Summary: Reasons for depression and how to overcome. In 1 Kings 19:1-4 we view Elijah in a state of depression. Depression is often an emotional state that can be overcome. This sermon will give one steps to overcome most depressive moods.
DEALING WITH DEPRESSION
Biblical Principles for Dealing With Depression
Text: 1 Kings 19: 1-10
Theme: What to do When You Want to Die.
Causes: Reason For Depression 1 Kings 19:1-4
Depression is one of the great problems in the world today. It has been called the "common cold" of emotional illness. Everybody gets depressed at times, but some people are depressed nearly all the time. Even great saints get depressed and Elijah was such an example.
After one particularly great miracle performed by Elijah, Jezebel's husband, King Ahab, told Jezebel everything Elijah had done. This made her so angry she responded in verse 1 and 2. She was saying, "if I don't kill you within twenty-four hours, I'll be ready to kill myself."
Here's Elijah, who had been fearless for three years, and now, when one woman threatens his life, he becomes frightened, runs out to the desert and becomes depressed. Read verses 3 through 5.
Elijah was a prime candidate for depression. He was:
1. Physically tired
2. Emotionally exhausted
3. Someone had threatened his life.
He was an emotional fruit basket at this point, with all sorts of problems: fear, resentment, guilt, anger, loneliness and worry. But God says that "Elijah was a man just like us" (James 5:17). He had the same problems we do and in this case he had a problem with depression.
Elijah was so depressed that he was ready to die. Why do we get ourselves in such emotional messes? Because of faulty thinking. The fact is that our emotions are caused by our thoughts.If you think in a negative way, you're going to feel depressed. Your emotions are caused by how you interpret life. If you look at life from a negative viewpoint you're going to get down. If you want to get rid of negative emotions you have to change the way you think.
The Bible says that you can be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).
The only way you can change your mind and emotions is by changing the way you think.
Why did Elijah get depressed? Because he played four mental games that all of us play when we get depressed.
I. Focus On The Facts, and Not On Your Feelings
A. Elijah was afraid and ran for his life (verse 3).
1. He came to a broom tree, sat under it and prayed that he might die.
B. What was his first mistake?
1. The same mistake we make when we get depressed. We focus on our feelings rather than on the facts.
2. That ALWAYS when we get depressed. We focus on how we feel rather than on reality.
C. Elijah felt like a failure because of ONE incident that frightened him.
1. He thought to himself, "I'm such a coward. What am I doing running?"
2. So because he "felt" like a failure, he assumed he was a failure.
This is called emotional reasoning, and it's destructive. It's the idea, "I feel it,so it must be true. What you "feel" is not always real! Feelings are NOT facts.
II. Don't Compare Yourself With Others
A. The second mistake Elijah made is shown in the second thing he said, "I've had enough Lord. Take my life because I am no better than my ancestors."
1. Most of us have fallen into that trap of thinking, "If I could just be like so-and-so I'd be happy." When you start comparing yourself to other people, you're asking for trouble. The Bible says it is unwise and harmful (2 Cor. 10:12).
B. Don't compare yourself with somebody else, because everyone is unique.
1. There's only one person you can be and that's YOU.
2. We tend to compare our weaknesses with other people's strengths.
3. We also try to motivate ourselves through criticism and condemnation. We do it by "I should have" ourselves.
C. Another trap we fall into when we get depressed is that we label ourselves.
III. Don't Take False Blame
A. The third mistake Elijah made was that he blamed himself for events that weren't his fault.
1. See 1 Kings 19:10.
2. In his depression, Elijah blamed himself for failing to change the nation.
B. A third mistake that causes depression is that we take false blame.
1. When you do that, you will always get depressed.If we assume a responsibility that God never intended us to have, it is too heavy a burden.
C. God has given each of us a free will. When you assume responsibility for other people's decisions, you accept a burden that will only depress you.
1. You can't assume responsibility for other people's responses.
2. You can sometimes influence people, but you can't control them
Don't be depressed by something you CAN'T control.
IV. Don't Exaggerate The Negative