As human beings we come across various ways by which we get depressed. Depression is not a disease, but is an effect of an undesirable situation that produces negative emotions in us. It affects our inner man causing stress to our body and soul. Consequently, there will be changes in the way our body and mind functions. It may even lead to physical ailments owing to the effect of emotional imbalance. Sorrow is the expression of depression. The main reason for it is that we lack comfort; we are not in happy circumstances. Our sorrow can be a result of suffering, pain, temptation or a sin that has been prevailing over us. Whatever the case may be, when we are the children of the Almighty God, we do not have to succumb to it.
God has the ability to calm our inner man through the comfort He alone can give by the Spirit. To be comforted in times of sorrow by Him is a work that no man on earth can do. He miraculously seizes the effects of sorrow from us and replaces them with the works of the Spirit. There are several ways by which the devil along with the world inflicts sorrow upon us and from each one of them God is able to relieve us. If we have experienced His grace as that which comforted us regarding our sins and sinful nature so that we are made aware of His perpetual salvation, then we can also boldly expect the comfort He can give by His ways. Paul said, “But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Cor. 7:6).
Usually our depression that expresses sorrow is related to our profession/work. Sometimes it is the work of evil forces upon us. But God always has a way to restore our joy and peace. He comforts us that we have a greater hope than we did. By the ways He has availed to comfort us He allows us to see His viewpoint. He makes us understand that through our discomfort we are going to receive better things. He makes us understand more deeply the essence of His promises to us besides strengthening us to bear the circumstances that caused sorrow. All this He does by the Spirit which He made to dwell in us. His Spirit broadens His position in us so that our sorrow is completely conquered. Thus, we are fully comforted. Our intimate relationship with Him and our confidence in Him to pull us out of all or any circumstance is the key to the Spirit’s work. Whatever loss has been inculcated upon us He will recover it, and this is the essence of the comfort we receive from Him. Having been saved by grace through faith alone is the channel for such an awesome goodness.
God times the comfort which He desired upon us. Often people strive for comfort through efforts, because they are unwilling to or do have the strength to look to God. Yet, God too comforted Himself in restoring man to Him when He acted at the right time. He did not act thoughtlessly, “but at the proper time manifested, even His word…” (Tit. 1:3). With it He was comforted, because He was able to bring to Him as many people as possible. When He manifested His Word at the proper time, i.e. He sent Christ into earth, His intent for man was fulfilled. God atoned for the sin of man once for all through the blood of His Son. There is no sorrow which He cannot remove. This has been amply demonstrated to us when He separated us by grace from the sorrow of sin and death. So, God knows when and how to comfort us in times of sorrow. He allows sorrow into our life, because He wants something more and better from us that we ourselves do not know; He causes it to be born in us. He will bring us out as pure gold.
When God comforts us, He increases our worth to His kingdom. There are several things that hold their fort in us. Firstly, He rewards us wisdom that prepares us to work in union with Him. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (Jam. 3:1). He wants us to be His people and the wisdom of the world is a hindrance to it. Worldly wisdom does not allow us to fuse with His plans. If we are with it, we still display our old self. Therefore, to the comfort He gives for our sorrows He adds wisdom so that we fail worldly wisdom and are with His perspective. The result of it is the immaculate qualities of wisdom residing in us. He makes us a lamp to those in the dark. Hence, to be at a point of needing comfort is a prescription God has chosen for us so that we are healed for the better.
The apostle John was under tribulation and was kept on the island of Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus. He was under great depression and yet, God comforted Him greatly by appearing to Him and revealed His great plan for him. God waited until John was on that island and then availed him to fulfill his purpose. “When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them’” (Rev. 10:4). He was later on asked to eat the book and then was given the duty to prophesy concerning many peoples and nations. In other words, he would take from his heart with the help of the Spirit and proclaim the things of God. God first chose to reveal them to him before putting them to action.
God has use of us. When we are in sorrow, it is because He allowed it and sometimes desired it. The latter life will be greater than the former. Losses are part of everyone’s life, but comfort isn’t; comfort is of God to those who are of God. Consider the following three passages that encourage us.
- Hebrews 7:11 – “Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?” The Christ of God is the king of righteousness and king of peace. Therefore, He will never fail or forsake us and we will never be bereaved of comfort. It is only then we are perfected for Him as He desired.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” There is not a sorrow we face that God misses. He tackles every single one of them for His purpose and our joy. His mercies are untold and His comfort is unimaginable. Depression is only for time being.
- Acts 20:12 – “They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.” God through Paul brought to life the dead boy who fell off from the window. He takes care of His own. He does not leave us to discomfort, sorrow, pain and depression when He made us heirs in His Son. He does whatever it takes to restore our joy and peace. In this He is comforted and glorified.