And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:6–7 Although I feel like a prophet crying in the wilderness as I go against the flow of what our culture says about depression, I remain biblically persuaded that many people today are seeking medical help for depression when in reality it is often a spiritual issue. You see, the psychiatrist and the pastor differ not in the diagnosis of depression, but in the cure.The psychiatrist says, “Take a pill.” The pastor says, “Make a choice.” That is, we can choose to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). We can choose to rejoice in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:16). We can choose to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can choose to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We can choose to think on whatever is pure and lovely and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” David asked when he faced depression like ours. What was his prescription? “Hope thou in God” (Psalm 42:11). “My bones ache. My eyes weep. I feel as though there’s gravel in my teeth,” cried Jeremiah in his own deep, dark depression. His cure? “I will lift up my heart with my hands unto the heavens” (see Lamentations 3:41). Although I am increasingly convinced that there are people who, because of difficulties in life, can benefit from wise and prudent medical help in this arena, such is not the norm, because as you read the Bible from cover to cover, it becomes clear that the issue regarding depression is primarily an issue of choice. God didn’t say, “I know you’re sad, Cain. Here, drink this; swallow that; and you’ll be better in the morning.” No, He said, “Your bitterness is causing your countenance to fall. If you don’t choose well, you’ll be eaten up. But if you choose to do well—to obey My Word—you’ll be lifted up.”
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