Discernment for Depression – 1/23/16


The psalmist was clearly exposed to feelings of desperation and depression. Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. God sometimes allows us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death so that we can comfort others with the same comfort that we have been comforted with.

It goes without saying that there shall be seasons of refreshing and of course, there is victory in Jesus. But sometimes we find ourselves deep in a valley and ask why. We are advised by James to “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” But at other times sadness, loneliness or feelings of depression come in the form of a wilderness experience.

Both Moses and Jesus had well documented wilderness experiences that were later understood as preparation for ministry. Unfortunately, Christians sometimes jump to the conclusion that all who appear depressed simply need to be healed or delivered. With these assumptions the well-intended believer could come across shallow, and like Job’s comforters, simply add to the person’s sorrow.  There is of course a place for deliverance when somebody is repeatedly attacked, but discernment is essential when relief is sought or reasons for depression are asked.  Keep in mind depression is common to all of us. For example, we might say Elijah was a bit depressed when Jezebel sought his life, …and yet the Bible tells us he was a man of like passions as you and I.

So these feelings are universal. Indeed, without trials and tribulations we are unable to appreciate or even experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. It’s as though He creates a stark contrast so that we can desire more of Him. There’s nothing more blessed than one so depressed and desperate under the conviction of their sinful nature. It leads to true repentance, and from this despair comes a cry from the bottom of one’s heart. A cry that only God can fill with His saving grace. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death (2Cor.7:10).

My friends, allow me to share some wisdom from God. If you are called and annointed to minister to the depressed, seek Him also for discernment. God may indeed ask you to rebuke Satan and pray for deliverance. Or He may have you put your arms around the one in sorrow and cry with them as you pray for His comfort.

Jerry Turk's photo.