God does not intend that we allow our emotions to rule our lives! I doubt if Jesus felt good all the time, and I doubt if Paul felt good as he bobbed a day and a night in the sea or was laying half dead on the edge of town after being stoned. But none of the followers of Christ allowed their feelings to rule their lives. In fact, Paul said “I beat my body and make it my slave.” We are expected to press on, to fight against the feelings and emotions that want to immobilize us. The Bible graciously teaches us how to respond biblically to the feelings of discouragement and depression because God cares about us and He knows we struggle in this sin-cursed world.

There are many verses in the Bible that address the common areas of discouragement

· Anxiety - 1 Peter 5:7

· Worry- Philippians 4:6

· Guilt- Hebrews 10:22

· Attitude - Ephesians 4:23

· Complaining/discontent - Philippians 2:14, Philippians 4:11

· Explosive anger/wrath - James 1:20

· Frustrated, downcast - Psalm 43:5

· Grief/sorrow, mourning - John 16:22, 2 Corinthians 7:10

Psalm 56:3 says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” When you go to the Bible while fearful, sorrowful, and discouraged – you are attempting to see what you are enduring through the lens of the Word of God. Seeking Him, and wanting to know what God says about this season of suffering you are in.

How have you suffered? What have you done to deal with the issues of your own life?

You may have gone through some of these methods of dealing with suffering yourself. Have you found any of them to be helpful? Or have you walked away from this season with the underlying question of: “Why God, why?”

The theological answer is that we suffer because sin entered the world. That one sin has brought our sorrow and woe down upon us. It is why we have disease and depression and disaster.

There is no room anymore in medical science for such an answer. And a world that has become far too wise in its own foolish wisdom refuses to believe that in most cases of depression the spiritual component is the real issue.

Next time: Spiritual Reasons for Depression and Discouragement