Why Can't I Be Happy? Depression is Real

November 23, 2021
5 min read
Written By

I didn’t feel like getting out of my bed, eating, talking to people, or doing anything at all. Nothing motivated me and I felt like my life didn’t have a purpose anymore. I just kept asking myself, why can’t I be happy? It seemed so simple for everyone else. And I felt guilty. Like I wasn’t being a good christian because I was feeling depressed and I was having all these negative thoughts. I felt like I was disappointing God and that’s why I couldn’t feel his presence anymore. 

But He was there. He’d always been. He never left me. And just as how he didn’t leave me, He hasn’t left you either.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” - Psalm 34:18

Depression is something that isn’t noticeable for everyone and hits differently for each person. We tend to think that because we are following Jesus we should not feel that way. But we do, depression is real and there’s nothing we need to be ashamed of. Just like us, there are others that have gone or are going through the same thing. Even different characters in the bible went through difficult seasons.

In 1 Kings 19 Elijah was in a difficult point in his life and it says that he came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4)

Have you ever felt like that? Like you’ve had enough and just want to stop living? I know I did. But this story helped me so much when I was going through it, and I hope it helps you as well.

Get out of your cave

The word says that an angel touched Elijah and said “Get up and eat”. So that’s the first thing I want to invite you to do, get up and eat. 

But it is not about just feeding your body with food but also feeding your spirit with God. Go to church, read your bible, listen to worship songs, surround yourself with other believers, but most importantly, talk to God. After Elijah got up and ate, he went into a cave and spent the night there. God came to him and asked “What are you doing here?”

Depression sometimes is like a cave, a dark lonely place where we tend to get too comfortable and spend long periods of time.

But just like with Elijah, God wants to ask us “What are you doing here?” Because we aren’t meant to live in a cave, isolated from everyone. We are meant for greater things!

Then it says that God told Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord was about to pass by. Then came a powerful wind, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in any of them. But then came a gentle whisper and when Elijah heard it, he came out of the cave.

Sometimes we are waiting for an earth-shattering event to happen in our lives to be able to overcome depression. But it’s in the whisper, in the moments of quiet and stillness with God when we get to hear His voice, that we slowly but surely start to come out of our cave.  

So if you are struggling with depression and wondering why can’t I be happy?  I want to tell you, you are not alone. And you are also not meant to stay in that cave forever. God is calling you in a whisper and all you have to do to start getting better is answering Him. 


“When I was really hurting, I prayed to the Lord. He answered my prayer, and took my worries away.” - Psalm 118:5

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The VOUS Blog is a space for discovery with resources and reflections, curated by the VOUS community and team, to encourage you on the journey.

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