Sermons

Summary: Message 5 of 6 on emotions. Depression.

There’s No Reason to Dance

Psalms 10:1

LORD, why are you so far away?

Why do you hide when there is trouble?

We all understand what depression is and how it affects us. Some of us are more given to depression than others but we’ve all felt its power in our lives – irrespective as to whether or not our faith is great or meager. Depression strikes us all and sits on our chest like a black anchor of iron. Depression makes every movement a great effort and every step a challenge.

Charles Spurgeon, preacher in the early 1900,s said, “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.”

Martin Luther described the experience in varied terms: melancholy, heaviness, dejection of spirit; downcast, sad, and downhearted. He suffered in this area for much of his life and often revealed these struggles in his works.

If you go to Amazon.com and type in the word depression you’ll find 5251 books dealing with the issue. Here are a few of the titles:

• Undoing Depression

• Depression-Free, Naturally : 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life

• Yoga for Depression : A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga

• Overcoming Depression: A Step-By-Step Approach to Gaining Control over Depression,

• Depression-Free for Life: A Physician’s All-Natural, 5-Step Plan

• I DONT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT: OVERCOMING THE SECRET LEGACY OF MALE DEPRESSION

• Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression

• Self-Coaching: How to Heal Anxiety and Depression, Conquering Depression: A 30-Day Plan to Finding Happiness

• Depression for Dummies

All of these books and the other 5241 focus on the self-help aspect of beating depression. Somehow you can overcome this terrible weight.

Portia Nelson writes her autobiography in five short chapters detailing how she fixed her own life.

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost…I am helpless, It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place but,

It isn’t my fault.

It takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in…it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am. It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

Did you hear how many times the word “I” was used in this auto-biography? The problem with this scenario and all these self help books is that it doesn’t work. We need help from another source to overcome the weight of life. Those who try to defeat it themselves often find that they are living like a human yo-yo or as if tied to the end of a bungee cord and bouncing up and down – one moment in exhilarated, adrenalin laced ecstasy and the next moment at the depths of despair. Manic-depression becomes their way of existence.

David shows us a different and better way of overcoming depression. This is a way of life that all of us – like Al and Sally Aldrich must learn to apply to our lives.

Defeating Depression

Psalms 42

This morning we’re going to look at the 42nd Psalm which is a “maskil.” This is a teaching psalm, intended to help us learn how to handle the spiritual blahs. We could call it, “How to Deal With Depression,” or “Beating the Blahs.”

The inscription identifies this as a maskil of the sons of Korah. This refers to a family of singers, much like the Esther and the worship team here at MCC. They loved to sing and lead others in worship. Tradition regards this to be a psalm written by David for the sons of Korah who put it to music.

The context in which David wrote this is when he was forced to flee into the wilderness because his son Absalom was leading a rebellion against him in 2 Samuel 15-16.

David was removed from the throne, his life was threatened, his friends had bailed on him, he was ridiculed and mocked, and he was miles away from the temple where he loved to worship.

Certainly at a time like this you get depressed and down about life. David was piled with problems. He was on the run. He was alone and discouraged.

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