Summary: Principals to help us overcome depression in our own lives
Elijah – Defeater of Depression
This has been a really different week for me.
I am normally not one to be depressed, but after the service last week I was feeling exhausted, like I just wanted to crawl into my bed and go to sleep.
I didn’t think much about it until Monday, when I still felt really tired and in fact downright depressed.
It seemed to get worse, and I really did not want to deal with anything, or even see anyone.
I just wanted to get in bed and stay there.
Throughout the day I began thinking about some of my ministries to people that seemed to be having little effect and even started questioning my call into ministry.
By Tuesday morning I just felt awful.
Jason asked me as I was about to head out Tuesday morning what I had going on that day, and my reply was that I didn’t even want to think about it.
That is how down and depressed I was feeling.
I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to do, I just wanted to be alone.
Now from an outside perspective, there certainly appeared to be no reason for feeling like this.
I just did.
Have you ever felt that way?
Perhaps not a whole lot to explain why you felt or feel that way, but you just do.
This morning we are going to take a look at Elijah, who was an awesome man of God, but who also faced a time of terrible depression that had several causes and he was able to defeat that depression in his life as the Lord cared for him and led him through it.
It is my hope this morning that for those who may be here this morning struggling with depression, or for those who will struggle with it, that this will be a help to you to be able to defeat depression in your life.
Now before I begin, I want everyone to understand that there are sometimes medical and chemical reasons that can cause depression and we should consult a medical doctor when these feelings will not go away because you may need to treat those causes medically or recommend the help of a trained counselor to help you walk through this time of depression.
But even while there are times that people need to treat depression medically, there are also many times that we need to go through a process like Elijah because sometimes the causes can be due to spiritual issues.
And for anyone suffering from depression, these steps will be helpful.
Turn with me this morning to
1 Kings 19:1-18 (p. 255)
As you turn there, I want to give you some background on Elijah and the events preceding our reading.
Elijah has just finished being used in some extraordinary ways.
• He had prophesied to King Ahab, the king at that time, that there would be no rain in the land for the next several years except at Elijah’s command. And there was not any rain.
• Even though it caused a famine in the land, God cared for Elijah and provided for him.
• Elijah was even used to raise a boy of the widow he was staying with back to life from the dead.
• And now 3 years after he prophesied no rain, he confronts Ahab again.
• He calls the people of Israel to a contest between the prophets of Baal and himself to show everyone just who the true God is.
The prophets of Baal and Elijah are each to
prepare a burnt offering
but not set it on fire.
They will call on their god and Elijah will call on the Lord, God almighty to consume the offering by bringing down fire upon it themselves.
So that is just what they do.
The prophets of Baal build an altar and cut the bull into pieces and put it on the altar and call on Baal to reign down fire.
Nothing happens. They try harder.
Elijah even begins to taunt them.
All day this goes on, but no fire.
Elijah repairs the altar of the Lord and puts on the bull.
He has the prophets of Baal pour 3 huge jars of water all over the bull and the altar
Then Elijah prayed and fire from the Lord consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and dirt around the altar, and even all of the water that was poured on the sacrifice and altar.
The people at that point all fall prostrate and proclaim the truth that…
“The Lord – He is God! The Lord – He is God!”
Elijah then has all of the people seize the false prophets and kill them.