The Spirit Of Heaviness (Depression)
Have you ever experienced the spirit of heaviness? Have you ever sought desperately to feel God’s presence, but kept falling short? Christians throughout history can relate to this sentiment. Believers know the feeling of yearning to be in the presence of God, but still feeling alone. We are also familiar with the desire of wanting to do right, but continuously failing. Jesus knew this about humanity which is why He said the following.
“Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
As someone who has suffered from depression myself, I can tell you this is no joke. Unfortunately, many people will never know that depression is caused by a demonic spirit. Therefore, they will have no choice but to fight it with worldly means. However, it wasn’t until I became born again that I was able to kick depression to the curb.
A direct mentioning of the spirit of heaviness can be found in the Book of Isaiah, authored by Isaiah the prophet. In chapter 61 we receive an admission from him that the spirit of God is upon him (Isaiah 61:1). The reason the Holy Spirit resides in Isaiah is because of his task as a prophet, to interpret and share the word of God He receives. Over the course of the chapter, he shares the outcome of this good word, which amounts to many blessings for God’s children. Some of these blessings include exchanging misfortunes in life for better circumstances. One of these contrasts includes the spirit of heaviness being exchanged for a garment of praise.
The act of praising God is one that brings us closer to God. While the spirit of heaviness disconnects, praise connects. This verse and chapter help us to better understand the meaning of a spirit of heaviness. The other comparisons in this chapter reflect hardship and adversity experienced by God’s people. This suffering may produce tears, isolation, and sin. The spirit of heaviness can be characterized as any intense negative feeling that challenges our faith and what we know about God. Heaviness may result from our own habitual sins like addiction, lying, and gossip, or could also occur from the loss of a job, even a loved one. To feel heavy is to be burdened, and to be burdened is to not carry the light and easy yoke of Jesus (Matthew 11:30).
The Bible encourages us to pray without ceasing because God is always listening. Let’s keep that in mind as we go about living life. Whatever cause we have for the heaviness in our minds and hearts, if we can hold out and continue to seek God, the spirit of heaviness will be exchanged for a garment of praise. Our tears will be replaced with shouts of joy (Psalm 126:5). All that was wrong will one day be made right. This is what scripture says, now we just have to trust the Lord to fulfill.