5 Antidotes For Depression
by: Chris Whaley | February 5, 2017
Several years ago we were all saddened and shocked by the story of the comedian Robin Williams taking his own life. I loved Mork and Mindy and several of his movies. Would it shock you to learn that a large percentage of comedians suffer from depression? How can that be? How can someone who brings laughter and enjoyment into our lives suffer from depression?
Bible Characters Who Wrestled With Depression
There are several in the Scriptures who dealt with depression. Moses was so depressed he asked the Lord to take his life (Numbers 11:10-16). David certainly had his moments in the darkness of depression (Psalm 51; 32:1-5). Elijah went from the mountaintop of exuberance to the pits of depression in a very short period of time (1 Kings 19:1-18). Jonah also had his moments (Jonah 4:1-3).
I’ve certainly heard a lot of people say some interesting things about depression in my years as a pastor. One of them was, “Christians shouldn’t be depressed.” The insinuation was that if you are depressed, you must not be a Christian. How far from the truth that is!
Two Types Of Depression
There are two types of depression: chemical and situational. Some people have a chemical imbalance, their brains do not produce enough serotonin. Doctors prescribe a drug to help them to maintain mood balance. Situational depression is caused by some traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one. There is great help for both of them. Your doctor is a good one to see.
Talk to your doctor about depression. If you are dealing with situational depression, we have some great counselors at our counseling center. There is nothing wrong with finding help for what you are going through.
Then, there are some difficulties that we deal with that can be helped by listening to counsel from wise teachers.
5 Antidotes For Depression
Pastor and author Warren Wiersbe shared 51 references of the Psalmist dealing with depression. I loved the antidotes that he gave for depression and I’ll share them with you:
1. Stop looking at self and look at God.
When I’m on a plane, I keep close watch on the Flight Attendants. When we go through turbulents, I keep my eyes on them. If they don’t seem worried, then I can calm down. The same principle can be applied to us during our dark times, look to God and His Word. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
2. Look to the past as a tool only and focus on the future.
If you’ve failed, learn from the past. Use the past only as a tool to help you with the wonderful future that God has for you.
3. Hope – the answer to depression is hope.
Isaiah 49:23, “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” We have an amazing hope in the God who loved us so much, He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sin.
4. Stop searching for reasons and start resting on God’s promises.
I Googled, “Promises of God” on the computer and was amazed at what came up. You should try that.
May I add another one to his list?
5. Take comfort in the fact that you are dearly loved by God. God loves you and has demonstrated His love through the cross. I love you. So, if nobody else in the world loves you, you have two who love you a whole bunch!
May the God of all comfort give you great strength and encouragement today!
Author: Pastor Chris Whaley (Legacy Pastor/First Baptist Orlando)