In my posts, Bible Studies, and sermon I talk about what the Bible says about stress, anxiety, worry, depression and discouragement. I caution my readers and listeners that I am not a physiatrist, psychologist, or trained counselor. I am merely giving you what the Bible says along with information from things I read from healthcare professionals.
Over the past week I have been reading the YouVersion Reading Plan,”Victory Over Depression With and Without Medicines” taken from a book written by Dr. Bergina Isbell a Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins trained Psychiatrist. The following is the last devotion of that Plan.
The World Health Organization estimates 350 million people suffer from depression globally, and depression knows no religious, racial, gender, or economic boundaries. But, depression does have boundaries in terms of how it affects your life!
When a wound is first inflicted, touching it can be very painful. As the wound heals, it becomes no longer painful, though a scar may remain. Healing from wounds inflicted by depression is possible. Focusing on positive and encouraging material actively changes your mind and your brain over time. As believers we know that the Bible promises healing of all sickness, illness, and disease. We are told to ask in prayer for healing and then give thanksgiving in faith for what we asked (1 Thessalonians 5:18). King David did this often. He began many songs, or Psalms, with an honest account of his feelings, but then he seems to abruptly turn the focus from himself to his God, offering praise for things that God had already done and for the future things he had faith that He would do. Many have noticed benefit from turning their hurting hearts towards helping others. Again, this takes the focus off of you, ultimately helping with your healing process and that of others. For some, you will experience healing swiftly. For others, the process may take longer and a medicine or other intervention is helpful.
The story is told of a man who needed surgery to repair a badly injured knee. The man asked the surgeon “how long would it take the knee to be completely healed after the surgery?” The surgeon replied, “I will do the surgery, but it’s up to God to do the healing.” I think that was a wise response. There is a limit to modern medicine. Providers do the very best we can by our patients, but we do not have all of the answers. I believe that where we end in our abilities, that is where God begins. There are a host of scriptures on healing of illnesses recorded in the Bible, including wise sayings about depression. Meditate on these scriptures until they are engrafted in your mind and on your heart.
Philippians 4:6 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Psalm 147:3 NIV He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Jeremiah 30:7 NIV How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.
Psalm 107:19-20 NIV Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Matthew 15:30-31 NIV Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
The YouVersion Reading Plan “Victory Over Depression With and Without Medicines” is provided by Growing in Grace, LLC from the book Victory Over Depression With and Without Medicines by Dr. Bergina Isbell. Dr. Isbell is a Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins trained Psychiatrist who helps others transform their lives by developing a mindset for growth and purpose.