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DEPRESSION

Article by: Dr. Brian Campbell, from: " Godly Counsel:  Scriptures to live by."
Copyright 2010, All Rights Resered

 

“But as for me, I will always have hope ;

I will praise you more and more.”

(Psalm 71:14)

 

Depression : a pessimistic state of mind that affects

thoughts, emotions, and behavior

 

 

Depression  is one of the most common mental health problems in the entire world.  People who are depressed feel sad, blue, or downhearted.  They have lost their energy for life, and feel hope­les s, helpless , worthless,  and guilty.  Fortunately, God’s Word is filled with inspiration for people who are feeling depressed.

 

Synopsis

 

Hopeless:

 

One of the triggers for depression is the false belief that your sit­uation is hopeless .  If you are a Christian, this is a lie that is contradicted throughout the Bible.

 

If you are feeling hopeless  about life, try turning to God’s Word for guidance  and direction.  Everything written in the Bible was written to teach and encourage so that we might have hope .1,2

 

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For everything that was written in the past was written to

teach us, so that through endurance and the

encouragement of the Scriptures

we might have hope .

(Romans 15:4)1

 

You are my refuge  and my shield;

I have put my hope  in your word.

(Psalm 119:114)2

 


Throughout the Bible, we are reminded that God alone is the source of our hope .In fact, the Scriptures  refer to God as the  “God of hope .”4

 

When Jesus Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead, He became a living hope  for all of us.5 Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can now rest in the assurance that when we die, this is not the end of life, but only the beginning of eternity with Christ Jesus.6 

 

If you are feeling downcast and gloomy about life, step back and put things in perspective .7 Put your hope  in God’s promise of His  glorious inheritance—eternal salvation and life ever after in heaven .8 The Lord is good to those who place their hope  in Him—to the one who seeks Him.9  If you are feeling hopeless , turn back to God. 

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Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope  comes from him.

(Psalm 62:5)3

 

May the God of hope  fill you with all joy  and peace

as you trust  in him, so that you may overflow with hope  by

the power of the Holy Spirit .

(Romans 15:13)4

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living

hope  through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

(1 Peter 1:3)5

 

God has given us eternal life , and this life is in his Son.

(1 John 5:11)6

 

Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed

within me?  Put your hope  in God, for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 43:5)7

 

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in

order that you may know the hope  to which he has called you,

the riches  of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his

incomparably great power for us who believe.

(Ephesians 1:18-19)8

 

The Lord is good to those whose hope  is in him,

to the one who seeks him.

(Lamentations 3:25)9

 


Regardless of your current situation, God’s plans  are for you to     prosper and to have hope .10

 

If you put your hope  in God, you will never be disappointed,11 or put to shame.12  Be patient in your afflictions and faithful in prayer.13 Even if you are suffering, this experience can help de­velop character and ultimately lead to hope ,14 as you rest in God’s unfailing love.15

 

As you turn to God for hope , be careful that you don’t listen to the “false hopes” given by the world.16 Watch what you say to yourself. Refuse to tell yourself your situation is hopeless ,17 and don’t focus space

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“For I know the plans  I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans  to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans  to give you hope  and a future.”

(Jeremiah 29:11)10

 

Those who hope  in me will not be disappointed.

(Isaiah 49:23)11

 

No one whose hope  is in you will ever be put to shame.

(Psalm 25:3)12

 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
(Romans 12:12)13

 

But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that

suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character;

and character, hope .

(Romans 5:3)14

 

May your unfailing love rest upon us,

O Lord, even as we put our hope  in you.

(Psalm 33:22)15

 

This is what the Lord Almighty says:  “Do not listen to what

the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with

false hopes.  They speak visions from their own minds,

not from the mouth of the Lord.

(Jeremiah 23:16)16

 

You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say,

“It is hopeless .” You found renewal of your strength ,

and so you did not faint.

(Isaiah 57:10)17

 

on your afflictions—focus on the Lord’s compassion and love.18  God knows your needs; you have not been forgotten.19 

 

In the final analysis, only those who do not know God should feel hopeless .20,21  For Christians, there is always hope .22,23

 

“But those who hope  in the Lord will renew their strength .  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

 

Helpless:

 

If you are feeling helpless  or powerless, turn to the Lord and His strength .24  Remember that you have the Creator of the universe on your side.25  He is the God who performs miracles  and displays His power among the people.26  Nothing is too hard for God.27 

 

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I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness

and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast

within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope :

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

(Lamentations 3:19-22)18

 

But the needy will not always be forgotten,

 nor the hope  of the afflicted ever perish.

