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Let’s talk about depression. That is something all of us have experienced at one time or another, and I believe it is important for us to understand just what it is, and how it affects our walk as Christians.
First of all, what is depression? Let me give you a very simple definition. It is a recession when your neighbor loses his job. It is a depression when you lose yours. In other words, when bad things happen to us, we tend to feel the mental weight of it all and we start focusing inward with an intense longing for things to be better.
George Barna reports that over 70% of Americans today are suffering from some form of mental depression. It touches all of us, but sometimes it stays way too long.
There was a lawyer in the 1800’s who suffered such severe depression that his friends took all the knives and forks out of his sight. That lawyer was Abraham Lincoln.
How many of you know who Charles Spurgeon was? He was one of the famous preachers in the 1800’s. He brought tens of thousands to Christ Jesus. Yet he had such severe depression at times that his deacons had to come and physically carry him all the way to the pulpit so he would preach.
Martin Luther was the great Christian reformer of years gone by. He was plagued by depression, too. His wife was said to have told him one day to hurry up or they would be late for the funeral. He asked whose funeral and she said, “God’s funeral.” Well, he told her that God could not die, and she said the way he had been moping around for the last few days, she thought He had.
And when we are in our bouts of depression, we go into a wilderness. And in that wilderness, terrible dangers surround us.
2 SAMUEL 17:16
‘Now send a message immediately and tell David, “Do not spend the night at in the deserts; cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up.’ “
Just as David was warned to get out of the desert quickly or be destroyed, we must also heed the same warning and get out of our deserts of depression quickly or we will be destroyed, too. See, that is where Satan does his best work against us.
1. IN THE DESERT WILDERNESS
I can tell you this from personal experience having lived in the deserts of Arizona. When you are in the wilderness, you are isolated. By definition, the deserts are away from the things you need and desire. There are no convenience stores in the middle of the desert; there is no air-conditioning and precious little shade; and there are no safe places in the desert. When you are in the wilderness, you are at the mercy of the things that surround you, so you have to quickly get out!
The first thing we must do is rely upon God. We must train ourselves to trust Him in all things. God says for us to be still and know that He is God. That does not mean to be idle and do nothing. That means to stop what we do for a period and focus on Him so that we can know what He wants from us. And the best way to do that is to take a daily time-out and read His word. If we do not have time to read His word, we will never have time to be a real follower of Jesus.
In ISAIAH 40:31, we are given excellent instruction.
‘But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
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