Summary: Depression is something we can all struggle with during the Holidays. This series directly addresses the causes, and counters with the Promises that God gives us to endure and overcome.
God’s Promises for the Holiday Season:
You are Loved…
Psychiatry students were in their college class one day when their professor began a discussion to prove a point. “What we’re going to talk about today,” the professor said, “are the emotional extremes that many mentally disturbed people go through… for example
“What’s the opposite of joy?” he asked one student.
“Sadness” the student answered.
“The opposite of depression?” he asked a young lady.
“Elation,” she replied.
Turning to a young man from Texas he asked “the opposite of woe?”
“Well, now,” the Texan replied “I suppose the opposite of woe, would be giddy up.”
Contributed by Jeff Strite
All kidding aside, the state of depression is a very real and common affliction among people of all ages, race and culture.
In January of 2005, Bob Murray, PhD and Alicia Fortinberry, MS complied some staggering statistics on Depression:
- Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
- Everyone, will at some time in their life be affected by depression — their own or someone else’s, according to Australian Government statistics.
- 30% of women are depressed. Men’s figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher.
- The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23%
- 54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness.
- 80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment.
- 15% of depressed people will commit suicide.
I know what you’re thinking, “Thanks for the buzz kill.” But as sad and sobering as these statistics may be, there is hope this morning.
Many years ago a young Midwestern lawyer suffered from such deep depression that his friends thought it best to keep all knives and razors out of his reach. He questioned his life’s calling and the prudence of even attempting to follow it through. During this time he wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not.” But somehow, from somewhere, Abraham Lincoln received the encouragement he needed, and the achievements of his life thoroughly vindicated his bout with discouragement.
We’ve spoken at length in the past few months about how we are to face our giants and adversity in the seasons of life, and about a month ago I felt inspired by God to highlight the “Promises of Hope” in my life.
And as I was doing this, I felt like God was revealing some very timely “reminders”. As we enter into the Christmas Season, a time that was meant for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, many of us enter into a state of extreme discouragement.
A survey a few years ago asked people if they were looking forward to Christmas. While most answered “Yes,” far too many said “No.” When asked why, they gave a variety of answers, “Christmas reminds us of things that ought to be, but are not. Christmas is a time of love, but we feel very unloved.”