These scriptures and thoughts were provided or inspired by my Pastor, Kent McBay and by others in discussions in his Sunday School class.
Christians have many of the same trials and difficulties as unbelievers and are susceptible to depression too. The depression of unbelievers is far worse and longer-lasting. For unbelievers who never become believers, it will be eternal. Cain, Esau and Judas come to mind.
Genesis 4:13: And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Hebrews 12:14-17: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Matthew 27:3-5: Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
Many Bible characters suffered from depression, including Moses, David, Jeremiah, Job, Elija, Jonah, Peter and others, so we should not be surprised when we and our friends suffer some of it. Though we are all susceptible to it, believers should not stay there.
Matthew 26:75: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
David revealed his depression in Psalms chapter 42 and 43.
Psalms 42:5: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Psalms 42:11: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalms 43:5: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
There are many causes and sources of depression. Sometimes it is inherited, passed along from one generation to another within families. Depression is caused by the absence of God, absence from the blessings of a Biblical church and the blessings of fellowship with other believers. In order to avoid depression we need to be with God every day. We can never have too much of God in our lives.
Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
In order to avoid depression, we need to have our minds on God and to have a continually functioning faith in Him. Depression can be caused by persecution. It can be caused by looking too much at ourselves and too little at God. It can be caused by memories of better days. It can be caused by aging. It can be caused by life changes and losses. It can be caused by trials and betrayals. It can be caused by excessive sorrow. Sometimes the causes seem to multiply and gang up on us. The philosophy of some is that we can avoid a lot of problems if we don*t get old. A better philosopy would be don*t get old without the Lord. He can see us through every problem if we let Him. Some trials that He permits are meant to strengthen us.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.