Dr. Paul Tournier, a celebrated Swiss physician and psychiatrist, noted, “Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a bolt out of the blue. The ground is prepared for years, through faulty diet, intemperance, overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject’s vitality. Man does not die, he kills himself . . . . Every act of physical, psychological and moral disobedience of God’s purpose is an act of wrong living and has inevitable consequences.” “Inevitable,” means you can’t cheat the results of such conduct.

God’s word proposes antidotes to these health eroding factors. By taking His spiritual correctives, taking medicine can often be avoided. Tournier’s statement, “Man does not die, he kills himself,” should be taken seriously. It has been said no one has ever died from old age.

Consider just one emotional bandit, depression. If you have it you are not alone. It is estimated eight million Americans a year suffer from depression so deep they miss work or have to see a doctor. Have you ever felt like Abraham Lincoln who wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully (regretfully) forebode (foretell) I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better, it appears to me.”

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek philosopher and physician, was the first person known to write about depression, calling it melancholy. There are various kinds of depression. The central nervous system along with the endocrine glands produce most of the chemicals needed for normal body functions. At times there is an imbalance which is one cause of depression. In this instance a doctor should be seen.

Spiritual depression generally refers to a loss of spiritual vitality and joy. In this instance Scriptural principles should be used. Our Lord appeals to us:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Pause, meditate, memorize, and resolve to apply that several times a day.

God has promised, “‘For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:10)

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)

Again pause, meditate, memorize, and resolve to apply these daily. A medicine is no good unless taken. These truths are of no value unless applied.