Showing posts with label #hope #DivineDining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #hope #DivineDining. Show all posts

Saturday, March 7, 2015

What's the Solution for Depression?

Think depression is something new to the twenty-first century? Think again. Ever since God kicked Lucifer out of heaven, that mean-spirited, beautiful ex-angel has been using every weapon in his arsenal to defeat God. One of those is depression. Listen to Elijah's story back in the time of the Jewish kings.

     So, Elijah fled for his life; he went to Beersheba, a city of Judah, and left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day, and sat down under a broom bush and prayed that he might die.
     "I've had enough," he told the Lord. "Take away my life. I've got to die sometimes, and it might as well be now."
             1 Kings 19: 3, 4 Life Recovery Bible
  
        But the Lord said to him, "What are you doing here Elijah.
     He replied, "I have worked very hard for the Lord God of the heavens, but the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you and torn down your altars and killed your prophets, and only I am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too."
             1 Kings 19: 9, 10 Life Recovery Bible

 
Another prophet of old by the name of Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. He wrote a whole book about his sadness. At one point in his ministry, here's how he felt.
 
      All hope is gone, my strength has turned to water, for the Lord has left me.
           Lamentations 3:18 Life Recovery Bible.

 
Symptoms of depression include:
     Insomnia or sleeping all the time
     Inability to concentrate or make decisions
     Loss of appetite or Inability to control overeating
     A feeling of emptiness
     Unconcern for normal enjoyments of life
     Change of habits
     Listlessness
     Crying over inconsequential things
     Outbursts of anger
     Panic attacks
     Thinking about suicide
     Inability to pray



Not everyone will have all these symptoms. There are degrees of depression, anything from “a little down” to physical, chemical depression requiring medication. All form of depression brings a wedge between you & God.
 
My devotion book, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, shows my depression at the time I wrote this.
 
     I call out to God but only trust in my own abilities, because He is far away. I lost thirty pounds with a weight support group, but put it back on, plus some. I whittled off forty pounds with shots and pills only to find myself in deep depression and succumbing to old behavior patterns. When I purchased a diet franchise after losing a hundred pounds, the stress of keeping off the weight drove me to underground eating and gaining, until I lost my business. I had failed. I couldn't lose. I couldn't maintain what I lost. I was worthless.
 
 
Like Jeremiah, the only remedy to depression is soaking in the Word of God, allowing His Words to soothe & encourage, & reminding yourself of His faithfulness in the past.

On page 843 of the Life Recovery Bible, this note tells us, "Turning our life over to God includes giving him our pain and suffering. In our times of grief and shames, we can hope for the time when God will overcome the problems we face. God is strong enough to lift our burdens and loving enough to mend our broken heart."

                         
Lamentations 3:21-23 gives us the solution to depression.

     Yet, there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. 

 
Tara Johnson's book Hollow Victory: How to Identify & Disarm 5 Landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie tells us "Here's the thing about depression: you cannot operate based on how you feel. You have to cling to what you know." 
 



One Scripture that ministers to many of us comes because of Jeremiah’s struggle with depression.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans for good & not for evil, for hope in your future.”
                              Jeremiah 29:11

 

 
I look through the table of contents in The Freedom of Letting Go by Donna Clark Goodrich for all the things we must learn to let go of and deal with.
    Grief
    Failures
    Successes
    Fear
    Doubt
and the list goes on. One of the hardest things to let go of is control. Allowing God to take control.

I love Goodrich's quote from that book, "If God never sleeps, why should both of us stay awake."


Another promise from God to cling to:
 

 
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up--the flames will not consume you.
                   isaiah 43; 2-3  Live Recovery Bible

 

Let’s list the things that verse says about what troubles we might face.

 

When we face waters – – He will be with us.
 

When we face rivers – We will not drown.

 
When we face fire – We won’t be burned.

 


Notice God says "when" we go through these things, not "if."

 
In life, we will go through bad things. So, we must remember God's solution that He gave us through Jeremiah.
 

Are you teetering on the brink of depression? Is the darkness calling you away from worship? Has there been a time in your past when depression has been a part of your life?

Do you need to remember the solution?