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Christians Medicating Depression. What God Says?
You may or may not be surprised to know that depression is a very common problem in the Church. Many sincere Christians who experience persistent depression and anxiety are held captive to prescription antidepressants. Is that acceptable?
What are some common causes of depression and what does the Bible prescribe for overcoming it? In the Bible, we find that depression is often the result of exhaustion and will often follow great success (1 Kings 19).
It is note worthy that depression is a process of thinking that one is lacking and/or is deserving of something that has not been attained. This was certainly the case for Elijah, Hannah, Peter, and many others. They were left feeling vulnerable, helpless and hopeless.
What does the Bible prescribe for depression? Is it medication or meditation?
Psalm 42:6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee...
Depression will be relieved by meditating on God's Word. Depression is one of the most common emotional ailments. The antidote for depression is to meditate on the record of God's goodness. Resorting to anti-depressants should be avoided as an alternative to the Word of God under the direct influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Anti-depressants can never aid in spiritual well being and never addresses the cause of one's depression.
Depression can be relieved by patience. Later in this psalm (42:11) the writer tells his own soul to be patient. Knowing that God is working all things together for good is a fact that stimulates patience. While it is a fact that God is at work on our behalf... this fact may not make the darkness bright, but it will make it more bearable until the morning.
Very importantly, depression can be relieved by expecting God to act. The psalmist confidently closes this song with a statement of hope in the midst of difficult emotions. We may not feel like it, but we know that we will again have plenty of reason to praise the Lord for who He is and will do because we know what He already did for us (Psalm 42:11) Amen.
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger
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