The Defeat Of Depression
Contributed by Davon Huss on Nov 19, 2015 (message contributor)
Summary: Let's talk about the lot, the lamenting and the Lord of the depressed (Material adapted from Bill Kirk at: https://billkirk.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/victory-over-depression.pdf)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. SAD starts in the fall (right now) and continues into the winter months. Know of one woman who has dementia that suffers from this.
Hear a lot about depression nowadays. Some think this is just an invention of modern psychology. However, depression has existed since the fall of mankind. Depression used to be called melancholy. Documents written by people throughout history point to the long-standing existence of depression as a problem, and the struggles people have made to find effective ways to treat this. Throughout history people have debated if depression is mainly a physical or a mental illness, is this a defect in the body or in the mind/spirit. In reality depression involves the whole person. There are documented physical changes that happen with depression along with spiritual struggles. Many today only address the physical problems without dealing with the spiritual struggle. Just take a pill is lacking to deal with depression. Need to address the physical along with the spiritual. Depression frequently has multiple causes, including biological, psychological and social causes.
This morning I am mainly talking about situational depression, depression that results from some kind of traumatic event. This kind of depression is easily seen in those suffering through some terrible events. Constant depression can have a traumatic event as a trigger, but the depression goes on longer than it should. On the other hand, some kinds of depression can come upon a person without any traumatic event. If someone suffers continually from depression, they need to talk with a medical doctor and see a Christian therapist on a regular basis. The reason I say this is that those going through depression have suicidal thoughts and I would hate for someone to take their own life without seeking help. Just read the Bible and pray is good advice but much is lacking if this is all we tell people who are suffering from depression. Many depressed people do read their Bibles and pray but their depression lingers so they begin to think something is wrong with their faith. They might start to think that their depression is God’s curse upon them and so they despair and give up all hope. No hope leads to suicidal thoughts. The enemy uses depression to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Want to give hope
Go to Psalm 102, called “A Prayer of the Afflicted.” The psalmist here is meeting with personal sorrow and grief. Like Jeremiah in the book Lamentations, the psalmist mourns over the Babylonian captivity and the ruins of Jerusalem. He also alludes to the opposition to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the nation of Israel. Even though these events were sent against the nation of Israel, this affected the Psalmist on a personal level. He is experiencing so much discouragement and depression that his heart is blighted (NIV), smitten (NASB), struck down (English Standard), beaten down (God’s Word Translation). Sounds like depression to me
Psalm 102 gives us a picture of a depressed person. Start with 2 things from Psalm 102
1. A loss of appetite. “I forget to eat my food- vs. 4”. No pleasure or excitement
2. Loss of joy. “Mingle my drink with tears- vs. 9”- no happiness, no joy, all is sadness
As we get started notice that there are 2 divisions to Psalm 102. In vs. 1-11, the psalmist pours out his discouraging complaints. In vs. 12-28, he expresses his confidence in God. In vs. 1-11, the psalmist focuses on his personal feelings. In vs. 12-28, he changes his focus and looks to the Lord. In vs. 1-11, the psalmist is expressing his depression. In vs. 12-28, he is lifted up because of the power and hope found in God.
Thesis: Let’s talk about the lot, lamenting and the Lord of the depressed
The Lot of the depressed
Vs. 3- “My days vanish like smoke”- means that my days are vanishing away as nothing, my days are wasted. My days are accomplishing no good thing. I am worthless. Satan wants to tell us that this wilderness is a wasted season. But the truth is:
1. God will use our weaknesses for His glory. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10, NIV.
2. God will redeem what we feel is wasted. “O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life.” Lamentations 3:58, NIV.