God’s Will and Depression

God has a purpose for everything that touches your life. Even the times of painful pruning are useful in the hands of God – Romans 8:28. Depression can heighten your awareness of God and increase your dependency on God. It can open your eyes to His unique design for you before, during, and after your bouts with despondency. Remember, just as storms replenish dry and parched ground and give birth to flowers and new life in the spring, so the storms in your life can revitalize your relationship with God and give birth to greater fruit of the Spirit in your life. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:2, 8)

Depression might be permitted by God to:

  • Warn you that something is wrong. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” (Psalm 119:67)
  • Slow you down and cause you to reflect inwardly – “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Reveal your weakness – “He [the Lord] said … ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • Bring you to Himself – “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
  • Develop your trust in Him – “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
  • Be a healing process for damaged emotions – “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” (Jeremiah 17:14)
  • Develop perseverance and maturity – “Consider it pure joy … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2–4)
  • Develop worth and value in your life – “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6–7)
  • Cause you to rely on His resources – “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3–4)
  • Increase your compassion and understanding for others – “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort … comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)