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Depression is real. Depression can be defined as, the feeling of sorrow and sadness combined with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Oh yes, they ARE real feelings. Among some Christian circles using the word depression is not allowed. Look, whether you use the word or not, you’re probably feeling exactly that, depressed. You have permission to call it what it is and look up for hope and help from your Savior. It’s really too bad the ‘Church world’ is busy fighting over words, trying to be so exact and precise that they overlook the hurting and the hopeless. You don’t have to listen to them or accept their opinion that your depression is not real. As you acknowledge your pain, at the same time acknowledge that you don’t want to stay there. Let’s look through the pain to the One who is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, who died on the cross to rescue us from the painful stubborn sorrow and sadness that grips our soul with a vice.

In his book, “Depression, Looking Up From a Stubborn Darkness”, author Ed Welch writes, “Depression is a form of suffering that can’t be reduced to one universal cause. This means that family and friends can’t rush in armed with THE answer. Instead, they must be willing to postpone swearing allegiance to a particular theory, and take time to know the depressed person and work together with him or her. What we do know is that depression is painful and, if you have never experienced it, hard to understand. Like most forms of suffering, it feels private and isolating. We also know that those who feel overwhelmed by depression share in a fundamental humanness. You will find in them the struggles and maladies that are common to us all. Don’t let the technical, scientific diagnosis keep you from seeing these ordinary problems. Instead, when in doubt, expect to find ordinary humanness just below the surface, in the form of fear, anger, guilt, shame, jealousy, wants, despair over loss, physical weaknesses, and other problems that are present in every person. Depression is not always caused by these things, but it is always an occasion to consider them.”

Depression feels private and isolating doesn’t it? It has a way of driving you inward, away from people, places, and even worship. It’s important that you realize your identity is not in your sadness, but rather in your abiding relationship with the Lord  and He has the way for you to get out of it. You need to act on that desire to not continue in this depressed state. You must make a choice to get out and ask for help. Those statements are jarring aren’t they? I can hear the responses of defensiveness. But even as you’re still reading, you’re ready to move to a new level of dealing with your pain. Yes you’re ready!

Margaret Ashmore writes in her booklet titled “Depression, The Sun Always Rises”, “Our circumstances—no matter how difficult in the past or present—do not determine whether we live expansive and joyful lives or just exist in the small world of a self-pitying depression. But the choices we make in light of those circumstances do. Jesus is our great example in Gethsemane, the place of decision, when he asked his Father, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” and then declared, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39). That decision would be seminal in all our decisions to come—my will and my kingdom or God’s will and his kingdom. The great determiner of the soul’s well-being hangs on the answer. Elisabeth Elliot further qualifies why the choice is not easily made when she says, “It is hard to enter the kingdom of God—not because an angel is set to keep us out, not because God would surround Himself with a highly selected elite, but because the condition for admittance is renunciation of all other kingdoms.”

I am praying for you that are reading this. You’re not forgotten in your pain. I’m sure you want to be left alone and that is fully understandable. But you’re never alone and the solution to the difficult pain you’re carrying is not found in isolation. It’s ok to ask for help. No, it’s imperative you ask for help. Should you go to your mom, or your friend, or your pastor, or a professional Christian counselor? I’m not sure who God will use by His Holy Spirit to help you, but I do know this, God wants to comfort you in your pain and help you rise beyond it.  The Lord has been gracious to me in my pain. He will be gracious to you.

I suggest you get one or both of the books I mention above. I read them at least once a year to soothe and comfort my own soul. Sadness and sorrow and depression are stubborn unwanted visitors.

In Love, Ed

Some places in the Bible that will comfort you:

1. The Lord is your shepherd, always leading you in the best way and protecting you.

Psalm 23 (NKJV) A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LordForever.

2. As an eagle stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, so God cares for his own.

Deuteronomy 32:10–12 (NKJV) “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings, So the Lord alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him.

3. As a father cares for his children, so God cares for his own; his love is everlasting.

Psalm 103:8–18 (NKJV) The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children,So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

4. God always shelters those who put their trust in him.

Psalm 91:1–2 (NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

5. God knows us most intimately; He holds and guides us by His hand.

Psalm 139:1–12 (NKJV) O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before,And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

6. The wicked appear to prosper for a time, while the righteous suffer; but actually God is always leading us in the best way; he comforts us with his presence.

Psalm 73 (NKJV) A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.For there are no pangs in their death, But their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore his people return here, And waters of a full cup are drained by them. And they say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me— Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, So, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved, And I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, That I may declare all Your works.

7. The sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the coming glory.

Romans 8:18 (NKJV) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

8. God works all things together for our good.

Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

9. If God is for us, nothing can separate us from his love.

Romans 8:31–39 (NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

10. Jesus, the good shepherd, died for his sheep; he knows, leads, and protects each one; he gives us eternal security.

John 10:11 (NKJV) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 10:14–15 (NKJV) I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

John 10:27–29 (NKJV) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

11. God’s grace is sufficient for every need.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

12. God gives Himself in great measures of grace to those who wrestle with “thorns”

2 Corinthians 9:7–10 (NKJV) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor;His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

13. Jesus calmed the storm.

Matthew 8:23–27 (NKJV) Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

14. God directs all things by his infinite wisdom and his ways are beyond tracing out.

Romans 11:33–36 (NKJV) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

15. One day this life of suffering will be over and all will be made new.

Revelation 21:1–4 (NKJV) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

16. Cast your concerns on the Lord, for he will support you.

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV) Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

17. God is the source of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.


  • Shonda Childs says:


    This spoke to me. I suffer from depression and PTSD. I come from an abusive past that, even today, affects me in ways I did not even know until I came to know the Lord in 2017. I know God can and will be there every minute of every day to walk me through trials but, allowing His will daily is what I struggle with both in my marriage and personal walk with Him. Please pray for me.

  • Valeria Ramirez-Holley says:

    love this, TY Pastor

    • Bill Jamison says:

      Thank you Ed for your understanding and compassion for those of us who suffer from this condition.
      Thank you for writing and sharing this, it touched me deeply. Above all thanks for our LORD Jesus.

  • NR says:

    Pastor Ed,

    Great encouragement. Jesus comes close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in sprit. You, me and most everyone reading this encounter this crushing of the spirit, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Thank you for being vulnerable in your writing. Satan uses isolation to make us think we are alone, but we aren’t. Jesus is our strength and shield. He will fight this battle. He knows our suffering. I’m praying for everyone on this board, including me, who often feel the constant push-pull tension caused by depression and anxiety. Prayer, diet, counseling, community and medication all matter, but at the end of the day, we must never forget who we serve: the Great Healer. Whether healed or not, His will be done.

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