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Depression

Depression

By Joyce Webb 2013

Do you have feelings of anger toward yourself?

Do you at times think the world would be better off if you were not in it?

Do you sometimes wish you had never lived?

Have you wished you could just stop “being” ? You do not want to live here. You do not even want to go to heaven. You just want to stop “existing”?

Maybe on the outside life really is not bad things are really okay, but you have these feelings that you do not want to go on.

 

What is “depression”? To “depress” something means to push it down.

When we have “depression” we feel pushed down.

We feel “low”. We are not happy. We do not have joy. We do not feel an interest or excitement about or for anything.

Usually we have bad feelings about our self.

There are some people who have a physical and mental unbalance of chemicals in the brain.

This requires the help of a doctor. The doctor will give medicine to help balance the chemicals in the brain..

But there is “depression” that we can control.

Our bodies make chemicals that make us feel good, and chemicals that make us feel bad.

Generally, the more we think good, positive, happy thoughts, the more of the good chemicals the body makes. The more we think bad, sad, angry thoughts the more of the bad chemicals the body makes.

 

The Bible talks a lot about keep control over our thoughts.

I have written a lesson before on “Thoughts”, and one on “Fear”.

As humans, we know how we do wrong things and sin. We know how we have made bad choices. We remember all of our mistakes.

Other people may never know some of the things we have done. They will not know what we have thought. They probably have forgotten our mistakes.

We remember.

And one thing that we often forget is that in this life there is a “spiritual” part to it.

The “spirit” part is the main part. The “spirit” part is the real us. The “spirit” part will live forever---somewhere. The “spirit” part is closely connected to our thoughts.

Thoughts influence and affect the spirit. The spirit influences and affects the thoughts.

Because of this, the Bible talks a lot about what we choose to think.

A “thought” may pop into your mind without your choosing it. But what you do with that thought is your choice.

You do not have to “keep” every thought that pops into your mind. You need to learn to be very careful “picky” “selective” about which thoughts you keep.

If you want to be healthy you choose what food you put into your body. If you eat every kind of food that is given to you by others or restaurants etc. You will not be healthy.

If you let every thought that comes to mind stay in your mind you will not have a healthy mind.

Fatty, greasy foods, sugar, etc. will make your body heavy and pull you down.

Some kinds of thoughts will do the same to your spirit.

If you want a healthy spirit pick which thoughts you will keep thinking about. good things.

You can stop a thought. You can refuse to let that thought continue in your mind.

You may have to “stop” it over and over. You will have to choose another thought in its place.

King David said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” Psa. 56:11

His feelings and thoughts at that time were fear. But he made a decision to put away the “fear” thought and to choose the “trust” thought instead. He said, “I will.” It was an act of the will. It was a choice of the will. It did not “just happen“. It was not “automatic”. He made a choice to think a different thought.

 

Satan is our enemy. He is very good at “bringing people down”. He has been doing it for thousands of years. He was once an archangel, so he is very smart. Smarter than people.

He knows how people think. He loves to “whisper in our ear” about all the things that we have done wrong----sin, or just mistakes. He will talk to us about them making them sound as bad as can be. He wants us to think of ourselves as bad look what we have done!

God does not do that to us. If we are doing sin----God will let us know that it is wrong and that we need to stop. We need to ask forgiveness. Then that is the end of it in God’s eyes.

The Bible says that as far as the east is from the west so far have our sins been removed from us. In the universe sky how far does the east go? Forever! Psa. 103:12

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He that blotted (marks out, erases, puts a blot of blood over) your sin for my own sake, and will not remember your sins. Jeremiah 31:34 “I will remember their sin no more.”

Does God have a weak mind that He cannot remember? No, it is a choice He has made. He will not bring it to remember against you-----once it is forgiven.

God wants us to do the same. Sins that are forgiven we need to “not remember” them any more. Like God---it is a choice we need to make.

God remembers we are “dust”. Psa. 103:13, 14 “Like a father who pities (feels sorry) for his children, so the Lord pities (feels sorry) for them that fear (honor) Him. For he knows our frame

(human body) that we are dust.”

God knows how weak we are. He knows how we fail. He knows we make mistakes. He knows we sin.

But He still loves us. He still wants us to trust Him. He wants to keep on helping us to do better.

We should not give up. Or give in to bad thoughts. God is still there waiting to help us. He has not left.

Because of our own feelings of guilt and shame we will not look at God. Those are not God’s feelings. Those are our feelings.

