Royalty, Spirituality, ISSUES, and Depression: Did David Have Issues?

by Donna Gibbs

Last week, we addressed the collision of royalty and depression. We’ve come to accept that even someone who has access to all the extravagant benefits of royalty can be vulnerable to depression. Even a King!

We also addressed the collision of spirituality and depression. We’ve come to accept that someone who has a rich and genuine spiritual life can still be vulnerable. Even a “man after God’s own heart”.

With those collisions established, I think it would be helpful for us to gaze for just a moment at some of the other issues going on in David’s life. Perhaps this glance could provide further explanation to his struggle with discouragement.

1. David had STRESSORS.

David had enemies. He had stress. He had overwhelming life situations and traumas. David had legitimate oppressors. Anything from wild animals to nations, David was often fighting with, or running from, someone or something. There were times in which he lived with great fear and anxiety. The angst of life’s stressors creates a path to discouragement.


David often got stuck on his toxic thoughts. Many times in the Psalms we see evidence of David’s ruminations. He frequently got stuck on hopeless, defeating thoughts about God, about himself, and about his situation. He would be the first to acknowledge that he wrestled with his thoughts. It is nearly impossible to avoid discouragement in the presence of destructive ruminations, and David sometimes struggled to pull himself out of his personal darkness.


David made reference to his bones hurting, his fatigue and weariness. Of course, we don’t know what else might have been going on within his body (David likely wouldn’t have even known himself). He could have suffered injuries, diseases, vitamin deficiencies, or chemical imbalances. While we don’t know those specifics, we do know this: God made us whole. We are whole physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – so when our emotions hurt, our bodies hurt. And when our bodies hurt, our emotions hurt. David was no exception, and his physical challenges had a ripple effect.


It’s true – sin can create depression. David had a terrible fall. He misused his power as king, had an affair with a woman, and followed that affair with the murder of her husband. What a mess! In Psalm 51, following a conversation with a respected friend, David wrote a reflection on what is sometimes referred to as the darkest day of his life. David begged for God’s mercy and forgiveness. He was broken and disgusted with himself. His regret created deep sadness.

Can you relate to David? Do you live under the yoke of stress? Are you enduring a tough situation or trauma? Do you have enemies? Do you sometimes get stuck on negative thoughts about God, about yourself, about others, or about your situation? Do you have physical challenges? A chronic condition? Do you have personal regrets? Are you suffering the tough consequences of an immoral choice?

If your answer is “Yes,” remember that you are in good company. You are in the company of royalty. You are in the company of one who loved God.

Remember, it’s ok to realize that you are struggling. But it’s not ok to stay stuck. Reach out today to a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor for help!

Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, her blogs are frequently shared in various media outlets, and she is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for more than twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

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