depression and the christian man

Depression and the Christian Man: Help to Overcome Depression

What does the Bible have to say about depression and the Christian man? Are there principles in the Bible that can help to overcome depression?

First, let me deal with the question about sin and depression. I certainly believe that depression can come from unconfessed sin in our lives, and the guilt that sin causes.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is the only cause. Depression can be both a spiritual problem and a physical, medical problem.

I am not a professional counselor, or a medical expert. If you suffer from severe depression, it’s not a sin and you should not feel shame in seeking help. Talk to your pastor and your doctor and get help.

It is never a sign of weakness to seek help. It’s a sign of strength. The world would tell you that a “real man” can handle and overcome his depression. In most cases, that’s a lie. We all need to lean on others for help at times.

What I want to focus on here are some biblical principles in dealing with specific times of depression in our life. Again, if you live depressed all the time, seek help because there may be a deeper medical issue.

There’s a story in the book of First Samuel about David returning from battle to what was his home at the time. David was not the King of Israel yet, but had already become known as a strong warrior.

When he and his men arrived, they discovered that their homes had been burned and all of the women and children had been taken captive.

So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep… And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
1 Samuel 30:3-6

There’s no doubt in my mind that David was depressed here. They wept until they had no more power to weep! He was grieved beyond what many of us can imagine.

What did David do? It says that he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Depression and the Christian Man: Encouraging Yourself

How can you encourage yourself in the Lord?

Remember what God has done for you in the past. Think of His love for you and your salvation. Thank God for past victories that he has given you.

Spend extra prayer time in gratitude and thanking God for what He has done for you. As the hymn teaches us, “Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.”

Think of what God has done for others in their lives. Read biographies of other strong Christian men who lived through challenges and be encouraged by how God protected and provided for them.

Read the Bible and pray. If you don’t have a regular devotional time, establish one and stick with it. If you already read and pray, do more of it during times of depression.

I might suggest reading through the book of Philippians. Many of David’s Psalms are very uplifting as well. You can sure sense how he encouraged himself in God reading through the Psalms.

Depression and the Christian Man: Seek Encouragement

Surround yourself with other men who uplift and encourage you.

This should be a regular practice in your life. If you don’t have people like this in your life, search for some and ask God to send them to you.

Stay faithful to your local church. There’s support there, it’s God’s intended place for us to get recharged. We get help and we help others.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25

If you are not a member of a strong, Bible-believing local church, I encourage you to find one and get involved. Many today dismiss the church, but it’s still God’s institution for working in people’s lives.

The opposite of this principle is also true. You need to remove other people from your life who are toxic. Don’t hang around those who are negative all the time. They drag you down with them.

Help those who struggle to remain positive. But if they are constant complainers and always putting others down, keep your distance! Negativity is contagious.

Depression and the Christian Man: Forget and Move Ahead

When David and his men could weep no more for their homes and families, David prayed and sought God for direction. God told David that he should pursue after the enemy and that they would recover everything.

David and his men did overtake the enemy and brought back all of their possessions and their families. They temporarily forgot the pain and moved ahead to accomplish an end goal.

Paul talks about this concept in Philippians:

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Paul wasn’t speaking directly about depression here, but the principle is sound. Forget the past, get forgiveness of any sins, temporarily put aside the pain and replace it with a mission.

There’s a story I once heard about a woman who was suffering from depression in her life. Things just always seemed to be going wrong for her so she met with her pastor to get help.

The woman’s pastor told her to bake a pie every day for the next 7 days and deliver the pie to the Elderly Home just down the road.

The woman never returned to the pastor’s office. When the pastor saw her one Sunday in church, he asked her about her feelings with depression.

With a smile on her face, she said, “Pastor, your suggestion to take pies to the Elderly Home was just what I needed. When I saw what many of them are facing and struggling with, I realized that my problems are pretty small.”

Get a vision for your life, find your calling. Get moving on a mission to serve others, to become something bigger and create an impact in the lives of others.

When you’re focused on the future and on others, it becomes easier for those thoughts of depression to drift away. Remember, what you focus on you get more of.

Depression and the Christian Man: Summary

Depression in the life of a Christian is not a sin. If you suffer from it frequently, seek help. There could be medical causes.

However, there are biblical principles to help you overcome depression. These aren’t all of the principles that we can learn from God’s word, but they will definitely help you in those valleys of life.

If this has helped you in anyway, please share with others. You can use the social media buttons on this page.

And leave a comment below with your thoughts.

 

Doug is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who enjoys computers and technical gadgets. He serves God in his local church in the audio/video ministry. He holds an Advanced Diploma of Biblical Studies from Faith Bible Institute. Doug and his wife, Emily, have been married since 1989 and have successfully raised three children. It is his desire to impact young Christian men.

“I believe that most men are not living up to the potential that God has for them and I want to help them to find their purpose, grow spiritually and impact other men for Christ.”

2 comments

What an absolute great blog Doug. This is great advice for anyone, keep up the good work. Praise God for His direction in your life….

How did you know I needed this right now. Thanks for the insight and for sharing so plainly. This is a great blog. God is working in your life and I praise for that

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