Does Meditating on God's Wrath Help With Depression?

Originally published Thursday, 14 March 2013.

I’ve struggled with depression on and off for over fifteen years. Some of it has been physical, some spiritual, and some of the darkness has been too murky to examine. Whatever its cause, it has never been light, never easy, and never something I’ve been able to climb my way out of.

This morning I woke up with a heaviness of heart. Nothing’s happened, nothing is wrong, I’m not sad about anything, but for some reason I feel a spirit of unrest. My heart is churning with anxiousness.

God uses these days and seasons to bring contrast to my life. The days that go easily, where I feel free and peaceful, I’m less aware of my need for Christ’s strength. But when my mind and heart feel weak, I am painfully aware of my need. And sometimes, the best medicine for my soul is staring fearfully into the full cup of God’s wrath that once was mine to drink in punishment for my sins.

In Milton Vincent’s “A Gospel Primer for Christians” he writes:

“The gospel reminds me first that what I actually deserve from God is a full cup churning with the torments of His wrath. This cup would be mine to drink if I were given what I deserve each day.

With this understanding in mind, I see that to be handed a completely empty cup from God would be cause enough for infinite gratitude. If there were merely the tiniest drop of blessing contained in that otherwise empty cup, I should be blown away by the unbelievable kindness of God toward me.

That God in fact, has given me a cup that is full of ‘every spiritual blessing in Christ,’ and this without the slightest admixture of wrath, leaves me truly dumbfounded with inexpressible joy.”

Remembering God’s wrath may not make me feel like getting out of bed. But it reminds me that this gnawing feeling of sadness is only a mere shadow of the despair I’ve been rescued from. And though depression hurts now, its torment won’t last forever.

So when I wake up with a heavy heart, I meditate on the truth of the Gospel. And until the darkness lifts, I wait patiently on the Lord. Every spiritual blessing in Christ,” is mine, even when I don’t feel it.

If you’re here today, you are not alone. The Lord is with you.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
(Psalm 40:1-3 ESV)

Publication date: March 14, 2013.