(Psalm 9:18)19

 

Such is the destiny of all who forget God;

so perishes the hope  of the godless.

(Job 8:13)20

 

When a wicked man dies, his hope  perishes;

all he expected from his power comes to nothing.

(Proverbs 11:7)21

 

But as for me, I will always have hope ;

I will praise you more and more.

(Psalm 71:14)22

 

There is surely a future hope  for you

and your hope  will not be cut off.

(Proverbs 23:18)23

 

 

 


Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.28  The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.29  If you are feeling helpless , try turning to God; the prayers of a righteous  man are powerful and effective.30  If we ask anything in God’s name, He promises to provide.31

 

Worthless:

 

If you are feeling worthless,  consider that you are made in God’s image,32,33 and that God loves you more than you can ever know or understand.34,35 

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It is God who arms me with strength

and makes my way perfect.

(Psalm 18:32)24

 

In his hand is the life of every creature and the

breath of all mankind.

(Job 12:10)25

 

You are the God who performs miracles ;

you display your power among the peoples.

(Psalm 77:14)26

 

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and

the earth by your great power and outstretched

arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.

(Jeremiah 32:17)27

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

(Ephesians 6:10)28

 

The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.

(2 Peter 2:9)29

 

The prayer of a righteous  man is powerful and effective.

(James 5:16)30

 

I tell you the truth , my Father will give you

whatever you ask in my name.

(John 16:23)31

 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

(Genesis 1:27)32

 

God is our Heavenly Father,36 and we are His offspring.37 He has made us “a little lower than the heavenly beings,” and He crowns  us with glory and honor.38  He counts the very hairs on our heads.39 When we follow His commandments, Jesus Christ, who holds the keys to eternal life , even calls us His “friend.”40

 

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And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man,

so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven .

(1 Corinthians 15:49)33

 

How precious is your unfailing love!

(Psalm 36:7)34

 

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.

(Psalm 89:1)35

 

O Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay,

you are the potter.

(Isaiah 64:8)36

 

We are his offspring.

(Acts 17:28)37

 

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

(Psalm 8:5)38

 

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

(Luke 12:7)39

 

You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer

call you servants, because a servant  does not know his

master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends,

for everything that I learned from my Father

I have made known to you.

(John 15:14-15)40

 

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes

of the world to be rich in faith  and to inherit

the kingdom promised those who love him?

(James 2:5)41

 

 

 

 

You don’t have to be rich or successful to be worthy  in  God’s eyes,41-43 and you don’t have to be perfect.44  Everyone sins,45 and

everyone makes mistakes.46  If you have broken God’s com­mands, repent47 and turn back to God.48 He will receive you with open arms.49

 

Joyless:

 

People with depression have a difficult time experiencing joy  and happiness.  They have convinced themselves that there is nothing at all in this world in which to be happy .  No matter what hap­pens in their lives, they tend to look at the world “through dark colored glasses,” and focus on the negative aspects of their experiences.

 

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Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath

but righteousness delivers from death.

(Proverbs 11:4)42

 

Whoever trusts in his riches  will fall,

but the righteous  will thrive like a green leaf.

(Proverbs 11:28)43

 

There is not a righteous  man on earth who does

what is right and never sins.

(Ecclesiastes 7:20)44

 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

(Romans 3:23)45

 

No one is good except God alone.

(Mark 10:18)46

 

Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning.

(1 Corinthians 15:34)47

 

Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

(Isaiah 55:7)48

 

The eternal God is your refuge , and underneath

are the everlasting arms.

(Deuteronomy 33:27)49

 

 

 

Christians who are joyless have lost perspective  in life.  They have let their own inadequacies or their own experiences blind them from the truth  of the gospel and the source of all joy —our rela­tionship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, with God the Father who sent Him, and with the Holy Spirit  who dwells within us.

 

As Christians, there are plenty of things about which to be joyful .  If you are depressed and find it difficult experiencing joy , try meditating on God’s incredible love for you.50,51  Not only did God send His son to die for us, He sent the Holy Spirit  to testify that we are His children.52

 

The God of the universe created us and gave us life.53  We can rejoice in that fact and be glad for every day that God has given us on this planet.54,55

 

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As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. 

Now remain in my love.

(John 15:9)50

 

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love

and Christ’s perseverance.

(2 Thessalonians 3:5)51

 

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that

we are God’s children.

(Romans 8:16)52

 

For in him we live and move and have our being.

(Acts 17:28)53

 

I will praise you forever for what you have done.

