When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
This week we are looking at what God’s Word says about depression. As we consider the various causes of depression, we see another cause of depression can be guilt. Sometimes we have misplaced guilt. We feel burdened over things that God has already forgiven. Satan loves to dredge up those things in our past. Micah 7:19 tells us that God has cast our sins into the depths of the sea. But sometimes the depression we feel is over unresolved guilt for which we have not received God’s forgiveness. An example of that in the Bible is the experience of King David. During that period when David hid his guilt rather than receiving God’s forgiveness, he said, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). Some of you feel weighed down over something in your past. If you have not yet done so, confess that sin to God and ask for His forgiveness.
Sometimes our depression comes from the loss of a loved one. Being separated from someone we care about can cause depression, and that’s normal for a while. Some of you have lost a loved one through death, distance, desertion, or divorce. And you know there is no instant cure for that. And by the way, we do a great disservice to fellow Christians when we make them feel guilty about grieving over the loss of a loved one. Grief is normal and necessary for healing.
Another cause of depression can be age. Depression is a common complaint of senior citizens. And it’s natural when you consider all the losses a senior citizen goes through: the loss of a job, the loss of position, the loss of loved ones. All of these losses pile up and can cause depression.
Another cause of depression is a chemical imbalance. We are body, soul, and spirit. And there is a close relationship between our body, our emotions, and our spiritual well being. Your brain is a combination of chemical and electrical responses and sometimes those chemicals get out of balance and profoundly affect us. Now, I know some Christians are against psychological medication. They say, “All you need to do is read the Bible. Taking a drug alters your physiology, and you shouldn’t do anything that alters your physiology.” The truth is if you take a vitamin, you’re altering your physiology. If you’re suffering from a nutritional deficiency, do you say, “Well, I’m just going to read God’s Word and that’s going to make up for that nutritional deficiency?” No. Reading the Bible is wonderful, but that doesn’t make up for nutritional deficiencies. It’s the same way with chemical deficiencies. Yes, we ought to read the Bible. Yes, we ought to get good counseling. But sometimes we also need chemical treatment. And that’s why I encourage you, if you were going through prolonged depression that you can’t get out of, find a medical professional who can help you and give you the treatment you need.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Dealing with Depression” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.