The Depression of King David

Mental illness doesn’t discriminate; even a great king like King David suffered from depression. 

When we think of David, the most common image is that of David and Goliath, a well-known story even amongst non-believers. Typically, he is remembered as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) and a King that was used mightily by God. 

But, it wasn’t all glitter and gold.

What is forgotten is King David’s struggle with depression, witnessed in Psalms.

In Psalm 31:9-24, he cries out, “Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.” 

In Psalms 13:2-3 he pleads, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?…Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death…”.

In these passages, we don’t just see sadness, but apparent depressive symptoms over a prolonged period of time: a depressed mood, decreased energy, increased fatigue, and even suicidal thoughts. Despite how David walked with and pursued the Lord, he still experienced and suffered the symptoms of this disease. In the same way, no one is immune to depression; however, with professional health care and with spiritual healing, anyone can find themselves victorious over depression, just like David. It is also a reminder that with God that we are able to reach our full potential. David could not reach his true potential until he placed control with the Lord.

“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.”  Psalm 40:1-3

Additional Resources:

For more information on Depression,

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