Thursday, October 18, 2007

Victory over depression

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it…I hope you are as well!

We have been looking at hope the past week or so. My prayer is that it ministered to you, and that you understand that God indeed will work on your behalf. He is a GOOD God. Yesterday I was meeting with someone in my office that has been battling depression. As I spoke with this person, and we looked into the Word of God, I felt God nudge me to deal with the subject of depression for a few days on this blog. Look at what God's Word says about worry and anxiety:

Proverbs 12:25(CEV) Worry is a heavy burden, but a kind word always brings cheer.

(ESV) Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

(MSG) Worry weighs us down; a cheerful word picks us up.

When you're depressed your motivation is drained, your desire to pursue God is gone, your conversations turn sour, you're blinded to your blessings, your enthusiasm is forced, you're in a daze regarding future plans. What's the way out? Find the cause of your depression!

1. First of all, examine your relationships. There are different type of relationships, but I want to mention three:

  • Replenishing relationships. This is where you get something positive out of the relationship. It is a relationship where you feel encouraged and enriched when you spend time together.
  • Neutral relationships. In these relationships, you aren't replenished, nor are you really drained.
  • Draining relationships. These relationships wear you out and tear you down. Nothing positive comes from them.

Take just a moment and think about it. What type of relationships do you have? Do you have any replenishing ones? Or are they all neutral or draining? Elijah was in a cave, depressed and discouraged. Why? One of the reasons is that he had nothing but draining relationships. He felt all alone, he even said, "God, I'm the only one left who won't worship Baal." What God tell him? "Come out of the cave, I have many others who haven't bowed their knee to Baal." Then God sent Elijah to a replenishing relationship with Elisha. One of the main causes of depression is a lack of replenishing relationships.

Long-term depression drains your energy, distorts your reality, assaults your faith, and affects everybody around you. One in five of us suffers from it. It's responsible for more workplace absenteeism than diabetes and heart disease. Poor health can cause it, not to mention your surroundings; also stress, fear, loneliness, guilt, and anger. And it's no modern-day disease either; it affected Bible characters too.

2. David experienced it because of unconfessed sin. "I am… severely broken… my strength fails… my loved ones… stand… afar off" (Psalm 38:8-11 NKJV).

3. Job got so depressed about his financial, personal and family losses that he cursed the day he was born. (Job 1-3)

4. When Jezebel threatened Elijah, he went through the "H.A.L.T." syndrome. He was Hungry; he stopped eating. Angry; he got mad at God and the world. Lonely; he left his servant and went off by himself. Tired; he collapsed.

But God had a prescription. He: (a) changed his diet; (b) told him to rest; (c) let him know he wasn't alone; (d) sent an angel to minister to him. Those are still the steps out of depression!

David said, "The Lord… brought me up out of a horrible pit" (Psalm 40:1-2 NKJV),
and He can bring you out of your depression too! Don't isolate yourself, and don't be ashamed to get help from your pastor, a trusted friend, or a good counsellor. And remember, addictive behaviour and destructive relationships will only make things worse. The moment Elijah heard God's voice, he began "getting it together." With God's help, you can too!

Psalm 116:7 (MSG) I said to myself, "Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings.

Bob Gass, a well known author reminds us that you can conquer depression: (a) Through prayer! Oswald J. Smith said that the happiest moments of his life were during prayer and Bible reading. He called this his 'morning watch.' He also said praying aloud prevented his thoughts from wandering. (b) Through God's Word! Jeremiah said, "When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight" (Jeremiah 15:16 NIV). Daily prayer and the reading of God's Word is a prescription that can help heal your emotions and lift your depression. Try it!

Why don't you meditate on God's Word today that I placed in this blog, and also turn on some good Praise and Worship music. As you do this, you are putting on "a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." (Isaiah 61:3)

I love you guys, and pray that a GARMENT and SPIRIT of praise will be released upon you even now. Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Anonymous said...

Pastor Rust,
Thanks for the blog on depression. I have been fighting within myself with depression sense my neice killed herself and some days are good and some are not.So I know a little about it but I wish I could shake it.