Summary: Message #4 in series, "Pursuing Victory." How to "beat the Emmaus Road Blues," how to overcome the challenges life brings our way.
Series: Pursuing Victory
Message #3: Conquering the Challenges Of Life"
-- How To Overcome Disappointment, Despair, and Depression
Luke 24:17 -- "And (Jesus) said to them, ’What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad."
HOW DEPRESSION DEVELOPS...
<>The Primary Root: Improperly Handled Anger.
Eph.4:26 - "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger."
The truth is: bad stuff happens to everyone.
Mt.5:45 - "...(God) causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
<>Three Ways of Dealing With / Responding To Anger:
a) Wrong Way: Aggression. (Kicking the dog, picking a fight)
Ex.21:23-25 - "...life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."
b) Wrong Way: Repression. (Holding it in)
Ps.39:2 - "I was mute and silent, I refrained (even) from good, and my sorrow grew worse."
c) Right Way: Discussion. (Talking it out)
Lk.24:32 - "They said to one another, ’Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road..?’"
Eph.5:19 - "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;"
WHAT DEPRESSION LOOKS LIKE...
<>Outer / Visible Signs:
a) Sad Countenance.
Lk.24:17 - "And they stood still, looking sad."
b) Disrupted Behavior Patterns.
Lk.24:17 - "And they stood still..."
----->Some Cease Everything
----->Some Become Aggressive
c) Bouts of Anger and Over-the-Top Cynicism.
Lk.24:18 - "...Cleopas answered and said to Him, ’Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened?’"
----->In depression, the anger ""Sits Deep.""
Lk.24:29 - "...saying... ’it is getting toward evening,...the day is...nearly over.’"
<>Inner Signs / Expressions:
a) Focusing On Problems. (Negative outlook)
Lk.24:16 - "...their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him."
b) Sense of Hoplessness, Despair.
Lk.24:20-21 - "...we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things¡"
HOW I CAN HANDLE / CONQUER LIFE’S CHALLENGES...
1) Remember That Jesus Is With Me.
Lk.24:15 - "While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them."
2) Talk To Jesus.
Lk.24:19 - "And He said to them, ’What things?’ And they said to Him, ’The things about Jesus the Nazarene¡’"
3) Talk To Trusted Friends.
Lk.24:14 - "And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place."
4) Study the Bible.
Lk.24:27 - "...beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
5) Take Care of My Body.
Lk.24:30 - "When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them."
6) Let Others Encourage Me.
Lk.24:33-34 - "they...returned to Jerusalem and found gathered together the eleven and those with them, saying, ’The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon.’"
7) Look For Ways To Minister To Others.
Lk.24:35 - "They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized...in the breaking of the bread."
BRINGING IT HOME...
Questions to ask myself:
-->Am I carrying around unresolved anger?
-->Am I making the mistake of holding it all in?
It’s time to...
STOP. Remember that no problem is bigger than God’s power to overcome it.
LOOK. I need to recognize that I’m surrounded by Christian friends who love me and want to be of help to me.
LISTEN. I need to LET others encourage me, not keeping others at arm’s length.
ACT. I need to look for ways I can help others. In the process I’ll probably discover that many others have it worse than I do, and being part of helping others in some way can help me feel better about myself and my own situation too.