Once, after David and his men had been away, they returned to discover that the Amalekites had attacked the city, set fire to it, and taken their wives and children captive. "Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6).
This was one of the worst days of David's life. All seemed lost. There was no one around who could help him or lift him up out of the horrible pit he was in.
That's what depression does. It isolates us from others and steals our joy. David cried out, "I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have enlarged; bring me out of my distresses!" (Ps. 25:16-17) Yet, in the midst of his despair, David took God's prescription for his depressed state and "encouraged himself."
How did he do this? Listen to Psalm 25:5-6: "On You I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old."
As David spoke of God's faithfulness to him, he was literally speaking his deliverance from the depression and oppression threatening to destroy him. In Psalm 32:3 he wrote, "When I kept silent, my bones grew old." David knew the importance of speaking the Word in order to walk in victory.
How can you "strengthen yourself in the Lord" when depressing thoughts and circumstances rise against you? Read the Word and say what it says. Refuse to speak negatively. Instead, agree with the Word.
What does the Word say about you? That you are more than a conqueror...that you can do all things through Christ...that you always triumph through Christ...that all things will work together for your good...and so much more! (See Rom. 8:37; Phil. 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:28). Revelation 12:11 confirms that we overcome "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony."
It was the Word of God that spoke to David's heart! It was the spiritual "secret weapon" that set him free from the overwhelming circumstances of Ziklag. If you read the rest of 1 Samuel 30, you'll see that David gained a mighty victory--he rescued his wives and children, and recovered all the spoil that had been taken!
Jeremiah is another Old Testament prophet who dealt with depressing thoughts and situations. For 37 years, he preached to the unrepentant Israelites. They had turned away from God to worshiping idols, and Jeremiah was called to confront them. His heart was broken for Israel's sins and the judgment of God that was coming upon the people (see Jer. 8:21-9:1).
Yet Jeremiah used the supernatural weapon of the Word to resist depression: "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16). He was set free from the depression and filled with joy.
How did Jeremiah get his joy? He ate God's Word! When we are attacked by depression, we need to take our "faith pills." We need to "eat" God's Word--to read it, meditate on it and speak it.
If circumstances pile up, simply "eat" more Word. Unlike a traditional prescription, there are no adverse side effects from the Word and you can take it as often as needed!
The truth will not only set you free from depression, despair and hopelessness; it will give you joy in their place. Jesus said, "'These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full'" (John 15:11). He promises us a double portion of joy--His and ours!
What is the source of your joy? Circumstances? Money? Health? Your spouse? Your job? No, the Word is to be the source of our joy, and God's supernatural double-portion joy will defeat depression every time!
YOUR WORD PRESCRIPTION
Depression is of a supernatural origin. Therefore it's going to take the supernatural--a greater truth and stronger anointing--to gain the victory and keep depression out of your life. Here are some important steps to take.
Repent. If you've allowed unbelief into your heart, causing you to become depressed, the first thing you must do is repent. Accept God's forgiveness and ask Him to give you faith in place of your unbelief. Then you can claim with the psalmist: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin" (Ps. 32:5).
Speak your deliverance by speaking God's Word. You must refuse to speak the negative, doubt-filled lies the enemy tries to get you to agree with, and instead agree with God's Word--out loud.
Accept the Word above your circumstances. As you look to Jesus and the Word, not your troubles and trials, you'll find the victory you need. The Bible tells us He is our Deliverer. As the psalmist declared: "He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support" (Ps. 18:16-18).