Summary: In Facing the Giants, both Grant and Brooke Taylor wrestled with depression at some point. Grant couldn’t seem to get ahead as a coach, and he felt inadequate as a husband when it came to having children. Brooke wrestled with God’s faithfulness and her de
Sherwood Baptist Church has one of the most dynamic media ministries of any church in America. They have produced Facing the Giants, arguably the best feature-length movie ever made by a local church. It’s a God-glorifying, excellently created sports film in the tradition of Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, and Friday Night Lights. Facing the Giants is being released by Sony/Goodwyn and will be in theaters on September 29th.
Accompanying the movie are numerous sermons by such leaders at Johnny Hunt of Woodstock Baptist Church, Michael Catt, Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, and Dr. Jay Strack of the Student Leadership Network. You may copy and paste the following links to access these sermons:
1. Evidence of Christian Growth (Johnny Hunt)
2. Overcoming The Grasshopper Syndrome (Dr. Jay Strack)
3. Faith to Face Your Impossibilities (Michael Catt)
4. Hearing God When You’re Hurting (Michael Catt)
5. It’s Always Too Soon to Quit (Michael Catt) URL:
6. What Does It Mean to Live By Faith? (Ron Dunn)
7. Will a Man Serve God for Nothing? (Ron Dunn)
Also, a study curriculum that accompanies the movie may be downloaded at:
Hearing God When You’re Hurting
Psalms 42, 43
A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek; I want to drink God, deep draughts of God. I’m thirsty for God-alive. I wonder, "Will I ever make it—arrive and drink in God’s presence?" I’m on a diet of tears—tears for breakfast, tears for supper. All day long people knock at my door, pestering, "Where is this God of yours?" These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front, leading them all, eager to arrive and worship, shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—celebrating, all of us, God’s feast! Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God –soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. . . . Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, "Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?" (Psalm 42:1-5, 9, 10, MSG)
Even though we do have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, sometimes we get discouraged and depressed. In Facing the Giants, both Grant and Brooke Taylor wrestled with depression at some point. Grant couldn’t seem to get ahead as a coach, and he felt inadequate as a husband when it came to having children. Brooke wrestled with God’s faithfulness and her desire to have children. Both characters experienced despair and helplessness. Some would lead us to believe that if we can’t praise our way out of sorrow, then we aren’t spiritual. Well then, Jeremiah wasn’t spiritual because he knew depression. Elijah wasn’t spiritual because after Mount Carmel, he got so depressed that he went and hid himself and asked God to take his life.
C. H. Spurgeon lived with depression most of his life. The late Ron Dunn, my close friend and mentor, lived with manic depression and bi-polar almost all of his adult life. These were godly people; these were people who love Jesus; these were people who enjoyed close, intimate fellowship with God. Yet, there was something in their lives that caused them to be depressed and discouraged, whether biological, genetic or circumstantial. Whatever it was, it was a reality. And it is a tribute to their faith that they did so much, even when they were battling and struggling to keep their heads above water.
Winston Churchill said that depression followed him “like a black dog on attack.” Abraham Lincoln acknowledged in many of his writings his battle with depression. And yet they were men who rose above their depression and their circumstances to be great leaders.
Warren Wiersbe says, “Depression is a major ill that affects more people than we imagine and infects more people than we realize.” You can’t go to the mall or to the beach or to any tourist area, a climate where people should be happy, and not find those whose lives have been touched by depression. They seem afraid, discouraged, defeated, beaten down by life.
How do we, as God’s people, handle this matter of depression?
First, we must look at some reasons for depression. I am not a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist, but there are some broad reasons that are obvious as to why depression happens. It typically happens more often to those who are naturally introverted, but it can affect any personality.
THE REASONS FOR DEPRESSION
1. Spiritual Separation
Depression doesn’t have to be a sign of weakness; it can be an opportunity for faith. David felt like and he and God were miles apart. He was running; he was pursuing; he was longing for communion and fellowship with God. Sometimes in our lives, it’s a struggle to pray, to worship, to even get out of bed and come to church. If the blankets and the blues decide whether you’re going to get up and worship God, then they have more power over you than the Holy Spirit. We can even begin to resent those who seem to praise the Lord with joy and excitement, but believers throughout the ages have worshipped God in the midst of deep, dark valleys as a testimony that God is greater in us than he that is in the world and that we overwhelmingly conquer through Christ. There are times when it seems like God is distant, not because He is, but because we have let our feelings or our circumstances override our faith.