Depression is an oft ignored subject of Christians. Or worse, we get the "good news" that if we just had more faith, we wouldn't be depressed. That as Christians we should only feel joy. That isn't what Jesus said. No, in fact He says "In this world you WILL have trouble." (John 16:33, emphasis mine).
The prophet Elijah had every reason to be joyful. He had overcome all the false prophets of Bael, (450 of them!) and God had proved through a ball of fire that Elijah was the true prophet of God. (1 Kings 18). Yet, Elijah felt very much alone. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Depressed? Perhaps so.
The pressure of life can lead to depression. We respond in many ways. In Elijah's case he ran away and wanted to die. He just lay and slept. Yet God sent an angel with food and drink for Elijah. God wants us to take care of our basic needs.
Elijah tells God how alone he feels. He says "I am the only one left." twice, in verses 10 and 14. Don't we feel all alone when depressed? Yet God tells Elijah of the 7,000 on His side in verse 18. God knows we need a system of support.
If you are facing depression, I urge you to get help. Talk to a trusted friend, pastor or counselor. Pray. Take care of your basic needs. Find your support system.
If you suffer from depression or know someone that does, listen to this sermon by my pastor Rick Raines, along with the testimony of my friend Tracy Thomas who overcame depression. (If you are short of time, Tracy's testimony begins at minute 2:45 of the recording.) This post is derived from Rick Raine's sermon with permission, but he & Tracy are so much more eloquent that I am.
Who does depression hurt? Everyone. If you don't suffer from depression, praise the Lord. Then be an "ACE" (Ask/Care/Escort) to someone who does:
Ask your buddy if they are depressed.
Care for your buddy and their basic needs.
Escort your buddy to the appropriate help.
John 16:33 -- In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
1 Peter 5:7 -- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.