13. An Interesting Sermon on Depression

I listened to a sermon yesterday about Elijah in the Old Testament and his bout with depression. The preacher advanced his theory that depression affects all of us in one way or another. For him, he was depressed for nine months.  These are the points he made in his sermon.

  1. What goes up must come down. Emotional highs are often followed by depression.
  2. Stress and exhaustion can cause depression. If you feel yourself in either of these two conditions, seek a quiet place and get some rest. When we are physically exhausted (or burnt out), we are incredibly vulnerable.
  3. Unmet expectations and disappointments can bring on depression. Unrealistic expectations can lead to a big fall. Be realistic with what you expect from yourself, and know that God is ultimately in charge of us.
  4. It’s hard to carry on when you are all alone. Reach out. Find a fast friend who will stand by you. [In Too Late in the Afternoon, Dave Logan stood alongside his friend Mitch Jasper, even though Mitch had abandoned him after high school. You never know where that friend may come from, but God will send him or her if you are open to that.]We all need encouragement, and a person who is depressed most of all.
  5. Depression produces a distorted view of reality. What Elijah did was focus on his problems, and when we focus on our problems, we are defeated.
  6. God will bring us through if we open ourselves up to Him, but it may not happen right away. For me it was five years, though in retrospect I see His hand putting the pieces together for me over those years to bring me out of depression. Had I not been so self-sufficient and hard-hearted, it may have taken much less time.

There is more to this sermon. I’ll finish the points in the next post.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Depression, Living a Spiritual Life, Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 13. An Interesting Sermon on Depression

  1. locomom says:

    The wonderful thing about this story of Elijah running away and giving up after hearing of Jezebel’s threats to kill him was how God responded. God did not chew Elijah out, him he should get it together, or that he should have known better. My husband and I have just been through our second experience of a good Christian fellow church member deciding to do all of the above, even though this person knew that my husband was deeply struggling with illness. Then he told us it was done in Christian love. A newer friend calls this “shooting the wounded.” What God did was give more of His love to Elijah by sending an angel to care for him. So God Himself saw to it that Elijah first got some rest and food. Elijah got 3 periods of rest and food before anything else. Then Elijah had to leave that place and go to a cave where he and his God dealt with his fear. And then God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper. The He sent Elijah to get a helper for him. Elisha. This my favorite picture of the love of God for us. Not the one others would mistakenly give us that leaves a spirit wound. It is also not the picture of ourselves and our circumstance that depression tells us over and over in our heads.

    I would also highly recommend looking up the song “When God Ran” on youtube. I recommend looking at a version with pictures. You may never look at the particular Bible story the same way again.

    • Patrick Day says:

      A great comment! Way too many churches “shoot the wounded” instead of extending love that leaves why depression or any other darkness comes about to God. I shudder when people I coach say God visited them with depression and they need to figure out why. We live in a fallen world and depression is one of the outcomes of that world. God tells us we will have trouble in this world, but to take heart because He will be with us in the trouble. That’s what we are to cling to, not why we have the condition in the first place.

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