Baggage of Depression – You might be saying, Man, this will be a good lesson because I know this person and they need to hear this. The truth is a time will come when the baggage of depression will get you if it has not already. I never thought I would experience depression. I even thought it was unnecessary for a person to put up with depression. I thought this way until I woke up one day in the cave of depression carrying the Baggage of Depression. Some of you are depressed this very minute and it has been this way for a long time. So, how can you dump the baggage of depression?
BAGGAGE – EVERYBODY HAS SOME
by Delbert Young
Baggage of Depression
Baggage of Depression
Scriptures: 1 Kings 19:3; Luke 10:34; 1KI 19:4-5; 1 Kings 19:8; 1 Kings 19:9; 1 Kings 19:13; 1 Kings 19:18; 1 Kings 19:15-16; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
(Video) This is a depressing place to be. Every time I come back here, I get depressed. It feels like life feels sometimes – jumbled, confused, closing in. We talked about addictions and how we dump The Baggage of Addictions. but, what do you do when it is not an addiction? What do you do when you wake up with this thing, this mental sad weight every morning, carry it with you every minute of the day, and go to sleep with it every night? What do you do when things turn dark? What do you do with, what seems to be an eternal bottomless loneliness? What do you do when you go through life pretending as if everything is fine. In reality, you want to cry, sleep, and scream. What do you do when everything is upside-down? What do you do when nothing aligns? You try to hide it. You go to church, but nothing seems to change. You attempt to talk to people about it, but they do not seem to understand or care even though some of them are going through the exact same thing. People pray for you, but nothing changes. You try to shake it, but you can’t. Life is blurred. You can’t move past it. It has you day after day and week after week. It seems to get deeper and heavier. You do not know what to do. What is this thing? It is DEPRESSION and it’s called the silent killer. That title – killer – puts depression into perspective. Today, we will talk about THE BAGGAGE OF DEPRESSION.
You might be saying, “Man, this will be a good lesson because I know this person who needs to hear this.” The truth is a time will come when depression will get you if it has not already. I never thought that I would experience depression. I even thought that it was unnecessary for a person to put up with depression. I thought that way until I woke up one day in the cave of depression. Some of you are depressed this very minute and it has been that way for a long time. So, how can you dump it? Let’s study God’s word together and find some answers so we can get out of here and close the door to depression.
What do we do about depression? How does depression look? If there was ever a Biblical example and picture of depression, it is Elijah. Elijah was “the” man of God in his day, or so he thought. Elijah did have a powerful ministry. Elijah could call down fire from heaven. Elijah’s adversaries were Ahab and Jezebel and he confronted their false prophets on Mount Carmel. He made fools of them and publicly humiliated and defeated them. Elijah stopped rain and dew. After 3½ years of famine and draught, he prayed again and it rained. It seemed he was at the top of his game and everything was going his way, when he was, for no obvious reason, broadsided with depression. One person said one thing and suddenly depression mentally, physically, and spiritually crippled Elijah.
It does not matter who you are. A person can be one of God’s most dynamic ministries and at the top of his/her game, but within hours crippled by the grip of depression. Strangely, Elijah literally ran to depression (1Ki 19:3). Think about that.
1 Kings 19:3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, heleft his servant there,
Depression feels as if you are running for your life. He left the people that would minister to him. Depression will lure you in. You run to it and embrace it. Depression feels safe, but depression will kill you.
How does it look? Depression gave Elijah suicidal tendencies – he prayed that he might die. ‘Take my life’ (1Ki 19:4). Depression clouds and confuses the reasoning process.
How does it look? Elijah did not want to eat. Depressed people do not want to eat, or they eat excessively. There is weight loss or extreme weight gain. God had to send an angel to feed Elijah and perhaps medicate him (1Ki 19:5).
Whatever it was, food or medication, the angel brought some powerful stuff. Whatever it was, it got Elijah going. My niece went through horrible depression after she gave birth to her children. The technical name is “Post Partum (Partem) Depression.” After giving birth, her physical chemical balance became so messed up that serious depression set it. She had a physical problem and had to have chemicals to shock her body back into balance.
(VIDEO) When a swimming pool has algae, it means the chemicals are out of balance. There is not enough chlorine and it must be “shocked.” Sometimes depression requires medication or even an actual electric shock. You might say, “Delbert, that is not having faith if you have to have medication or shock treatments.” I differ. There is nothing wrong with medication used properly. Jesus, telling the story of the Good Samaritan, said…
Luke 10:34 Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them…
My point is medicine can help bring healing and relief, but mostly bring some clarity and help you begin to see life more clearly.
How does it look? Elijah had a persistent/constant sad, but anxious mood. If you are depressed, nothing makes you happy. Everything causes you more worry and gives you something else to complain about – children, bills, health, people, everything. You become very critical. You seem constantly angry and irritable. The least little thing ticks you off. You feel everyone is against you.
1KI 19:4-5 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep…
Depression takes you to the desert of life. If you are depressed, there is tiredness and lack of motivation. You lose pleasure in that which once brought you great joy. All you want to do is go to bed. If depressed, you have persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to medications such as chronic pain or digestive disorders. Your headache keeps coming back. Your stomach problem keeps coming back.
That is how depression looks. It is not pretty and it will make you sick and even kill you. It’s the silent killer.
How did the Lord heal Elijah’s depression? What does the word of God teach us? (1) DEPRESSION IS NOT IMAGINARY. The Lord did not say, “Elijah, get a grip on yourself, man! You are imagining this. Where is your faith, boy?” Instead, he allowed Elijah to experience the depression. Is that not amazing? He let Elijah literally run to his depression. Do not play as if your depression is not real. Admit you need help. Also, if you know someone depressed, do not take it lightly. It is too serious to belittle. The Lord allowed Elijah to sleep, only waking him to eat and perhaps take some medication. He sent an angel to “nurse” Elijah. It was that serious. Then God sent Elijah on a 40-day trip to get help.
