Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
—Psalm 30:5

How do you treat depression? Just as there is no single cause of depression, there is also no single cure. But there are several biblical principles to help you in dealing with this issue.

First of all, view depression realistically. It’s unrealistic to think that you are immune from depression. Everybody at some point is going to be depressed. But it’s equally wrong to think if you are depressed right now you are in a hole you can never climb out of. That is a lie from Satan. Remember in John 8:44, Jesus said that Satan “is a liar and the father of lies.”

Number two, see depression as necessary. Depression is not only an inevitable emotion, but it is also a necessary one. It’s important sometimes to go through depression as a way to slow down, to give us a chance to heal emotionally, especially after a great loss. It is in those valleys of depression that many times we experience our greatest spiritual growth.

Number three, beware of easy solutions. Beware of people who say, “Just read this book or listen to this sermon and you’ll get out of your depression.” There are no easy steps to get out of depression. Although those things can be helpful, often it just takes time.

Number four, share your emotions with a friend. Depression thrives on isolation. That’s why it is so important to have people around you who can encourage you and objectively look at your situation and give you advice. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon said, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.”

Number five, take care of your body. If there are physical causes of depression, we need to take care of our bodies. Take care of your nutritional needs, your need for rest, and your need for exercise. By the way, if you’re feeling blue, one of the things that can help you more than anything is just to get out and take a walk. Make sure you are taking care of yourself physically.

Remember the words of the psalmist in Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” That’s the promise that belongs to every true child of God.

Maybe some of you feel a heavy weight on your shoulders. Part of that depression you feel may be because you have never received the forgiveness that comes from knowing Christ as Savior. Do you have the joy in your life that comes from knowing Christ as your Savior? If not, why not decide to give your life to Christ right now?

***
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.