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Many of us have felt depressed at times.

Sometimes it lasts only for a day, other times it can last for years.

Someone gave this definition of depression: "Depression is giving in to the pressures of life while letting go of your faith in God."

What causes depression?

I want to share six causes with you. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of some of the things that causes depression and if you are honest, these six are all things we can do something about if we choose to.

1. Pressures of life.
Life happens. And it isn't always pleasant or easy. It causes stress and can lead to depression. The interesting thing is it isn't necessarily always bad things that cause stress. Getting married can cause stress. Having a baby can cause stress. Moving house or starting a new job can cause stress. And often we give in to these pressures, even the good ones, and let go of our faith in God and we get depressed. The Word
tells us a different way to react:

James 1:2-3 says: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."

In Romans 5:3-5 we read: "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

When the pressures of life stares us in the face, we are to consider it with joy because we as God's children know we are not alone. We have Him with us. His Holy Spirit lives inside of us and He will give us the strength to face whatever comes our way. He will lead us in what we should do and help us get through any situation. We just need to hold on to our faith in Him.

2. Unconfessed sin.
Whether we realise it or not; whether we want to acknowledge it or not, unconfessed sin can lead to depression. We know we've sinned, but pretty much like Adam and Eve did, we run from the Lord and try to hide from Him. This leads to a heaviness that can cause us to become depressed.

In Psalm 38:4 David writes the following about his sin: "For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.

James instructs us: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much" (5:16). We need to remember that we are all in the same boat. We all struggle with sin. It is important to find someone you can trust, someone you can talk to and confess to when you have sinned. That gives you a kind of accountability, for you will think twice about commiting the same sin and having to tell you friend you did it again!

Psalm 51 is David's confession psalm after his sin with Bathsheba. In verse 12 we read: "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit."

The bottom line is, when we have sinned we need to come to the Lord immediately and confess our sin. He will restore to us the joy of His salvation. Then we need to trust Him to keep us willing to follow Him.

Today we have looked at two causes of depression. Join me again tomorrow when we look at the next two.