Summary: Depression is something that we all face.

INTRO.- ILL.- The wife was telling her friend about her household budget. “I spend 40 percent of our income for food, 30 percent for shelter, 30 percent for clothing, and 20 percent for transportation and incidentals.” “But that makes 120 percent.” The woman responded, “DON’T I KNOW IT!”

Not having enough money to pay your bills is depressing and most of us have been there and done that.

ILL.- A man asked a preacher friend, “How many active members do you have?” The preacher replied, “They’re all active. Half of them are working with me and half of them are working against me.” Sometimes in life we find that some people are working against us rather for us. That is depressing.

ILL.- Many years ago a young midwestern lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends thought it best to keep all knives and razors out of his reach. He questioned his life’s calling and the wisdom of even attempting to follow it through. During this time he wrote, "I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell." That lawyer was Abraham Lincoln who became our 16th President.

Depression can hit anyone, both presidents and peons! No job is without some kind of depression, even retirement and perhaps especially, retirement.

Even this time of the year is depressing. We just went through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the beginning of the new year. There is a big letdown. We think or say, “Now what?” “Back to the grind, etc.”

ILL.- Half of Americans in a recent poll said they or their family members have suffered from depression, 46% considered it a health problem.

ILL.- Depression: What’s It Look Like? What are its symptoms?

- Persistent sad or anxious mood

- Anger, restlessness, irritability

- Sleeplessness, or not enough sleep

- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain

- Loss of pleasure and interest in things once enjoyed

- Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment (such as chronic pain or digestive disorders)

- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions

- Fatigue or loss of energy

- Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless

- Thoughts of suicide or death

Wow! This sounds like all of us or most of us!

Common Causes

- Death or serious illness of a friend or family member

- Loss of love or attention from a friend or family member

- Breakup of a romantic relationship

- Family problems, especially parents’ divorce

- Isolation/loneliness (nursing homes are full of such people)

- Rejection

- Physical, verbal, and/or sexual abuse

- Genetic vulnerability, particularly if a parent is/was depressed

- Chemical imbalance

- Hormonal changes, including PMS

- Substance abuse

- Hospitalization, especially for a chronic illness

ILL.- A teacher said to her students, "Boys and girls, there is a wonderful example in the life of the ant. Every day the ant goes to work and works all day. Every day the ant is busy. “And in the end, what happens?" Little Johnny said, "SOMEONE STEPS ON HIM."

Brothers and sisters, I think that many of us feel like we have been stepped on our entire lives by some people and certain circumstances. But we are not alone in our depression! The people of the Bible also experienced it.

ILL.- Moses was the depressed leader of the people of Israel. Every time he turned around, they griped about something. "We need water." "We are starving." "We want food, but we hate manna." If you were surrounded by a bunch of chronic complainers it would be hard not to be depressed.

ILL.- Job was depressed. He lost everything, then cursed the day he was born: "Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?…. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil." Job 3:11, 3:26

ILL.- David was depressed: "Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?…. I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears." Psalm 6:2-3, 6

ILL.- The apostle Paul was depressed. In II Corinthians 12 we are told that Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to perhaps keep him humble. BUT PAUL DIDN’T LIKE THAT THORN! No one likes thorns sticking in their side or in their spirit! Paul said it was a messenger of Satan, to torment him.

ILL.- Commentator Warren Weirsbe wrote, "We do not know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. The word translated thorn means ‘a sharp stake used for torturing someone.’ It was a physical affliction of some kind that brought pain and distress to Paul. Some think that Paul had an eye affliction according to Gal. 6:11, but we cannot know for sure.

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