We keep ourselves from God because of our feelings. God is not feeling or thinking the same thing! His thoughts about us are very different.

He knows we are weak. He was not surprised by what we did. His love for us is very deep. His grace to cover all our sins and mistakes is as wide as the sky.

We punish ourselves. Satan helps us think that way. Punishing ourselves does not help anything. It does not make us better in the eyes of God. He is not pleased to see us punish ourselves.

Punishing ourselves for our sin will not work. We cannot get rid of our sin by punishing ourselves. Only Jesus’ blood can wash them away. O only Jesus can forgive our sins. If man could punish himself and get rid of his sins by himself Jesus would not need to have died on a cross.

Punishing ourselves for mistakes or dumb choices does not please God. He knows we are weak humans. He just wants us to learn to look to Him more for help and guidance before we make decisions about things.

 

Satan is the one who tries to get us all caught up in punishing ourselves. It makes us think that we can “do it ourselves”. We did wrong, we will punish ourselves. God is not part of it. We take care of it ourselves.

That is the wrong idea. Satan wants us to do everything by ourselves. God wants us to do everything with Him.

God wants to be part of us to be part of our every day living and thinking. He wants to be part of our feelings.

God will not share in our sin.

When we are willing to give up the sin, and turn to God. God wants to forgive us, walk with us, help us with our thoughts, help us with out decisions. As long as we are trying to do God’s will He will keep guiding us and helping us.

Sometimes we feel God has not helped us when we needed it or asked for Him to do something for us. Maybe we have asked for a loved one to be healed. But they died. We feel God did not answer so why pray.

Sometimes we feel God has ignored our prayers. For things that were important to us, we prayed and prayed. But the answer we wanted did not come. So we say to ourselves why ask.

We are angry and disappointed that God did not do what we wanted. So we ignore God. We push Him to the side. We still believe in Him. We still trust Him to forgive our sin. But we have pushed God away. We are not close to Him any more.

Our spirits are getting colder and harder and farther away from God.

We have not asked God for anything in a long time. Because we do not want to be disappointed.

This is a feeling that has happened to many Christians.

This is part of the “spiritual” thing. Satan does not want you to pray. He does not want you to have faith and trust God. He wants you to think God can not be trusted. He wants you to think that God is against you for some reason.

We compare our lives to others. We see people who are not really obeying God have good things happen to them. They have husbands, wives, children. They get the promotion at work.

They get the good things.

You have tried your best to serve God the best you can, but you do not have those things.

There are preachers who preach if you have the faith anything you ask for will happen.

 

But people in the Bible had problems. Paul prayed for something that was bothering him. He prayed for God to take it away, but God told him that “God’s grace was enough”. God did not take it away. II Corinthians 12:7-9

The disciple Peter was put in jail and an angel came and led him out of jail. James, a disciple, was put in jail, too. He did not get out, the king killed him. 

 

I have seen people of great faith, men who had a healing ministry who prayed for people and they were healed but they themselves had a health problem. One man I know had a crippled son who was never healed, but other people he prayed for were healed.

They were people of great faith. They prayed for others and they were healed, but health needs in their own life and family were not answered. Why?

They did not stop praying for others, even though God did not heal their loved one. 

 

We use the word “God is sovereign”. Sovereign means “like a king has power to decide what will happen.” God can decide to do things how ever He chooses to do them’

Another thing all through the Bible we are taught that God loves his people. That He is a loving Father. That he does what is best for them. Just as a good earthly father would choose what is best for his child.

Earthly fathers make mistakes. Earthly fathers can sometimes make a decision that is selfish. God does not make mistakes and He would not choose to do something selfish concerning us. He will do what is best for us. His love is pure. 

 

The “bottom line” for us is to trust. God is trust worthy. Trust is something we choose. An act of the will. We “will” to trust. Just like King David said.

Thoughts feelings that do not show glory and praise to God are not trusting.

Thoughts that are “beating yourself up” talking bad about yourself punishing yourself

Being angry with God being disappointed with God’s decision are not trusting thoughts.

Those thoughts are not giving glory to God or giving praise to God.

The Bible says: “Without faith it is impossible ( not possible) to please Him.” Hebrews 11:6

“For he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder (gives rewards) to them that diligently (with much care and determination) seek Him.”

It may be that the “thing” we want is not the best thing for us. It is not God’s will or choice for us to have it.

But He will answer our prayer for other things.

