Now that we’ve reviewed depression in God’s servants, along with ways they recovered, we ask “How can these stories can help me?”
1. One lesson is that a period of depression is not that unusual in the life of a faithful servant of God. Just because we love God, and follow and serve Christ, doesn’t prevent us from the experience of feeling discouraged, depressed, or despair. This should relieve us from the guilt and shame Christians often heap upon one another, and on themselves, for getting “down in the dumps.” The common cold of depression spread among God’s people in the Old and New Testaments as well as among people today.
2. While depression is a common experience, God cares about healing. Whether it’s depression for extraordinary loss (Job), or because of people’s rejection of their message (Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul), or from frustration in meeting our personal agenda (Jonah), God intervenes to heal his faithful servants. If you’re depressed and withdrawn, God also wants to bring you healing.
3. God’s attitude seems never to have been harsh or cruel. Instead he gently directs some pointed question to his servants. He helps expose the source of their difficulty, then enables them to overcome their depression. If you’re depressed, know he also loves you. He wants you back into his fruitful service, too.
If your depression persists, be sure to talk with your doctor, pastor, or counselor. God also uses human instruments of compassion to heal.