Have you ever been depressed? I have. I know all too well how depression robbed me of sleep, sapped joy from my day, kept me from smiling and on the verge of tears all the time, made sunny days seem cloudy, caused me to sigh all the time and lose interest in the things that used to bring me pleasure, and brought such a sense of loneliness and isolation.
Did you know that Jesus felt the crushing load of depression too? As He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest, listen to these words—
- He began to be sorrowful and troubled
- He became anguished and distressed
- He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed
- He said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”
- He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood
- “Abba, Father,” He cried out, “everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” (see Matthew 26:37-38; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:44)
The writer of Hebrews wrote this about Jesus—
While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One who could rescue Him from death. And God heard His prayers because of His deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. In this way, God qualified Him as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:7-9)
We learn something in suffering that we can’t learn any other way. Jesus learned how to experience all of the grief, anxiety, and depression that you and I will ever feel. And that is what qualifies Him to be a perfect High Priest for us.
Our part is to pray. Time and time and time again, not only did Jesus pray, but He encouraged His disciples to pray as well. As you continue to pray, Jesus is your High Priest praying for you. Only He truly knows how to translate the cry of your heart into a language Abba Father can understand.
In all their troubles, He was troubled, too. He didn’t send someone else to help them. He did it Himself, in person. (Isaiah 63:9)
If you’ve missed any of the messages in this series called Where’s God, please check them all out by clicking here.