Psalm 32:3 NIV “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away…”
The Bible in talking about Jesus says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” (Heb.4:15). This means that Jesus can identify with your depression also. We see a picture of this in Mark 14:34, speaking to Peter, James and John, He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch (or pray).” We can learn from His experience the way to overcome depression.
The first thing we see is that He spoke up. The challenge many depressed people face is that they feel nobody can really identify with the hurts, challenges or experience they are faced with. Jesus certainly can identify with you! His disciples couldn’t understand; He had been preparing His disciples for a while for His death, and they had no clue what He was talking about (Mk.8:31-32, Joh.14:5,19; 16:16). At a point He had to rebuke Peter. If you are currently going through depression, though you feel nobody can understand, look for someone (a trusted friend, pastor, mentor or counselor) that can pray with you. Despite the fact that nobody could understand Jesus’ affliction, He still spoke to Peter, James and John, and asked them to pray with Him (this happens to be the only record in Scriptures where Jesus solicited prayers from another).
With depression, there is a tendency to be defensive (or guarded) when talking to others about their situation. If you happen to be the listener, do a good job listening. It is almost impossible for you to truly understand how the other person feels. What the depressed needs most is hope. The best you can provide is to listen and do the work of an ‘encourager’. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Heaviness in the heart of man makes him stoop: but a good word makes him glad” (KJV). When you’re done listening, agree with the person in prayer, and commit yourself to praying for the person. You are an agent for God’s special touch in the life of the person.
With a heavy heart, the most important person to talk to is God. James 5:13 says, “is any man afflicted, let him pray”. We see that Jesus went to pray; He went to speak to God about the situation. The Bible records He did this initially for one hour. The Bible doesn’t give us details of His prayer to God, but it gives us the essence of it, saying, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (v.36). Talking is therapeutic in itself. It is an avenue to let out deep thoughts, emotions and resolve internal conflict. The trap one can easily fall into is to speak negatively. Depression does not negate spiritual laws. It still remains a truth that the tongue holds the power to control the destiny of an individual (Prov.12:14;13:2;18:21, Jam.3:3-5). This means you must endeavor to be positive in expressing yourself. While it may not look like there is hope, you must put hope in your words, and speak by faith.
Remember that God loves you, and you can be ‘real’ with Him. He wouldn’t condemn you, and His mercies are never ending (Heb.4:16). Talk to God, be thorough; express your hurts, and every emotion you feel. However there are two things to remember as you do this (1) You are talking to the sovereign God. This warrants a high degree of reverence. No doubt, He is a loving father, nonetheless, utmost respect and honor must be present. (2) Prayer is never complete without interpretation of the situation in light of God’s Word.
Scriptures to Meditate: Ps.9:9; 27:14; 31:22-24; 34:18-19; 43:5, Phil.4:6-7