I reccently received a comment on this post, which I decided to respond to in a new post rather than in comments.
I want to say up front that I don’t agree with the comment.
Here it is –
“Call it what it is. Depression is demon. Jesus did not play with them or talk to them, He commanded them to come out.Look to your bible. Is it where you get knowledge and wisdom ALL the time? Or just in glancing? The teachings of men cannot heal you much at all.The power that raised Jesus from the dead will also drive your demons out if you believe.”
The Bible does tell us of Jesus casting out demons. In most places it gives us vivid descriptions of the people who are demon possessed. Here are just 2 examples from Mark’s gospel.
This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Mark 5:3-4
A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. Mark 9:17-18
Clearly, demon possession is a serious, dangerous and violent experience and nothing at all like depression.
The heart of depression is hopelessness and despair. Most of the time there is a physiological cause for it, and doctors and medicine can help. I believe that we should always pray about everything (Philippians 4:6) and sometimes the work of medical science is God’s answer to us.
Depression is NOT demon-possession. It is NOT a weakness. It is NOT a lack of faith. It is NOT a punishment. It IS a medical illness and part of the frustration of living on this side of Jesus’ return.
Here are some quotes from great men of the Bible who I think suffered their own times of depression –
JOB – Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came out of the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I may be nursed? For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest. Job 3:11-13
KING DAVID – How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? Psalm 13:1-2
ELIJAH – He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord” he said. “Take my life”. 1 Kings 19:4
Job is described by God as ‘blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil’. David was chosen by God as ‘a man after his own heart’. Elijah was a prophet of God, who the word of the Lord came to. And each of them suffered their own loss of hope. And each of them also knew that God loved him and found strength and comfort in their God. Here is the end of David’s psalm –
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6
I’ve often thought of Elijah as a bit of an unsung patron of the depressed (not to mention the suicidal). Very up and down he was. Yet what a revelation of the Lord he received on the mountain! God is never far from us, even in our darkest moments.
Thank you for doing this whole series on depression, kt-rae. It is sobering but very needful. And a worthy reminder to pray for those of us afflicted by this malady.
thanks for the encouragement gab
Wow! Is as much as i would like to say about those that blame it on the Devil….
I have known great Christians that have depression. To say they are demon possessed is stupid, insensitive and probably the worst thing anyone could say to a fellow Christian.
Thanks for this post. It is a great and well thought through response.
i believe that depression is all your sin that holds you down you fight about your past wrongs and you think the darker side of life i believe if you have it it is a sing that you are not worthy to god you are a wrong doer and that you do not see your wron doings , there for you are stuck in sadniss and you do not feel worthy beacuse you are not , you have chose wrong in your life and have not trulky repented of them there for you must be cursed and walk the punishment
heather – for all the reasons I’ve written about above, I strongly disagree with you. depression is a medical illness.
lol f got to spell check
Depression is a medical illness and I get so tired of people blaming me for having it, as if I want it.