A Christian Approach to Depression

A Christian Approach to Depression

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV).

God has blessed us with the Living Word known as the Holy Bible.   We can turn to the Bible for advice and instruction for our worries and problems.  Some may feel that the Bible is too old to be relevant today.  However, many, if not all, of our issues of today are essentially the same as when Jesus walked the earth.  We learn from Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

One of the most prevalent problems facing our society today is depression.  Antidepressant prescribing has risen nearly 400% since 1988, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18-19 is a fascinating example of how God dealt with His servant when he was depressed. 

Elijah means “The LORD is my God,” and as a prophet he adamantly shared God’s message and warnings.  The Jews were turning to false gods, and he shared his warning.  “Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you waver between the two sides? If Yahweh is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21).

In 1 Kings 19 we read of Elijah fleeing from the evil Jezebel.  She was the wife of Ahab, King of Israel.  Elijah was overcome with depression and requested that he might die, and said, “It is enough. Now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4).

Elijah was so frightened by Jezebel’s threat to kill him that he flees to Mt. Horeb (Sinai).  He takes rest under a broom tree and the word of the Lord came to him and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah” (1 Kings 19:9)?  God is omniscient and clearly knew what Elijah was doing, but He was modelling for us how to help a depressed person.

1.

2.

God met him where he was.  He did not wait for Elijah to come to Him.

He asked questions and listened.  The questions were crafted to lead to self-examination.  God did not offer quick answers.  God’s actions were in accordance with James 1:19.  “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

We should be mindful of people that are disappointed because if disappointment is left unresolved it will lead to discouragement which is a step away from depression.  The pharmaceutical industry has done tremendous things for people.  However, I encourage us all to be proactive and seek out our brothers and sisters that are disappointed and turn them toward the lift of Christ and away from the darkness that leads to depression.

Prayer:  If someone reading this is in need of help, please provide it.  If someone reading this is not in need of help, open their eyes to the disappointment, discouragement, and depression that is present all around us and help them to meet those in need wherever they are in need.  Help us to show your love by being present and quick to listen.  Amen. 

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • A Christian Perspective on Marriage

    A Christian Perspective on Marriage "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh"  (Genesis 2:24 NIV). At almost every marriage ceremony that I have attended, the words “What God has put together, let no man separate,” are often spoken by the pastor or person conducting the ceremony. Rings are also exchanged by the happy couple. The rings are essentially a circle which has no beginning or end and is therefore a symbol of infinity. It is endless and eternal -- just the way love should be. The wedding ring is worn on...
  • Opportunities Abound For Those Seeking Volunteer Roles With Christian Organizations

    Opportunities Abound For Those Seeking Volunteer Roles With Christian Organizations "The greatest among you will be your servant" (Matthew 23:11 NIV) Volunteer work should be seen as a hallmark of every good Christian’s character. Those who want to live a life in God’s good graces should feel compelled to help out their brothers and sisters around them. The next question then is how to get involved with a volunteer effort, as it’s often one of the only ways to accomplish the goodwill work that needs to be addressed in this world. Fortunately, there is no shortage of organizations that need volunteers. I would...
  • Evangelism Begins With Discernment

    Evangelism Begins With Discernment "Calling the Twelve to Him, He began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits"  (Mark 6:7 NIV) Evangelism is typically defined as the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.  Many Christians are uncomfortable with active engagement in evangelism because they do not consider themselves a preacher and are too timid to engage in personal witness. The gift of evangelism is directly from Christ:  “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers.”  (Ephesians 4:11).You may not be called to pastoral ministry...