1 Kings 19:8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.
The Lord removed Elijah from stress and worry. He moved him 40 days away. He removed him from all influences of depression. In all that time, the Lord did not offer counseling. He did not preach to him. He did not rebuke him. The Lord just gave love and support.
A time came when the Lord had Elijah confront his depression. (2) A TIME COMES TOCONFRONT DEPRESSION.Interestingly, the Lord sent Elijah to Mount Sinai. That is where God gave the Law of Moses. Elijah needed to do things God’s way, from God’s perspective. That is where healing for depression waits – in the presence of God.
People with serious depression have lost proper structure and perspective. Their priorities jumble. Their depression becomes more important than their family, or their work, or their health. Up is down and down is up. They have difficulty logically functioning and can make horrible decisions that affect many. You must go some place. I do not mean necessarily physically, but spiritually, you must get in the presence of God. It could be a trip or seminar, but it must be in a place where you can listen and hear the still small voice of God. Don’t listen to the earthquakes around you, or fire, or thunder. God is not in those.
1 Kings 19:9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?”
The Lord did not only ask once. He asked again later.
1 Kings 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?”
This is obviously important. Elijah needed to express his reasoning as to why he was depressed and he needed to express it more than once. That way he could be clear about what he thought the reason was. Why do you think you are depressed? Like Elijah, you are most likely wrong. Depressed people usually are.
1 Kings 19:10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But THE PEOPLE of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I ALONE AM LEFT, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
It was other people’s fault. Depressed people always think it is other people’s fault. Those other people did not appreciate Elijah. Elijah served, but no one seemed to care. Elijah felt he alone had it together. Everyone else was wrong. That sums up how depressed people feel. “No one understands. I have it figured out. I am the only one who sees it correctly and no one appreciates my insight and labor. Even God does not appreciate me. He allows bad things to happen to me.”
(3) GOD DEALS WITH FALSE BELIEFSAND IDEAS. False beliefs and ideas were the true cause of Elijah’s depression. False beliefs have great power. Our lives are built around and upon what we believe is true about life, no matter if it is true or not. When a person bases the foundations of that reasoning on wrong information, wrong impressions, wrong teachings, etc the result will be devastating thoughts and actions. Elijah’s depression came from the belief that he was the only one, others were doing nothing, and that God was allowing everything to fall apart. Those were all false beliefs that threw Elijah into depression.
1 Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.
It was not Jezebel or Ahab or the people or God that triggered Elijah’s depression. It was Elijah’s belief system. The foundations of what Elijah believed were wrong. His ideals were wrong. THE MOST DIFFICULT THING TO COMMUNICATE TO A DEPRESSED PERSON IS THEY ARE WRONG BECAUSE THEY ARE CONVINCED WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS TRUTH.
The Lord said, “You are so wrong Elijah. I have thousands of great people. Among those are Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha. They will accomplish my will. Go to each of them. Anoint them. Attempt to develop a relationship. You need some strong people in your life.”
(4) DEVELOP POWERFUL RELATIONSHIPS.
1 Kings 19:15-16 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert ofDamascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
The Lord told Elijah to get some people in his life. Elijah needed some strong personalities – kings and prophets.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 TWO are better than ONE, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has NO ONEto help him up! …Though ONE may be overpowered, TWO can defend themselves. A cord ofTHREE strands is not quickly broken.
Relationships are powerful. If you really want to get free from depression, get some strong personalities in your life. God did not create you to do life alone. God wired you to need people. If you pick up one stick, you can snap it fairly easily. However, take two sticks and put them together, and it is much more difficult to snap them (do an illustration here). Life is that way. If you try to do life alone, YOU WILL SNAP! The pressures of life are just too much to resist alone.
One good place to get people binding with you is a Life Group. There, you can share your pressures, anxieties, and hurts. There are great Life Group stories about this very thing.
Another thing to do is accountability. That means you give a few people (powerful personalities) the right to ask you tough questions without becoming upset with them. “What do you do during the day?” “How are you treating your husband/wife?” “To what do you listen?” “What do you read and watch?” “With whom do you associate?” “What do you do with your money?” If you notice, depressed people are usually not accountable to anyone. If someone attempts to ask the tough questions, a depressed person becomes defensive. The questions are getting into their space. They will explode on you. They become angry and defensive. They become upset to the point of talking negatively about you, which adds more depression to their own lives and some to your life. That is why they need to be strong personalities.
If a person does not want to be accountable, there is professional help. The point is a person experiencing continuous depression must find someone to whom they can be accountable. There must be powerful personalities in your life or you will SNAP.
Elijah did what the Lord instructed and it worked. He came out of his depression so well that instead of being brought down, he was caught up into the heavens in a fiery chariot. Elijah became the prototype of the forerunner of the Lord Jesus – John the Baptist.
(1) Depression is not imaginary. Admit to yourself that you need help. After a reasonable period of time (2) confront your depression. Why do you think you are depressed? Why are you here – at this place? (3) Deal with your false beliefs. That is why you are there. Something is wrong with your thought process. (4) Develop relationships with strong personalities who will ask the tough questions. If you will do these things, God will bring you out of your depression.
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 wisdom 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.” That lawyer was Abraham Lincoln who became our 16th President. Abe did exactly what I just told you to do. You can defeat depression. Let’s pray…
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