Joy & Depression
Joy is an eternal source of happiness found in God (Philippians 4:4). Sadness or sorrow is an emotion felt by thinking about past pain, and depression is not mourning the pain (Matthew 5:4; Proverbs 14:13). Joy starts by choosing to stop running away from life’s problems and run to God in prayer for answers (Psalms 16:11). He will help you see the beauty of life (Psalms 118:24).
All Christians agree that joy is vital to a godly life.
Depression is ignoring the problem.
The goal of sadness is to mourn a past source of pain and realize it shouldn’t get in the way of long-term joy, also known as being comforted (Matthew 5:4). Oftentimes, internal or external blame is the primary source of feeling brokenhearted (Psalms 69:20). We think of this sad feeling as bad, even though it’s a healthy emotion God gave us (Psalms 6:6-7). If we try to mask God’s natural way of overcoming grief (Ecclesiastes 7:2-3,4) with forced happiness and excesses (Ephesians 5:18), it will lead to depression (Proverbs 14:13-14).
Joy comes from the Lord.
The ultimate source of joy is God (Philippians 4:4), not anything or anyone in this world (I John 2:15). Though we will have trials in this life, God will help us turn those hard times to sources of joy (James 1:2-4) because He is our hope (Romans 12:12; Proverbs 10:28). Even merely waking up is a blessing from God (Psalms 118:24). Jesus is all that we want and need (Philippians 4:11-12,13). If we choose to delight in our friendship with God, He will give us what we want (Psalms 37:4), if we ask (John 16:24). Delighting in God is spending time with Him in prayer (Psalms 16:11), obeying Him (John 15:9-11), and always trusting in Him (Psalms 33:21).
Joy is physically healthy.
Joy physically heals our body, and long-term depression will eventually cause health concerns (Proverbs 17:22).