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 The prophet Isaiah said these words and many, many years later Jesus read these words and said that they were speaking of Him Luke 4:18-21

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me ………….to give them beauty for ashes, the garment (robe) of praise for the spirit of heaviness…….that He might be glorified.”

The “spirit of heaviness” that is depression.

It touches our spirit. It is a spirit thing. Putting on the garment (robe) of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness.

Praise removes heaviness. Praise touches our spirit. Praise heals our spirit.

Depression may be because of sin, mistakes, disappointments anger but praise will heal.

God’s presence in our lives comes with our praise to Him. If you want to feel God near begin to praise Him.

Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit.” grieve---make sad, insult Our thoughts of anger, disappointment, being bitter, talking bad about yourself beating your self down going over and over all your faults and mistakes this hurts the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit can not come in a fill your mind when you keep filling your mind with bad thoughts.

You need the Holy Spirit to fill your mind so you can have joy so you can feel the Lord’s presence so the Lord can use you.

You can not have fear, anger, bitterness, doubt, thoughts of disappointment and have faith and trust at the same time. You will have one or the other.

God can not use you if your mind is full of dark thoughts.

Don’t say God can not use you. Remember Helen Keller? If she had filled her mind with all the things she could not do or all the things she made mistakes with you would never have heard of Helen Keller. She would never have been famous. But she kept her mind on the few things she could do and as time went by she could do more.

Have you heard of Steven Hawking? He is thought to be one of the smartest men in the world. He a scientist. He talks about the universe. But he has a nerve-muscular problem. He is in a wheelchair and needs help doing everything. It is hard for him to talk. He could say, “I’m not good for anything.” But he thinks. A lot!   Scientists around the world listen to what he says. 

 

You may not feel like praising God and giving Him glory for what has happened. But someday in heaven when we see the whole picture we will know why God did not do what we wanted. 

Looking at the things in our life is like looking at a needlework picture at the back side.

If you turn over a needlework picture especially a tapestry you will see a lot of black thread. It is not pretty. It does not seem to make much sense. But if you turn it over and see the right side you see the pattern and how the black thread makes the colors show up.

You may be having a lot of black threads in your life. And you may not be able to see any pattern to it. It does not make sense. Trust God. He has in mind the pattern He is working for your life. 

Trusting is not always easy. It can be very hard. Sometimes we have to be determined to trust. We choose to trust. An act of our will. And we have to stay with it.

Also, we should not give up faith for other things because something you wanted did not happen. 

God told Abraham to change his name from Abram to Abraham (father of many children) even when he did not have one child yet. Abraham used this new name for 25 years and he had no child. He did it in faith.

Hebrews says: “Now faith is the substance (the real thing) of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

If we keep our eyes on the problem, the bad things, the disappointments, the mistakes, the sin---we are not keeping our eyes on the answer and we are not having faith. And without faith we can not please Him.

The “bottom line” we need Jesus. We need God. Without Him we are lost forever.

In your disappointment in your anger in your bad feelings about so many things remind yourself God/Jesus is one thing I can not afford to lose. Without Him you have nothing. 

You have seen what your own strength can do. Without God would you have any hope of healing for anyone? Would you have any hope of forgiveness of sin?

In your own strength what is your hope for eternity?

Our most important thing to think about is our eternal life. Anything that happens to us in this life is not nearly as important.

We Americans expect a lot from life. But if we had been born in the Amazon jungle, or on the streets of India we would have very different expectations. God loves all people.

Sin and the influence of sin and the consequences of people’s sin is everywhere in this world.

We Americans have had it better than most people in this world.

Some day God will judge sin. But right now it is His will that the world continue on as it is for a while.

Keep your thoughts on God not on the bad things. Choose to put on the “garment of praise”.

Choose to trust.

Take all the bad and put them into God’s hands, Some day you will understand why. Your eternal life is worth more than all of the bad things that have happened.

The worst bad thing that can happen to you is to let the bad things “eat up” your thoughts and your life.

 

One more verse: “ For if our heart condemn (blame, feelings of guilt) us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.” I John 3:20,21

Feelings of guilt and blame condemning ourselves makes us lose confidence toward God.

We are afraid to come to God, to ask for help or for what we need or want. We think God would not want to use us any more. The second part of vs. 20 says: God is greater than our heart. 

Sin can be forgiven. Believe it. Mistakes and bad choices God’s grace can cover believe it.

Let your confidence come back and open your heart to God. 

Don’t let the bad things rob you of everything.    You can be used of God.      Good things will happen in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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