December 8, 2021
Scripture Passage: Numbers 11:15; 1 Kings 19:4
Depression is not just sadness -- it is a profound helplessness and hopelessness that we can’t seem to regulate on our own. Becoming Christians does not make us immune to depression. If it can happen to Moses, Elijah, and Jonah, it can happen to us.
God’s Word offers insight to help us in dealing with depression. Each prophet who uttered prayers of deep depression was physically worn and emotionally distraught. When Moses desperately prayed for death, he had been leading the Israelites in the wilderness alone, heavy under their burdens. As the people blamed him day and night for their problems in the wilderness, Moses felt emotionally drained. Frazzled by death threats from Jezebel, Elijah made a long, strenuous journey without food and water; exhausted, he asked God to take him out of his misery. Likewise, Jonah was far from home after a perilous journey by land and sea. Jonah was also angry because God had started a revival in the land of Tarshish after Jonah had prophesied judgment upon the land.
Adrian Rogers says, “Moses had his eyes upon others. Elijah had his eyes upon himself. And Jonah had his eyes upon circumstances. But none of them had their eyes upon God.”
As a result, these prophets became spiritually run down. Right on the heels of great spiritual experiences, these prophets faced great letdowns; they were walking through valleys after hillside experiences.
But we also see God did not answer the prophets’ prayers for death because He knew them. Knowing the prophets were in the throes of depression, God did not mistake the moments for the men.
Instead, God physically blessed them. He gave Moses help and assurance that He’d take care of His people. God provided Elijah with food and rest to replenish his strength. As Elijah asked for pity, God instead showed him His great power. And God delivered Jonah from his grief through shelter from the sun. In the cool of the shade, God provided Jonah with a new perspective.
God lavished His love on the prophets, and their stories did not end with depression. What powerful examples these are: when we draw near to God, He draws near to us!
Are you dealing with depression? The answer, though profoundly spiritual, could be quite practical. As you ask God for His provision, remember: God loves you; when you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.