Has there ever been a time in your lives where you have been discouraged, alone, sad, lost, depressed? Has there ever been a time where you felt like a failure? Maybe that is you today. Maybe that has been you for days, for months, for years. You have tried counseling, you have tried medication or maybe you are currently on medication. Maybe you feel like an outcast because you are different. You are not the “normal” human being like everyone else. You feel like your life cannot go any further. You don’t want to establish a close relationship with anyone in fear of being hurt, or betrayed, or judged.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website there are approximately 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the US Population that are diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Approximately 6 million adults or 2.7% of the U.S. population deal with Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, 15 million or 6.8% of the U.S. population. PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, 7.7 million or 3.5% of the U.S. population! Major Depressive Disorder, which according to the site is the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15 – 44 and it affects more that 16.1 million, or 6.7% of the population of age 18 and older in a given year!
We are a depressed Nation. Why? Why is it that there are so many people struggling with depression and anxiety every single day? Is it something in our blood? Is it a problem with chemistry? Is it something new? Now I am not saying that there is nothing abnormally wrong with our bodies, nor am I saying to stop taking your medication. Those of you that know me knew that I was in the military and that my job in the Air Force was a Pharmacy Technician. In the many times that I served in the medical facility the most common form of medications that went out the window were those that treated depression and anxiety. I filled those prescriptions daily and if not every couple of orders! America is the land of convenience, and quick fixes, but some of those quick fixes only treat the symptoms of the source instead of curing the source itself! We are here to worship God and find out what He has to say or we would not be here, correct? The Bible has a lot to say about this topic of depression and what to do with it and how to overcome it! The Bible we hold in our hands should be the absolute final authority in our lives and this church stands on the perfect, inerrant King James Bible. Everything we need to live our lives is in this Book! Everything , and it is relevant today as it was yesterday, and as it is and will be tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. If we do not believe that, we have a heart issue and we need to deal with that problem FIRST before we can allow God to deal with the rest!
Here are just some of the people in the Bible that struggled with depression.
DAVID had depression because of his sin! We all should know the story of David and his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba!
Psalms 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
ELIJA had depression! After great victories over BAAL and slaying all the prophets of BAAL he was running and fearing for his life from Jezebel! He wanted to DIE! Why? He felt worthless. He felt, useless.
1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
Guess who else struggled with depression? You will not believe it.
JESUS struggled with depression as fully man!
Isaiah 53:1-3 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (2) For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Mark 14:34-36 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. (35) And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. (36) And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Job struggled with depression, Jeremiah struggled with depression, Jonah and Moses struggled with depression. These are just a few.
So now that we have an understanding of this topic, what does the Bible say we need to do to overcome this?
- If you don’t know Jesus, salvation and baptism are the first steps! If we cannot get passed the issue of salvation you will not encounter God’s grace, love and healing!
- Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- We have to TRUST He will heal us and deliver us!
- Faith is a big deal in Christianity. Without faith we are doomed! It is not normal to put your faith and trust into someone you have never physically seen! The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
- Battle on your knees!
- The best way to battle something when it is out of our control, is through prayer! Philippians 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
- There is strength in numbers! Don’t allow pride to rule in our hearts and become stranded on a deserted island! We are family!
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
- Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Are you struggling with depression today? Regardless of whether it is temporary or not there is a solution. His name is Jesus Christ. Maybe you haven’t gotten passed the first steps and you need saved and/or baptized. Is God speaking to you today? Don’t ignore him. Jesus desires to be in every part of your life good or bad. He loves you.