Sermons

Summary: Depression can overcome anyone at any time. But if we turn to the love of Jesus that is a cure that works in any season. And God's love is so abundant, so truthful, so freely given we can share this love to all who may feel down and out.

After tossing and turning at night, have you ever awoken agitated, discouraged or depressed? Right from the get-go, does your personal situation seem to have the weight of the world pressing down on you with tons of suffering and hurt feelings. Maybe that's because something you had done – or it was something you know you should have done differently. Possibly you were regretting something you should have done but didn't.

Is there a little voice bouncing around in your head demeaning you? Does it say you are bad, dumb or a mean person? And, if that voice is saying you are no good at all what is it telling you to do? Cuss, steal, slander, fight and be mean to someone else – or maybe worse, is that voice telling you to kill yourself?

Since the beginning of 2018, four people in Alabama prisons – three in solitary confinement and one on death row – died by suicide. The suicide rate in Alabama prisons is one of the highest in the country. Recently, within a span of two weeks, two Alabama prisoners were stabbed to death and three others injured in three separate incidents. The state of violence in Alabama prisons is worsened by overcrowding and its, seemingly, under-budgeted and understaffed. Is it true that; “Everyone inside the prison walls — staff and the incarcerated — are exposed to constant risks of threats and of violence?” True yes, But yet, it is far worse outside the prison walls.

Outside the prison, in “Freedom Land,” there are a lot of problems as well. In the general USA population, nearly 30,000 people commit suicide each year, 14 per 100,000. Of course, the rate of unsuccessful suicide attempts is much higher—so much so that there is an estimated one attempted suicide per minute. The hatefulness extrudes from the television from many sources. You have politicians telling their audiences to get in the face of people that don't agree with their personal views. They say, “Run them out of restaurants, stores or anywhere you see them.

We've all seen the videos of Antifa mobs breaking windows, throwing rocks and causing all kinds of hate behind their cowardly masks and black-hoodie uniforms.

Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment. Holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, joy, and endearingly quiet reflections. But for many, it is a time of worry, woe, and distress combined with suffering, hardship and hard knocks. Yes, we live in depressing times.

Wait just a minute! This doesn't seem to sound like a Christian message. Depression runs rampant? Yes depression runs rampant in all seasons of the year but especially around Christmas and the New Year. What should be joyful times shared with friends and folks we love.

But if depression is affecting you, possibly you feel your own despondence is more situational than seasonal? Bad timing, bad circumstances, undependable friends or relatives. Maybe you perceive that one of your best friends did you wrong? Maybe you did not like where you were or are in life? Maybe you are feeling isolated, totally alone? Is it just you against the world?

Ever felt like your saying “My life is over? Where did it go?" Have you already lived the best years of your life? Why do you have such negative thoughts?

Who do you think is placing those thoughts in your head? Who wants you dead and out of Christ? It's the damned Devil and his demon hordes, that's who!

But what can you do to change your feelings? Where do you turn? First, we must acknowledge who is really the enemy vying for our souls. Yes, we acknowledge evil but do not submit to evil as we recognize evil is the root source of our tribulations. We don’t ordinarily see Satan but he’s there. 1 Peter tells us in chapter 5, verse 8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Thus, we best resist him by being firm and taking God at His Word. We must know the ways and wiles of our common enemy. That’s what I want to share with you so that you too can have victory over discouragement or any other spiritual battle descending upon you.

When did God create Satan? It is reasonable to believe that was sometime before Adam and Eve, Satan and all the other angels were created. Genesis doesn't relate precisely when this happened. When we read of Satan for the first time, in the third chapter of Genesis, Adam and Eve are already alive, and Satan appears in the form of a serpent. Still, Satan, as a fallen angel, is able to transform his very appearance. He is a dangerously cunning foe.

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