Spiritual Depression (Pt. 1)

Its pretty much guaranteed – if you are a Christian you will face a season of spiritual depression at some point in your life. Spiritual depression isn’t exactly like depression, but it bears a lot of similarities. It is marked by apathy towards all things spiritual – you don’t feel like pursuing God, you don’t feel like serving, you don’t feel like engaging with community. But it’s especially marked by a feeling of an absence of Gods presence. Often times this feeling will set in because of sin, something physiological, or an attack from the enemy; but often times it will happen immediately after some awesome experience with God. (e.g. a mission trip, a camp, or some spiritual breakthrough.)

Spiritual depression isn’t exactly like depression, but it bears a lot of similarities.

Scripture is full of stories of this sort of thing happening. You find it in the Psalms most often. But one very prominent example is Elijah in 1 Kings 18 & 19. Elijah was on top of the world, serving God, taking down God’s enemies, experiencing God’s power and God’s victory. But the next thing you know, he finds himself in a cave crying, whining, and wanting to die. It’s the classic case of spiritual depression. But in the midst of that God shows up to him. Not in the way you would have expected it. Not in a way that was obvious either. He had to pay really close attention to notice God’s presence in the midst of his world falling apart. Spiritual depression will come. Its guaranteed. But if you are in Christ, you can be sure of his presence – even if its in a way you would never have expected it.


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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