Summary: Depression is not a spirit of God. Therefore it can be overcome! The first step in overcoming depression is identifying it in our lives. Can you say, "No more cave dwelling for me!"?
“Depression is anger turned inward” (Marilyn Appelbaum). Children become depressed when the have unresolved anger in their lives. They have to develop the skills to deal with anger in a healthy way. Let me give you an example. Susie came home from school dirty. Mom and Dad had a hard day at work. The events of her parent’s day caused them to respond rashly. Susie did not understand why they were so mad. At this point Mom and Dad’s reaction appear harmless. However, let’s add the ingredient of constant arguing and fighting between mom and dad. To some degree, this in and of itself causes instability from the child’s perspective. Due to the parent’s unhealthy relationship, Susie learned negative ways to deal with anger instead of healthy ways. Then mix a couple of nights of abuse per week. Adding abuse as an ingredient creates an even more fertile ground for depression. Did you know that abuse typically comes from those that a child knows and trusts the most? This teaches a child that you cannot trust even loved ones. Adding divorce is the ultimate ingredient. Divorce shreds the fabric that holds the foundation together in a child’s life.
At this point a child feel hopeless and helpless. The child feels helpless because she has all of this anger inside of her and no place for it to go. The adults in her life are bigger, so she cannot take it out on them. Hopeless because she cannot communicate what she is feeling to even her mom or dad.
Genetically God has structured the DNA structure very similar between adults and children. What happened to Susie is not much different than what happens to adults. We become angry at things that are beyond our control. We are helpless because we have this emotion building up inside and no place for it to go. We have not learned healthy ways to deal with anger. We become hopeless when we cannot even talk about it with our Heavenly Father. This ultimately causes more frustration and failure which leads to the dark path of depression.
“A drunk stumbled along a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeded to walk down into the water and stood next to the Preacher. The minister turned and noticed the old drunk and said, “Mister, Are you ready to find Jesus?” The drunk looks back and says, “Yes, Preacher. I sure am.” The minister then dunked the fellow under the water and pulled him right back up. “Have you found Jesus?” the preacher asks. “No, I didn’t!” says the drunk. The Preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up and says, “Now, brother, have you found Jesus?” “No I did not Preacher.” The Preacher in disgust holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time brings hem out of the water and says in a harsh tone, “Friend, are you sure you haven’t found Jesus yet?” The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the Preacher… “Are you sure this is where he fell in?” Contributed by Jeff Strite, sermoncentral.com.
The issue here is one of identity. Neither the Preacher nor the drunk had truly identified the others motive or understanding. Depression is not a spirit of God! Therefore we can overcome it! Tell your neighbor, “No more cave dwelling for me?” God has a word for us today! He has made a way to overcome depression! Before we can overcome depression, we must first be able to identify its signs.
1st sign-Depression is led by fear. (3,4,10,14). What had just happened to Elijah? Would you agree that Elijah had been on the Mountain? He prayed and it had not rained for 3 ½ years, he challenged the false prophets of Baal to a contest between their god and his God and won, he prayed and it began to rain, he even ran before, escorting Ahab to Jezebel’s entrance. Then the adrenaline rush stopped. We need to be aware of our mountain top experiences, because as high as the wave is, the valley following it is equally as low. Elijah ran for his life. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 1Tim. 1:7
We need to recognize that fear is not from God!
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”” Rom 8:15. We truly are adopted sons and daughter of God.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7.