Summary: Many times, we have difficulty serving the Lord when we are emotionally depressed and we don't know what to do. In this message, we will discuss the causes and the cures for depression basing from Joshua's experiences in the defeat from Ai.
WHAT TO DO WHEN DEPRESSED
Joshua 7:1-6 (NIV) "But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a]; Achanson of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.
2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.
There was a story of a man who approached his friend who looked lonely one day and asked: "What is wrong with you?
"Oh, I'm just tired, that's all. "tired of not being good enough, tired of trying and not getting credit, tired of getting put down
tired of people calling me names, tired of back stabbers, tired of crying, tired of insecurities, tired of being unconfident,
tired of being tired, just tired, that's all!"
If you feel that way, you may not know it but depression is slowly creeping into your system until you will be completely overcome by it.
So, what is depression and how do we overcome it
Here are some facts about depression.
According to the website Depressiontoolkit.org, Depression is a mood disorder causing a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
But it is not just feeling "down" but a serious illness caused by changes in brain chemistry.
The World Health Organization characterizes depression as one of the most disabling disorders in the world, affecting roughly one in five women and one in ten men at some point in their lifetime.
It is estimated that 21% of women and 12% of men in the U.S. will experience an episode of depression at some point in their lifetime.
Depression does not discriminate.
Men and women of every age, educational level, and social or economic background suffer from depression.
It can affect your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviors and your overall physical health.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that point to the presence of depression:
Feelings: sadness, hopelessness, guilt, moodiness, angry outbursts, loss of interest in friends, family and favorite
Thoughts such as trouble concentrating, trouble making decisions, trouble remembering and thoughts of harming oneself.
Behaviors such as withdrawing from people, substance abuse, missing work, school or other commitments.
Physical problems such as tiredness or lack of energy, unexpected aches and pains, changes in appetite, weight loss or weight gain, changes in sleep, too little or too much.
There are a lot of people, even famous celebrities and sport personalities who had been depressed in spite of their popularity and wealth.
Some were able to come out while others hit rock bottom.
Consider La Mar Odom, that famous former Lakers had been so depressed lately that he had an overdose of various drugs and cocaine and now fighting for his life at a Nevada Hospital.
It is unfortunate for a man who had such great talent in basketball, won two NBA titles and loved by many.
It is such a great waste of life.
Or consider Jim Carrey, the famous comedian actor of elite films such as Ace Ventura, had gone through debilitating depression due to different reasons such as ADHD, family troubles and past financial problems.
His ability to come up with jokes under pressure is impressive.
But many comedians have admitted to going through significant trauma and that comedy was the only way of escape.
Although he tried an antidepressant medication as Prozac, he found that it did not help but actually making him feel worse.
Finally, he was able to overcome depression through search for spiritual experience, staying busy, maintaining a sense of purpose and ultimately avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Probably you have your own way of battling depression, but I hope you see the picture.
Depression is a big problem that we need to address even occurring among Christians.
No one is immune to depression.