While many men and women of the Bible sought earthly contentment apart from God, there were others whose unsettled lives ultimately drove them into the Lord’s presence. Their wandering led them in the opposite direction of their ancestors. They ran to God instead of away from Him.

David, in all the upheaval of his life, was constantly running to God. Even with all his candid questions and passionate expressions of vulnerability, we don’t sense that David ever lost faith in God’s power to make things right. What may surprise you is that David, a man of faith, appeared to have several bouts with what modern psychologists would label depression.

Even though an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population is affected by depressive illness at any given time, Christians often are ashamed to admit they are enduring their own dark periods of despair. The life of David, however, teaches us that every person, even those who trust God, at some point enters a dark valley. In fact, almost anyone who responds to the call of God will one day face doubts and questions, difficulties and trials, that will lead him or her through the door of depression. Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet” because he anguished over the sins of God’s people and the judgment he saw coming as a result of their disobedience. More than once he withdrew in defeat and asked God why he had even been born.

Like Jeremiah and other dedicated servants of God, David experienced similar bouts of depression (see Psalm 42, 43, 63). Yet his hunger for God, even in the pit of despair, is a vivid demonstration of the Biblical response to depression. If we are willing, we can turn our despair into a passionate pursuit of God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess that at times I have been overwhelmed with feelings of despair. But I draw hope from the example of Your servant David, who continued to seek You even in the darkest valley. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:5).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series The Biblical Cure for Depression: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



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