The Sure Cure for Depression
COPYRIGHT ©2017 - James M. Frye
All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.
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The following passage of Scripture provides us with the sure for Depression.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
From this passage, we learn the following things:
Let's look at these one at a time.
1. To rejoice (or not) is a choice we make (verse 4).
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
The passage tells us that we must choose to rejoice. It is a choice we make. Many in our day are teaching lies which are contrary to the word of God telling people that depression just happens and that people can't do anything to help it, but God's word says the exact opposite. Everytime I have ever become depressed it has been because I didn't do what this passage says but have allowed myself to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes bad things happen to us and we allow ourselves to feel sorry for ourselves. We may think we deserve it, but it is a deception that never helps but always harms us by leading to depression. Instead, we must take those thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and not let the devil discourage us. We must submit our thinking to God and His word, and the devil will flee from us. We have God's promise on that (James 4:7). We must instead "choose" to rejoice.
2. Praying with thankfulness brings peace (verses 6-7).
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, SHALL keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Notice that it says "with thanksgiving". When I see people becoming down and discouraged, I have often asked them to make a list of as many things as they can think of which they have to be thankful for (that they are alive, can see, hear, breath, have a roof over their head, can behold the beauty of God's creation, have a Bible, can see to read it, aren't blind, etc. etc. - the list is virtually endless). When people are having it bad, I suggest that they thank God that things are not worse (thankful for sickness instead of death, thankful for less pain rather than more severe pain, thankful for only having a shortage of money rather than being homeless and starving, etc.). As people begin thanking and praising God repeatedly for those things, you can see a change begin to take place. I have seen people lifted out of depression through thankfulness alone.
This passage also tells us to let our requests be made known unto God. Elsewhere, the Bible tells us to cast all of our care (anxiety/worry) upon God for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Rather than carrying our own burdens, we should give them to the Lord and then pray with thanksgiving and He will give us peace. If you read many of the Psalms (especially in the 20's and 30's) you will see that the writer begins with a focus upon their problems but at some point the focus shifts to God (he gets is eyes off of his problems and onto God). By the end of the Psalm he is lifted up and is praising and thanking God.
3. We must continue to think about good things or our joy and peace will leave (verse 8).
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We must not allow ourselves to slip back into thinking negatively and/or feeling sorry for ourselves.
The one verse I left out (verse 5) is important as well.
Philippians 4:5 Let your MODERATION be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
The lord being at hand means that Jesus is near and always with us. When you see the word "moderation" think of its meaning as you would when hearing about a person eating in moderation. We would rightly understand that to mean that they were under control when they ate and did not gorge themselves or pig out. The meaning here is the same, it means that we are to be under control emotionally and to let that fact be seen of all.
The world likes to redefine the lack of moderation and emotional control as a sickness that cannot be helped, but the Bible says the exact opposite. It tells us to have moderation, not swinging from one exteme to another, but rather being on an even keel. And this passage tells us how to do exactly that.
One final point.
Bad circumstances, cannot in and of themselves, cause depression. Here are just a few verse which show this to be true.
Acts 5:40-41 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and BEATEN THEM, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Acts 16:23-25 And when they had LAID MANY STRIPES UPON THEM (had beaten them), they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and SANG PRAISES UNTO GOD: and the prisoners heard them.
(words is parentheses added by me for clarification)
According to the Bible, bad circumstances alone cannot cause depression. It is only when we respond incorrectly emotionally to those circumstances that we will be overcome with depression. These truths changed my life years ago. It is my prayer that God will use this article to help others as well.