D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones acknowledged ‘spiritual depression’ and its causes and treatments as normative: “It is interesting to notice the frequency with which this particular theme is dealt with in the Scriptures and the only conclusion to be drawn from that is that it is a very common condition.” In Psalm 42:5, 11 and Psalm 43:5, David is psychologically hurting again, and again he goes to God Who again is His greatest help. David’s soul was “downcast” (sunken), and “disquieted” (growling). So we too sometimes need the Spirit to groan for us to God (Romans 8:26). But go to God we will to save us from ourselves.
An old spiritual laments, “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrows.” A modern rock song languishes, “You don’t know how it feels to be me!” But Jesus does.
In Matthew 26:36-46, Jesus’s agonizing, lonely prayers in Gethsemane show the hellish human suffering of His soul before He went to Golgotha.
Jesus knows what it’s like. And Jesus saves you from the deepest depression.
Jesus can relate to your depression.
Consider the olive press where a milestone crushed olives into paste that was tightly squeezed three times to “bleed” the oil out: so Jesus’s soul was wringed three times in tortuous prayer.
An olive press likely loomed in the background foreshadowing the beginning of Christ’s end (vs. 46); “Gethsemane”, which means oil press, was a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives (vs. 30) where His soul was being squeezed out, anguishing over when His life would soon be pressed from His body.
In vs. 37, Jesus was “sorrowful” for His soul was “very heavy”. In vs. 38, He was “exceeding sorrowful”, encompassed with distress so debilitating as “even to death” (He can relate: Hebrews 4:14-15; 5:2).
During His first prayer (vs. 39), Jesus fell on His face disturbed about pending isolation (Psalm 22:1; Mt. 27:46). The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:3 was … a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
Grief is not ungodly. Sorrow is not sin. Depression is not sickness. These mental responses are often reasonable. But we also must handle our despondency responsibly.
Jesus gives you an example of how to work through your depression.
Jesus sought out God three times as desperation increased. And though experiencing desertion, He found resolve (vs. 45) as He addressed His “Father” each time with “not my will but Thine be done” (vss. 39, 42, 44).