Summary: Depression has many roots and takes mant forms. The Bible gives us account of how to handle depression.
OPEN: Psychiatry students 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."
Depression can hit anyone
Many years ago a young mid western 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.
Bible gives insight to why believers get depressed
6 Really stand out.
I. Physical Conditions
a. In today’s world we go at such a high pace!
b. Depression creeps in when we get run down.
c. 1 Kings 19:1-19 (18) Elijah
d. From this text we find that Elijah experienced many of the classic symptoms…
e. Fear - “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life….” 1 Kings 19:3 (ran +100 miles Beersheba afraid of Jez)
f. Suicidal tendencies – “(Elijah) prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ 1 Kings 19:4
g. Excessive tiredness – “Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep…” 1 Kings 19:5 slept for a couple of days… maybe longer
h. Feelings of rejection – “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:10
i. AND he experienced this depression for a long time – nearly 2 months
j. Bizarre is (just days before) Elijah preached one of the greatest sermons of his life.
k. Confronted 400 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel -exposed false prophets.
l. Because of Elijah’s faith & obedience God literally sent fire down out of heavens to consume the sacrifice he’d placed on the altar
m. Then few hours later sent a downpour of rain on a land that hadn’t had rain for 3 years.
n. Why would a man who had preached a impressive message & experienced some of the most powerful displays of God’s power…
o. Why would he suddenly be crippled by fear, hopelessness and despair? Why would he run away to a desolate corner of the world and seek to die?
Probably all kinds of reasons, but the fact is – he did.
And what this tells us is that even God’s most dynamic servants can suffer from depression.
It’s not necessarily a mark of a lack of faith.
It’s not necessarily a mark of an immoral lifestyle.
Not necessarily a demonic attack.