(Psalm 52:9)54

 

This is the day the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

(Psalm 118:24)55

 

Be joyful  always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)56

 

 

 


Regardless of what has happened to us, we can still be joyful56 and give thanks to the Lord for what He has done.57  Sing joyfully to the Lord,58 sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.59

 

Energyless:

 

People who are depressed often feel weak and energyless.  They have lost their zeal and enthusiasm for life.  They find it difficult to “get going” and get things done. 

 

If you are feeling weak and depleted in energy, turn to God for help. He gives strength  to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.60 

 

Draw on His strength , and seek His help.61 If you are weary and burdened, He invites you to come to Him to find rest.62 Pray for God to refresh your heart.63

 

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Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

His love endures forever.

(Psalm 136:1)57

 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous ;

it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

(Psalm 33:1)58

 

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

(Psalm 105:2)59

 

He gives strength  to the weary and increases

the power of the weak.

(Isaiah 40:29)60

 

Look to the Lord and his strength ; seek his face always.

(Psalm 105:4)61

 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28)62

 

Refresh my heart in Christ.

(Philemon 1:20)63

 

 

Once you have been re-energized (or even if you are still feeling tired), one of the best things you can do to help yourself is to “get up” and “take action.”  If you are physically able, start taking walks and getting exercise; remember, your body is the tem­ple of God, and you should take care of it.64 

 

To the extent that you are physically able, go and help someone; helping others will serve to get your mind off your own problems.  God does not want us to simply talk about our faith —He wants to see it in action.65,66  Regardless of how tired you may feel, you can always find some way to reach out and help others. By so doing, you will be showing God’s love67 and helping yourself at the same time.68

 

Guilty:

 

People who are depressed often feel that they have committed some horrible act for which they can never be forgiven.  As a re­sult, their guilt  is overwhelming.  This is one of the biggest lies they can believe.

 

Apart from the special case of blasphemy, the Bible tells us that there is absolutely nothing that God will not forgive if we confess our

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Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit ,

who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are

not your own; you were bought at a price. 

Therefore honor God with your body.

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)64

 

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue

but with actions and in truth .

(1 John 3:18)65

 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. 

Do what it says.

(James 1:22)66

 

Love  one another deeply, from the heart.

(1 Peter 1:22)67

 

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another,

God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

(1 John 4:12)68

 

 

our sin and repent . Everyone who believes in Christ receives for­givenes s of sins through His name.69

 

If you believe in Christ, there is no longer any condemnation for sin70—none whatsoever!  This is precisely why Christ came to this earth to die for us, so that we could be reconciled with God.  He laid down His life for us to take away our sins,71 so that we could live forever with Him in heaven . 

 

If you have sinned, there may certainly be unpleasant conse­quences in this world for what you have done.72  A man reaps what he sows.73 Fortunately, if you are a Christian, the conse­quences of your sin will not block your entrance to heaven .74,75  After all, Christ came to this earth to save sinners,  just  like you and me.76

 

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Everyone who believes in him

receives forgiveness  through his name.

(Acts 10:43)69

 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the

Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

(Romans 8:1-2)70

 

I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd

lays down his life for the sheep.

(John 10:11)71

 

There will be trouble and distress for

every human being who does evil .

(Romans 2:9)72

 

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. 

A man reaps what he sows.

(Galatians 6:7)73

 

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Romans 5:8)74

 

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,

not counting men’s sins against them.

(2 Corinthians 5:19)75

 

 


Try not to dwell on any wrongs you may have committed.  Instead, confess  your sins and then turn them over to God—knowing that they will never be counted against you.77  If you have harmed someone, take time to confess  your sin to him or her.78

 

Then, as far as possible, take any action you can that will lead to peace and restoration of the relationship.79,80  If you are blocked from taking action, then pray for the person you have offended,81 and ask for God’s wisdom  and guidance  on how to proceed.

 

Finally, when you commit a sin you “grieve the Holy Spirit ” who lives within you.82 Therefore,  it is only natural that you will expe­rience temporary sorrow  and guilt  for what you have done.  How­ever, your guilt  should be short-lived, as you move on to accept the

 

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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

and are justified freely by his grace through the

redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

(Romans 3:23-24)76

 

If we confess  our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive

us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:9)77

 

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other

so that you may be healed.

(James 5:16)78

 

Let us therefore make every effort to what leads

to peace and to mutual edification.

(Romans 14:19)79

 

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,

live at peace with everyone.

(Romans 12:18)80

 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions

with all kinds of prayers and requests.

