Summary: Using Neil Anderson’s book "Overcoming Depression" to help gain victory over the spiritual and emotional battle of depression.
We are concluding our series “Victory in Jesus” this week, I am actually cutting the series short because Mother’s Day is next week. I didn’t think we would want to be studying depression on Mother’s Day. Our series has focused on God’s promise that through Jesus we have victory over sin and the power of evil. We are truly given freedom through Jesus Christ. However the Bible also recognizes the reality that even though we have already been given victory we still struggle with temptation and desires of the flesh, and evil still creeps into our life. We began our series by exploring the cause for this is the battle going on in our mind, our thoughts, we need to change our programming to reflect the truth of God’s Word. In order to achieve victory over sin and evil we must allow God to help us gain control over what we think. As Paul tells us, we should “set our minds on things above”. We set our minds on God, and his truth. The more we focus on our relationship with God and accept the truth of his promises, our minds get filled with more of Him and we find that we gain victory over temptation and sin because those attacks don’t even make it into our thoughts.
This week we are looking at the last and probably the toughest of the areas to achieve victory over because it is such a complex problem, and that is depression. I am going to preface this sermon by stating that I am not a psychologist, therefore I am not an expert in depression but I do believe God’s Word can help us address ways to achieve victory in this area.
The reason we are addressing depression is because it has become such a major issues in our country, right now about 10 million people are suffering with depression. “Approximately 19 million people in America (about 10 percent of all adults) will suffer from depression in any given year. Only one-third of those people will seek treatment for their depression.” In other words 2/3 of all people with depression either don’t know they have it, are in denial about having it, or know they have it and choose to deal with it on their own. Even Christians struggle with depression, but we try to put on a good face at church because we are afraid people will judge us as being less than Christian. The truth is just about every person will go through a period of depression (however long or short) at some point in their life, whether you are Christian or not.
To define depression is as difficult as describing love. It’s difficult to explain, but you know it when you see it. Since many of us may not understand depression, let me begin by sharing some of the most common symptoms of depression.
Symptoms of depression:
1. Loss of energy, you just don’t feel like doing anything, you feel excessively fatigued.
2. Trouble sleeping – even though you are tired you just can’t seem to fall asleep at night. This typically compounds the problem with depression because without sleep you become even more tired.
3. Decreased activity level – because of a loss of energy and sleep you don’t get involved in the activities you used to, even the ones you enjoyed.