One of the difficult issues that many within our world face every morning is depression. It is not a joking matter and is not always treated by simply “pulling up your boot straps and doing something.” In many cases of depression, people need to seek professional advice and assistance.
A brief definition of depression provided by Mayo Clinic is, “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”
If you deal with depression, please discuss it with your doctor and seek assistance.
However, I think that many people suffer from what I would call “Spiritual Depression”. Often Christians find themselves faced with a dry loss of interest in the things that have been so important to them in their Spiritual walk. They generally still believe and may state that they are secure in their knowledge of Christ and His provisions. But, people that suffer from “Spiritual Depression” do not have the joy in Christ or the excitement in the things of the Church. They may have come to the point that dust begins covering their Bibles and going through the motions of Church attendance is a real struggle.
David, a man after God’s own heart, went through a time of “Spiritual Depression”. In Psalm 51:10 David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” He prayed because he was hurting and seriously depressed in how his spiritual walk had crumbled. David went on to say in Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
If you have ever walked close to the Divine Creator God, you know of a joy and peace that the world cannot offer. You know of the joy, excitement and even laughter that fills your life with peace and understanding that only God blesses you with.
What can be done when someone experiences “Spiritual Depression?”
1. Remember the richness of the relationship that you once had with Christ. As you think of that special time, reflect on what was different between now and then. You may become aware of things that need to change in your life.
2. Discuss your spiritual relationship with Christ with a mature Christian that you are comfortable in sharing with. You may even ask the individual to be a Prayer Partner for a while.
3. Dust off your Bible. Don’t try to read it in a day or memorize 15 chapters over night. Simply dust off your Bible, open it, hold it and share a private little prayer that Christ would create a fresh love in you for His Word. Continue praying that short and simple prayer daily for several days.
4. Seek out a few Christian friends to hang out with and fellowship with. Maybe even seek a new Bible Study group that you have never attended before.
5. Don’t give up! God clearly states in Deuteronomy 31:6, ” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“Spiritual Depression” is real. But the God you love and served is real also. He is ready to refresh your spirit and renew your relationship. And the sweetness of working through your valley with Him will be sweeter than the best nectar known to man.
Gene Vincent is the Pastor of Beechland Baptist Church: 351 Beechland Road, Lewisburg, KY 42256