God’s Encouragement During Depression

By: Woody Godbey

Our theme verses this week on depression are from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Monday we started this post about God not being silent during our suffering. Today I will continue with what to do when we suffer or go through a depression.

The very first thing is to come to God with your suffering. You can start to experience the inward renewal that the apostle Paul experienced when you come to God with your suffering. God may seem far away when we suffer. You believe that He exists, but it seems as if He is too busy with everything else, or He just doesn't care. After all, God is powerful enough to end your suffering, but He hasn't. It may be hard for some Christians to understand that God's people do feel and think that way in times of intense suffering. I've heard that kind of despair and hopelessness from many of God's people over the years.

But I can also tell you that if you start there, you'll reach a dead end pretty quickly. God hasn't promised to explain everything about what He does and what He allows. Instead, He encourages us to start with Jesus. Jesus is God the Son, and He is certainly loved by his heavenly Father. Yet Jesus also went through more suffering than anyone who ever lived!

Here we see that love and suffering can co-exist. And when you start reading the Bible and encounter people like Job, Jeremiah, and the apostle Paul, you get a sense that suffering is actually the well-worn path for God's favorites. This doesn't answer the question, “Why are you doing this to me?” But it cushions the blow when you know that God understands. You aren't alone. If we know anything about God, we know that He comes close to those who suffer, so keep your eyes open for Him.

Tomorrow I will give you some very important Scriptures to read that will help anyone going through the valley of darkness, despair and depression. God Bless!