With today’s economy Depression is on the rise. While doctors prescribe anti-depressants like candy to address the feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt, and hopelessness that accompany depression. God’s word gives us insight on how to fight depression and walk in the joy and peace of the Spirit of God.
This article looks at depression as a spiritual issue and uses the Bible as our reference book. We acknowledge that some depression is medical and should be treated with prescriptions. Most is spiritual and needs to be treated from a Biblical and spiritual perspective.
In Acts 10:38 we are told that “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Illness, whether physical, mental or emotional, is oppression from the devil. John 10:10 tells us, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” If something is stealing, killing or destroying your quality of life, it must come from the devil since the Bible says Jesus wants you to have abundant life.
The spirits of depression and despair are evil. God’s will for you is to experience peace and joy. The Bible tells us “by his stripes, you are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Healing – even from depression and discouragement – is available to you now. Choose to receive it!
If this is true, why are so many people still depressed?
• Lack of knowledge. Many people do not realize that God wants them healed from depression and that His Word promises freedom.
• Rejecting God. If you depart from the Lord in your heart, depression can easily move into the vacant room in your heart. That is what happened when Saul rejected God. It says in 1 Samuel 16:14 that, “…a distressing spirit…troubled him.” The Living Bible said it was a “tormenting spirit” and that it filled him with fear and depression.
• Sin. Sin opens the door for the devil to attack. In John 5:14, we’re told that after Jesus healed a man and told him to pick up his bed and walk, He said, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” In Mathew 9:2, Jesus again related healing to sins being forgiven when he healed a paralyzed man and said, “Be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” Remember this: Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and the only power Satan has over you is the power you let him have.
• Unbelief. In Mathew 9:22, Jesus told a woman who had been sick 12 years, “Your faith has made you well.”
• A broken heart. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” A broken, hopeless heart is ripe for depression.
“The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” (Ps 29:11)
Strength and peace are blessings God promises His people, but you must receive them by having faith in God’s Word. You can’t pick and choose which scriptures you are going to believe. If you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for your salvation, then believe all of God’s word. Choose to have faith in what the Bible says more than in what doctors say, what you have experienced, or what you’ve read elsewhere.
How You Can Get Free From Depression
1. Believe that Jesus Christ is your healer.
2. Decide that you don’t want to live with depression any longer. Deciding involves yielding to a willingness to give up everything that was used to steal, kill or destroy from you in exchange for the abundant life God says is yours. Anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety and the desire for retribution must go to make room for new, healthy thoughts. Remember: what controls the mind controls the man.
3. Identify the relationships and actions (or failures to act) of people that have hurt and disappointed you or caused hopelessness to invade your life. If there have been several, take them one at a time. Be Honest and identify how their actions or failure to act influenced you.
4. Choose to Forgive those who hurt you. You don’t forgive people because they’ve apologized or because they deserve to be forgiven, you forgive because God has forgiven you. You forgive because a lack of forgiveness develops bitterness that will effectively rob your life. You forgive because a lack of forgiveness will only cause you to stay sick and stuck in the place of depression that you hate.
5. Repay Evil with Good. Praying for those who have wronged you will set you free from bitterness, anger and resentment. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” It unlocks the prison doors in your mind to help set you free.
6. Repent. If you have sinned, confess your sins to God and receive His forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
7. Exercise your God-given authority. In the name of Jesus, rebuke spirits of depression and despair that may be tormenting you. Command them to leave in Jesus’ Name and they must go. Fill the area that they vacated with Truth from the Word.
8. Release all these things to God and receive His healing now! “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV) Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Choose today to move towards God, and away from despair.
1. Don’t revisit the old places in your heart and mind where hurt has come. Demons are territorial; they live in those old places. Don’t rehash the issues that opened your heart to depression. You’ve given them to God; now leave them with God.
2. Pray constantly. God wants a close relationship with you. Don’t limit your conversations with God to a few minutes here and there or visit with Him only for an hour on Sunday in church.
3. Praise God. If you sense the spirit of depression is knocking on your door, don’t answer it! Instead, glorify and praise the name of the Lord. Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3) Listening to worship music will create a positive environment for God to move.
4. Spend time with other Christians who will help you stand if you become weary. Do not hang around with bitter, angry, depressed people or seek the counsel of the ungodly.
5. Renew your mind every day. Take control of your thoughts. Your focus will determine your future. God’s Word is your manual for everyday living; you need to read it every day because, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) God says you should, “keep them (His Words) in the midst of your heart for they are life and health to your flesh” Proverbs 4:20-23.
6. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 cautions us to diligently keep our hearts because all the issues of life flow from them. Also, Philippians 4:8-9 tells you to guard what you think about. Think about what is true, honest, pure, just, lovely, or of good report, then it says that the God of peace will be with you.
7. Watch your words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” You are going to eat the fruit of what comes out of your mouth, so don’t let words of darkness, death, sin or instability come out of your mouth.
8. Finally, make a concerted effort to keep your eyes off yourself. Isaiah 58:10 says, “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
We trust that you will experience freedom from depression and despair as you apply these truths from God’s Word!