SERMON NOTES: December, Depression, and a Lot of Hope (A Christmas Message)

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Depression isn’t sin, but it can certainly keep us from staying close to God if we don’t have his power and his wisdom for fighting it. Thankfully the Bible has a lot to say about how to hang onto hope when your soul is down.

Watch the video, read the notes, or download the notes and transcripts below…



December is a “happy” month. It’s filled with songs, parties, messages of joy, etc. We’re all supposed to be happy.

But we’re not.

About 10% of Americans struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). We’re getting less sunlight because the days are shorter and we’re inside more. It’s a hard time of year when it comes to family and finances and pain. We’re also surrounded with consumerism and the message that we don’t have enough. 

The struggle is real. Depression is real. 

And God’s word has a lot to say about how to hang onto hope in the middle of it.

I want to make a very clear distinction…

Depression and discouragement are different. Discouragement is the choice to give into fear and negative thinking. Depression is a condition of the heart, mind, and soul that can be brought on by circumstances or physical causes. 

Discouragement is disobedience to the command, “Do not be discouraged,” which is repeated throughout scripture. 

Depression is a common part of the human condition, resulting from the existence of sin in the world, but not a sin in and of itself. 

We see signs of depression in various Bible characters like Elijah, David, and Solomon. We also read about depression in the lives of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and great Christian leaders like Charles Spurgeon. 

Spurgeon said, 

I know, perhaps as well as anyone, what depression means, and what it is to feel myself sinking lower and lower. Yet at the worst, when I reach the lowest depths, I have an inward peace which no pain or depression can in the least disturb. Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul.

And King David wrote of his depression often in the Psalms, such as Psalm 40…

Psalm 42:1-11 NIV

[1] As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
[2] My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
[3] My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
[4] These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
[5] Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
[6] My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
[7] Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
[8] By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
[9] I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
[10] My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
[11] Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

David couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, felt physically weak, and couldn’t make sense of how he was feeling. Sound familiar?

BIG TRUTH: We must fight depression with every tool God has given to us: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. 


1. Faith.

Keep believing and re-affirming and declaring, out loud, what the Scriptures declare to be true about you, about God, and about the world. 

2. Prayer.

Prayer is a weapon. In fact, it’s the single most important weapon in our arsenal. Ephesians 6 gives us a lot of armor, but the biggest and baddest is prayer.

3. Scripture. 

Our minds are vacuums, waiting to be filled. We’ll be filled by culture, entertainment, the media, and voices of negative people, OR we’ll be filled with the truth of scripture. 

4. Repentance.

Depression is not a sin. And it’s not always the result of sin. But it can be the result of holding in unconfessed sin, resentment, bitterness, or staying in bondage. 

5. Community.

We need each other. Nobody struggles alone. That’s one of the reasons we’re the church, to bear one another’s burdens. You need a small group!

6. Counseling.

God has gifted people to listen and to give counsel and to help you make sense of things.

7. Deliverance.

Depression is not always demonic, but it sometimes is. So we should rebuke the 

8. Medicine.

Sometimes depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness are real, physical, chemical issues. Just as you can have an unhealthy thyroid, pancreas, or heart, you can have an unhealthy brain. And God has gifted doctors and scientists to create medicines that can help. 

9. Hope.

JESUS IS ALIVE! Heaven is real and we win! Hang onto hope no matter what. It’s more than wishful thinking. Hope is steadfast and sure!

10. Praise.

Nothing combats depression more than praise! Sing! Shout! Proclaim the victory!