Depression is experienced more among ministers than many realize. Elijah experienced it. Other biblical characters are recorded as having suffered depression in their ministry. Today depression is common, and television commercials tout numerous medications to treat it. One commercial describes a prescription that helps sufferers when the medication they are now taking is not enough.
Hope deferred may be the root cause of most depression, especially for those in ministries. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). Disappointments often come in ministry. Measuring success is elusive for a minister: promises are not kept, people let you down, leaders pass you over for someone else, and promotions are delayed. These things affect one’s hope. When they continue to recur, hope is deferred, and the heart becomes sick. This is another way to describe the depression ministers experience.