When I was 18 years old, I suffered through something a lot of Christians don't or won't talk about. I have had several bouts with depression during my life. The first one was by far the worst because I didn't recognize what it was. Depression strikes so many good people. I was not walking with the Lord as I should at the time this struck me. The onset of depression did play a major role in my revival. While I believe those who have depression should seek medical help, I do not want to discount the role of faith. It is my belief we wrestle with forces which cannot be seen that intend us harm. These cowards attack without provocation and at our weakest points. God in his mercy showed me something a few years ago that makes this much easier to win this battle. He has given me a sword with which I can stand and fight. I wanted to share this with you today.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
(Isaiah 61:3) KJV
The keys for successful combat over the spirit of heaviness are humility, the Spirit of God and pure undefiled praise.
The beauty for ashes is humility. This is what Job did when he saw his affliction. This is what David did when he realized he was the man Nathan said had sinned. Job committed no sin but David did. Depression doesn't mean you have sinned. It could be that you have or have not sinned. If you have you should confess it before God and ask forgiveness for it. If you haven't committed any sin you are aware of, humble yourself before God and seek His face. God will give you beauty for the ashes.
The oil of joy for mourning...Anytime I see a reference to oil in the scriptures my mind automatically looks for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Saul was anointed with oil. David was anointed with oil. The parable of the Ten Virgins had oil or a lack of oil. Make sure you are in communion with God is what I am trying to say. Your relationship with God needs to be current. It is that simple. God will be near to those who are of a broken heart. You only have to reach out to Him.
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness is exactly what it says. Put on your garments! Praise God for who He is. Praise Him for what He has done and what He will do! Make a joyful noise to God. Be sincere! The Psalms tell us God inhabits the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3). He will inhabit your praise too! So go ahead and praise Him! I enjoy this part even when there is no depression to be found.
If you are having trouble with the spirit of heaviness, I encourage you to do this. It was years before I learned to apply the truths in this scripture. I don't want this to be the case for you. There is so much more God has for you that doesn't include this baggage.
Father, I praise you for who you are and for the things you show me. I praise you for Jesus who is worthy of all of the praise I can give. I praise you for those who will read this and apply your Word which is better than anything I have to offer them. I give you all of the praise, honor and the glory for what you want to do in their lives in the name of Jesus! Amen.