“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” Psalm 42:5a
“Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed.” Lamentations 3:19-20
To be clear, the Bible is not silent on the stronghold of depression. Numerous people throughout Scripture wrestled with the darkness of depression. Even some of the very writers of Scripture experienced its weight. It is heavy. It strangles hope. It is dark.
“For the enemy has pursued me, crushing me to the ground, making me live in darkness like those long dead.” Psalm 143:3
These words are raw, real, and filled with pain. They are honest words from a broken heart, a grieving heart, a depressed heart. And these words came from the one who was known as “the man after God’s own heart:” King David.
Perhaps there is a lie, a deception, that has crept into our minds and hearts that has caused us to believe that Christians can’t or shouldn’t struggle with this one. It’s a lie. Christians can, and they do. We are children of the light, and we are called to walk in the light. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t “feel” the darkness. Darkness is oppressive by nature, and we are not immune to its effects. While we may not be able to wish it away when it comes rushing in to overwhelm us, we can choose to fellowship with the Lord in our suffering. What does this mean?
Philippians 4:6 tells us that we should pray about ALL things. That word “all” covers everything…absolutely anything and everything that we face in this life. God instructs us to invite Him into our pain through the gift of prayer.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him.” 1 John 1:5
If you are finding yourself buried under the weight of darkness today, know this: there is no darkness in the Lord Jesus Christ. Run to Him. The light of who He is will illuminate the darkness you are in. Depression may remain, but His presence brings peace, hope, and joy.
I want to approach this one with such tenderness and care. I am not an expert on depression, and I would never claim to be. If you are depressed, seek help. Reach out. The temptation of darkness is isolation, but freedom is not found there. I believe in medicine, and I believe that Jesus does too. I also believe in the power of God’s Word. Use wisdom in determining what you need, and prioritize the living and active Word of God.
Below are a few Scripture prayers I have written. I am believing God that these prayers will encourage the downcast soul, the weary, the hurting, and the depressed heart.
“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” (Micah 7:8) Jesus, thank you for reminding me that in you, I am victorious over my enemies. Thank you that even though I am in darkness today, the light is coming.
“That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Jesus, your light is more powerful than any darkness, both in me and in this world. Thank you for the confidence I can have in you that I will not be overcome by this darkness.
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” (Colossians 1:13) Jesus, help me never to forget that I have been rescued. It’s my identity. My address is no longer darkness because you have moved me from it into your Kingdom.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Jesus, I praise you for my freedom! You have called me out of darkness, and so today, although hurting and broken, I choose to stand upon the promises of your Word. I am chosen. I am yours. I have been rescued!