(Ephesians 6:18)81

 

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit  of God,

with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

(Ephesians 4:30)82

 

 

 

 


awesome gift of forgiveness  that was paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.83

 

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He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,

so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;

by his wounds we have been healed.

(1 Peter 2:24)83

 

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Prayers For Depression

Live In The Present

Thought For the Day:

Learn to live in the present moment.

Memory Verse:

"Do not worry about tomorrow." (Matt. 6:32)

Challenge:  People who are anxious or depressed often live the greater part of each day either thinking about the past or worrying about the future.  Abandon your will to God's will and learn to live in the present.

Prayer:

                It's morning Lord, and once again I haven’t rested.  Even before I open my eyes, my mind has started to wander far back into the shadows of a haunting past, or far ahead into the dread of an imagined future. It seems so hard to control of my thoughts; to focus on today, and now.

                As I lie here Lord, awaiting the first light of dawn, I pray that you will still my troubled mind; that you will free me from the intoxicating drugs of fear and sadness that threaten to dull my senses once again;  that today will be different; that I will be fully born, and fully awake.  

                Precious Savior, show me how to live one day at a time.  Pull down the curtain on yesterday and tomorrow and teach me the secret of living in day-tight compartments.  If my mind starts to drift into the past or the future, gently nudge me back to the here and now.  Awaken me to the present moment, and bring me back to my senses. 

                Open my eyes, and help me to take time to see, really see, the beautiful world around me.  Revive my sense of smell, and help me to detect the sweet aromas that lie hidden within each breath I take.  Sensitize my skin, and help me to feel and touch the many textures of your precious world.  Open my ears, and help me to hear the lovely sounds and songs that play softly behind the loud noise and clamor of life.

                My time is short, and I cannot afford the luxury of wasting another day, another precious second.  I have spent far too long in the past and the future, and I have often missed the best each moment offered.

                As I arise to greet the day, teach me that the real secret of living in the present is to simply make my will, your will.  Help me to trust you completely, without hesitation, and without the slightest worry of how things might turn out. 

                Show me how to abandon myself to you, dear God.  Grant me the excitement and the sense of great expectation that comes with living moment by moment in your will--riding on the edge of time, and experiencing a glimpse of eternity.


Accept Forgiveness

Thought for the Day:

God's ability to forgive sins is awesome an d unlimited.

Memory Verse:

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Lesson:  Many people who are depressed have committed acts that cause them deep guilt and shame.  They know that they have broken God's law, and they feel that their sinful thoughts and behavior will be exposed.  In reality, your sin is already known to God.  Repent of your sins and ask God for forgiveness.  Nothing you can think or do lies beyond God's power to forgive.

Prayer:

Precious Jesus,

                I am under attack!  There's a secret battle raging deep within me.  Feelings of guilt and shame threaten to overwhelm me.  I am tired of keeping watch.  My excuses are wearing thin.  My attempts to reason things away are falling apart.  I can no longer minimize what I have done.  My sin seems unforgivable.   

                Heavenly Father, I pray that you will reach down and rescue me from my self-imposed war.  I have been such a fool.  In my panic and exhaustion, I have almost forgotten that you are my Creator; that you alone know all my thoughts and actions, my secret motives, my unsuccessful attempts to fend off a guilty conscience.  My thoughts are transparent to you.  There is nowhere to hide.

                Precious Savior, forgive me for attempting to conceal my sin; for feeling that it was so terrible and awesome that I could not handle it...that You could not forgive it.  Defeat the forces within me that twist and turn my thinking away from You.  Strip me of my false armor and defenses.  Expose my deeds to full awareness, and bring my hidden thoughts at long last to my lips.

                And as I stand before you, naked and repentant, grant me the courage to confess my sins completely...without holding back, without hesitation.  Dissolve each word as it is spoken.   Sprinkle me with drops of mercy.  Shower me with your compassion.  Cascade your forgiveness on me like a raging water fall, and cleanse me completely.

                And when at last my guilt is washed away, I pray that you will clothe me once again.  Outfit me for the battle of my soul.  Give me renewed strength and courage, and let me find rest and peace in you.   

Copyright, Dr. Brian Campbell, 2009


A FINAL WORD:  The scriptures for depression included in this website are intended to provide hope and guidance for those suffering from depression.  Depression scriptures are intended to provide the truth about you, about God, and about your situation.  Please make sure you have a look at the book on depression that are listed in the right column of this page.  Also, consider downloading "Overcoming Depression" which can be found in the catalog section of this web.  This audio contains Bible verses on depression read by Dr. Brian Campbell.

 

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