Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dealing With Depression

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Depression is a thief! It will steal your health, your money, and your energy.

Depression is a destroyer! It will destroy your relationships, your ability to work, your enjoyment of hobbies, and your future.

Depression is a killer! It will kill your hopes, your dreams, and even you.

What is Depression? Simply put It is a profound sense of personal loss. It is a profound sense of sadness. You can be sad and not depressed. Sadness has a gloominess about it, but even when a person is sad, he knows there is light at the end of the tunnel. The depressed person does not even believe there is a tunnel. It is a profound sense of hopelessness. It is a profound sense of uselessness and purposelessness. The attitude of Whats the use? Why even try? becomes the depressed persons mantra.

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What causes depression? Depression can have a chemical origin. Certain prescription medicines can induce a depressive state. Depression can also come about as a result of sudden hormonal changes due to childbirth, aging and some physical illnesses. Most often, though, depression has a spiritual, or emotional, origin. From a Biblical perspective, there are three basic causes of non-chemically induced depression.

· One is depression that is a result of unconfessed sin and the guilt that ensues. It was that kind of depression David experienced and that we will address next week.

· Another cause is demonic attack. However, demonic attack is not restricted to depression, but can come in the form of any of the obstacles I listed above. That being the case, we will discuss demonic attack as a separate issue.

· The third cause of spiritual, or emotional depression, is when we have distorted expectations. That was type of depression that Elijah experienced and which we will address today. When we fail to submit our plans, our efforts, and our dreams to the will of the Lord, we create a set of distorted expectations, and when they fail to come to pass, we can end up with severe disappointment that places us at the brink of depression. When peoples expectations are not met, it is not unusual for them to want to get away from it all � to flee so they wont have to deal with the disappointment. First communication ceases; they spend time with people, but refuse to interact. Then they withdraw completely into their room or some other place of absolute solitude.

The Road Back From Depression Begins with God.

God intervened in Elijahs time of depression, and He will intervene in yours if you will submit to Him. He will intervene in your loved ones depression if that person will submit to Him. Depression that has a spiritual cause requires a spiritual remedy.

The only healthy way to come out of spiritual depression is through the application of Gods principles as found in His Word. Unfortunately, many try to solve their depression through anti-depressant drugs. The problem is this, drug therapy for a spiritual problem is a band-aide remedy; the drugs do not deal with the real problem, they only relieve the symptoms. When the drugs are taken away, the depression returns. During several football games this past season, the players played on what initially looked like a beautifully keep field. However, after a short time of playing, it was obvious that the grounds-keepers had painted the field, including bare dirt, to make it look green for the TV cameras. The change was cosmetic only. Beneath the green paint was either dirt or brown grass. That is what it is like to take drugs to heal spiritual depression ... they only cover the surface, they do not solve the problem.

Only God, through faith in Christ, and the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit, can cure spiritual depression.

Step 1 Draw near to God.

If we want to be healed of our disappointments, we must realize that healing begins by drawing close to God by going back to our Mt. Sinai � the place where the Lord Jesus through His Spirit made Himself real to us.

Step Listen for God.

God challenges Elijah and his thinking and that is what is often needed to help us get out of our depression ... we need someone to speak straight ... we need someone to lovingly challenge us as to why we are doing what we are doing, and why we are thinking what we are thinking.

Step Adjust Expectations.

When we are looking for Him to manifest His power in our lives in a powerful way, like a mighty wind, or a raging fire, or a mammoth earthquake, His way may actually be a soft whisper. He is saying to us, you be My servants and submit your expectations to My will and I will be God and do what is best and right. When we can get this understanding into our spirits is when we stop being discouraged.

Step 4 Get back to Work.

But the point is simply that getting back to work is essential if one is to get healthy again. People recovering from depression do not need a vacation, or a change of scenery, or a get away .... they have already been on a emotional and spiritual get away, what they need is to get back into the business of living for Christ wherever it is that He has called them to labor.

Step 5 See Gods Reality.

You see, this is what we need to hear over and over we cant see all that God is doing. Our vision of what God is doing is but a tiny speck of the big picture

You see, this is what we need to hear over and over we cant see all that God is doing. Our vision of what God is doing is but a tiny speck of the big picture.

That verse is one of the most quoted in the whole of the Bible, yet it is also one of the least believed. If we REALLY KNOW that ALL things work together for the good of those that love GOD, then when should we ever have distorted expectations?

Our expectations will be whatever GOD works our in our live. If we REALLY KNOW that ALL things work together for our good, whether they appear to be good or bad to human eyes, where is there room for disappointment, or discouragement, or discontent, or unhappiness, or hopelessness?

Depression can be relieved by patiently meditating on Gods Word and expecting Him to act. Its in the Bible, Psalm 46, TLB. Yet I am standing here depressed and gloomy, but I will meditate upon Your kindness to this lovely land where the Jordan River flows and where Mount Hermon and Mount Mizar stand.

Prayer is a key to handling depression. Its in the Bible, I Samuel 110, NIV. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.

It is useful to count your blessings. Its in the Bible, Psalm 1078-, TLB. Oh, that these men would praise the Lord for His loving kindness, and for all of His wonderful deeds! For He satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry soul with good.

Praise can chase away depression. Its in the Bible, Psalm 41-, TLB. I will praise the Lord no matter what happens, I will constantly speak of His glories and grace. I will boast of all His kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together, and exalt His name.

Christian music can help dispel depression. Its in the Bible, Psalm 1-, TLB. Let all the joys of the godly well up in praise to the Lord, for it is right to praise Him. Play joyous melodies of praise upon the lyre and on the harp. Compose new songs of praise to Him, accompanied skillfully on the harp; sing joyfully.

Feeling depressed and discouraged doesnt last forever. Its in the Bible, Psalm 05, TLB. Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy.

Keeping Gods law can help bring peace to one who is depressed. Its in the Bible, Psalms 11165, NIV. Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

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