Proverbs 18:14 – “The spirit [mind-set; courage; character; breath = life; wind] of a man will sustain [nourish; endure] his infirmity [physical sickness or disease]; but a wounded [broken; stricken] spirit [breath = life’s wind] who can bear [carry; take]?”
Depression is epidemic in our nation [an estimated 1 in 10 Americans are described as depressed] and has been a trouble to man since God diagnosed Cain with a fallen countenance in Genesis 4 (Genesis 4:3-7).
Depression, what society termed melancholy a century ago, is defined in various ways in the Bible. The Persian king Artaxerxes noticed that Nehemiah had a sad countenance and described him as having “sorrow of heart” (Nehemiah 2:2). In the midst of nigh overwhelming troubles, the Old Testament patriarch Job described his broken spirit as “weary of my life…. bitterness of my soul” (Job 10:1). King David cried out to God in the midst of his troubles and afflictions saying, “the waters are come in unto my soul” (Psalm 69:1).
Some reading today’s devotion are battling depression. You feel like David who confessed he was drowning in disappointments. You are questioning, “Why? Why has God allowed troubles and afflictions to come upon me and my loved ones?”
Moses challenged the nation of Israel before she entered the Promise Land that God had allowed His people to wander 40 years in the wilderness to “humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart” (Deuteronomy 8:2). Troubles and afflictions are God’s tools that put our heart and character to the test. Disappointments prove us and, if we are willing to humble ourselves, strengthen our faith and dependence on God.
Solomon taught his son a spiritual lesson in Proverbs 18:14 we should all heed: A spirit of humility endures sorrow and troubles; however, a proud spirit is soon broken, crushed by burdens and disappointments.
I close with God’s promise for those who are feeling overwhelmed and depressed:
Take a moment, bow your heart before God and confess, “Lord, I need you!” His response, “I will give you grace!”
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith