy it is over.
This is same for depression. I have been around a few depressed people, where one can feel a spiritual darkness. For some, their own sins have brought them down while sins of others have brought them to that dark place. Some hand themselves over to wicked people and become in thrall to them and controlled by them instead of seeking God. One can see how rejecting God can lead to this darkness, and where one has "given up" and feels no hope at all. I have this relative who rejects God, many of the others do but this one is vocal about it and told others she hated me for being a Christian. She is also one of the most depressed people on this earth. Enter a room where she is sitting and you will feel a dark cloud in the room. I have no contact with her now but even a few years ago the last time I saw her smile was over 20 years ago. For years, I used to think it was just her ill health but obviously there are effects coming from her spiritual choices.
I met this one girl that was so depressed years ago, she had multiple suicide attempts that when I met her, I felt it was more a spiritual rather then a chemical problem. I was even sort of frightened to be around her. The family was Catholic and I tried to warn them and witness--I had just been newly saved myself, but what else could I do? They were seeking medical help for her as well. One lady told me she had committed her daughter to a psych ward, told me the intense things she was saying and doing that were even disturbing her doctors and professional caretakers and for some reason the Lord convicted me to tell her that it was mostly a spiritual problem and needed prayer. She gave me a funny look, but did not argue with me. There is demonic oppression out there.
This doesn't mean if your teen is depressed to immediately start casting out demons out of him. One needs to use discernment. Be careful of going where false discernment ministries go, where they want to cast out the "demons" of depression, or "financial problems" and what have you, but know how depression and spiritual warfare issues can go together.
Depression can have a dark cloud of giving up, and of surrendering to the "dark" side as part of it. No one today will warn anyone that suicide can lead to hell. I will do it. Suicide can lead to hell. Remember when Robin Williams died, of a supposed suicide? While the reports had the questionable side to it all, some of the talk about this really disturbed me as the media and public seemed to glamorize suicide. The romanticizing of suicide got sickening as some even wrote that Williams was "now free from his demons." Some did worry and felt the media's focus on his suicide could create problems. By the way if you feel suicidal please do seek help and talk to a trusted pastor, family member or friend.
There is sinful sorrow vs. godly sorrow. Sinful sorrow can take you right down to the devil's pit. Satan wants people to give up. Satan wants people on the path to spiritual destruction. Satan wants people to forsake their own life in pain and agony. Godly sorrow is desiring a close relationship with God and feeling sorry for one's sin. It can be heartbreak for the lost, grief, or losing someone you knew who died unsaved.
Worldly sorrow is something else. Satan can take one to destruction via despair. This is a spiritual battle some of us are facing, a big one. Not everyone has been blessed with an ideal life. There are Christians in prison now and being threatened with death. Satan is seeking to destroy others with the griefs of this world, and the darkness within in it. This world will lead to worldly sorrow via the false glamour and seductions of evil, including sin such as adultery. Covetousness and desiring the rewards of this world and the love of money is one example of worldly sorrows the Bible warns about.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
One thing I have noticed among Satan's crew is wanting to suppress all emotions. Be positive, Be a smiling serf, make sure you never rock the boat. Know that the all this suppression helps the wicked. They don't want people talking too much. They don't want people feeling and getting real. Compassion is frozen out. This is why you see society collectively as a whole numbing out. The entertainment offers an outstretched finger saying "Come hither, and leave those bad feelings behind!" This is why alcohol and drugs are so popular. They tune out the feelings, they repress them. They serve as a vehicle to close out God given emotions. Some false churches will tell people they are not to have any emotions except ones they approve. They will say that God expects the repression of emotions. Self-control is one thing but human beings need to be able to express themselves and not hide behind masks.
Jesus Christ himself did feel godly sorrow too as prophesied.
Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
We need to be aware Satan can use depression and despair to destroy a Christian. We need to be mindful of the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. We are still responsible for our actions via God's will despite our emotions. We have to follow truth not emotions. We should be there to help and uplift others who are facing grief and sorrow and try to help and understand those dealing with godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow.
Proverbs 12:25 - Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
What does the Bible Say About Depression