Summary: Speaking about a subject that few in the church want to admit. There are several kinds and degrees of Depression and there is so much hope and healing in the loving arms of Jesus Christ!
Dealing with Depression
Introduction: Pastor Jeff Strite once shared a story about Psychiatry students who were in their college class one day when their professor began a discussion to prove a point. "What we’re going to talk about today," the professor said, "are the emotional extremes that many mentally disturbed people go through… for example “What’s the opposite of joy?" he asked one student. "Sadness" the student answered. "The opposite of depression?" he asked a young lady. "Elation," she replied.
Turning to a young man from Texas he asked "the opposite of woe?" "Well, now," the Texan replied "I suppose the opposite of woe, would be giddy up." (Sermoncentral:Jess Strite- Digging out of Depression)
According to the Christian Post the four top reasons for depression are
Fear of Man
Ill. A hiker was hiking along a mountain road and saw an old Cherokee Indian man lying with his ear to the ground. As he approached the Old Indian man, he heard him talking.
“Chevy pickup truck. Large tires. Green. Man driving with large German shepherd in passenger seat. Loaded with firewood. BC license plate 830 EJE”.
The hiker was just astounded at the Cherokee Indian perception. He said, “You mean you can tell all that from listening to the ground?”
The old Indian replied: “Ear to the ground, nothing, That truck just ran over me.”
Many a times we feel that way, like a big truck has just ran right over us. We see times of tragedy and trouble in the scripture and we find people just like that, real people who experience real pain, rejection, depression, and just have given up on life. People like the prophet, Elijah and like the apostle Paul. (adapted from Adrew Chan: sermoncentral.)
I want to spend this morning talking about a very real problem that exists today. The title of our message is 'Dealing with Depression'. This is a subject that many in the church world won't discuss. Because we are Christians, we are not supposed to have depression but victory. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy! But there are times that in spite of our best efforts we make the same mistake Peter did while he was walking on the water in great faith but his attention was distracted from the eyes of Jesus and was placed upon the storm and he began to sink and he cried out to Jesus who then reached down and saved him and he will save you too. But if we were to experience constant joy in life there would be no reason for us to be on earth, because there would be no way for us to relate to the countless numbers of broken souls that need Jesus today. Jesus was tempted so he can relate to us when we are tempted. We must experience pain, sadness, depression so we can sympathize with those who go through such things and offer them peace in Jesus
Before I go any farther today, let me say, If you are a perfect person you came to the wrong church this morning. Because in this church, we are all broken people with all different kinds of issues serving and praising a perfect risen Lord.
So for anyone to look down their self righteous nose at those who suffer such hardships as depression, it may be because Satan has such a strong hold on your life that he is actually using your insensitivity to taunt the true men and women of God who are going through a hard time. The pharisees saw Jesus eating with the likes of lepers, sinners, and tax collectors and they were appalled that a man who had a such a reputation for being holy would associate with such a low class of people. There are people who have Bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and maybe something worse and there is a stigma that says that these people are beyond all hope, they are only worthy to be mocked and made fun of. Well, I praise God, that Jesus didn't feel the same way this morning!!
We read about a man who was bound with chains and filled with demons and Jesus didn't mock him, Jesus didn't condemn him, Jesus didn't say he deserved the torment he was receiving because he made a mistake or something that his father or grandfather did. No. In Luke 8:35 we read “and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.”
Notice they were not afraid of the demon possessed man that had hulkish strength to break chains that bound him, no, they were afraid of the one who broke the chains that were on the inside of that man. Because they had come face to face with the one who could not only calm the man but cast the evil out of him forever! They had met the man who was greater than storms, greater than blindness, and greater than all the demons in hell! Praise The LORD!! The realization that Jesus really was the Messiah was too much for them to believe even though the evidence was right in front of their faces.