We Should Show Active Love For God And Others
Love for God and others is essential because we all at some time or another find ourselves sucked into a vortex of morbid self-involvement, which keeps us from following the heavenly prescription given by the Great Physician, the medicine that many need above all else .
Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest? He said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.
When we begin to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and demonstrate love to others, we find true hope in God’s active love.
The Bible Is Filled With Depression And Anxiety
Not only do we find evidence of mental illness in our total depravity, we see it in action in numerous godly men and women.
When you read the Psalms, it often seems like David has sunk incredibly low. Obviously, we dont know if David was depressed in the medical sense, but his words indicate that he was often in the depths of despair and darkness.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?Psalm 13:1-2
These arent the words of a guy having a bad day. David isnt just a bit bummed out or disappointed. He is clearly crushed under the weight of sadness. He has sorrow in his heart all day every day.
This sounds very much like the experience of those who have been leveled by depression.
As we walk through church history, we see numerous other examples of godly men and women who were absolutely crippled by depression.
In a sermon entitled The Christians Heaviness and Rejoicing, Charles Spurgeon said that during an illness:
my spirits were sunken so low that I could weep by the hour like a child, and yet I knew not what I wept for a kind friend was telling me of some poor old soul living near, who was suffering very great pain, and yet she was full of joy and rejoicing. I was so distressed by the hearing of that story, and felt so ashamed of myself.
The Battle For Our Souls Is A Spiritual One
The Bible tells us that there is a war that is going on that we cannot see. This is the spiritual war for our souls. We must remember to battle depression on all fronts, especially the spiritual one.
Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
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A Story Of Schizophrenia And Spiritual Exhaustion To A New Grace
A few years ago, someone drove two hours to meet for one of my coaching consultations. This person described their full journey with schizophrenia the debilitating anxiety, the multiple voices, and the hallucinations . This person tried every spiritual discipline and professional care, with very little progress. A mature ministry leader reasoned out that much more spiritual deliverance and work was needed to resolve his mental torment. They broke down and said to me
“I’m ready to give up on Jesus.”
This person followed Christ since childhood, but now thirty-something, after months of wrestling was ready to leave Christ once and for all.
Heres the deal I heard a wise teacher once say,
People dont walk away from God, theyre really walking away from what theyve been taught about Him.
I didn’t have a magic formula to remove all the anxiety, voices, or hallucinations I just helped this person to see that maybe they were wrestling with the wrong questions – from what they were taught about God. We discussed a different lens of grace FROM within the chaos, not a grace accessed by a formula, a deliverance ministry, or some other fight the good fight measure. We reframed with everything that was right and whole, the focus fight, not the works fight. Months of wrestling ended in 10 minutes!
fight the good fight”
a full inheritance of life and a deep love from the Father that will never cast you away .
Case In Point: What Does The Bible Say About Depression
In case this is too far-fetched for you to believe lets go into an actual case in the Bible where a man was manic. He probably had a mental illness lets be real. Here is what the Bible states about this man:
Night and day he was constantly screaming and shrieking among the tombs and on the mountains, and cutting himself with stones.
In the mental health world today we would probably say that he was suicidal or he was self-mutilating AKA a cutter and in all actuality he was. But lets take a look at what Jesus did about this man who was suffering from mental illness and where the Bible says it came from:
And the demons begged Him, saying, Send us to the pigs so that we may go into them! Jesus gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs. The herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and they were drowned in the sea.
The Bible called this man affliction unclean spirits. And basically, Jesus cast these spirits out into nearby pigs. The demons then made these pigs crazy and basically made them kill themselves. As a mental health professional, I always found this to be so profound.
Have you ever heard of someone being so depressed or mentally ill that they killed themselves? And all of a sudden everyone who knew that person becomes so shocked because it was so uncharacteristic of that person to kill themselves. And it is kind of like that with depression.
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Does The Bible Have The Answers
Many people wonder if the Bible even addresses the struggle of depression because the word depression doesnt appear in Scripture. However, its important to know the major factors that lead to or increase depression. For example, feelings of depression are most often a result of emotional stress.
Here are some emotionalstressors that multiply feelings of depression:
- Guilt and Shame
- Broken Relationships
Recent studies of individuals battling depression have identified these emotional stressors that multiply the feelings of depression and trigger waves of depressed feelings.
We cannot effectively deal with depression without evaluating our responses to the difficult circumstances and emotional stressors of our life. The Bible provides much guidance on how to respond better.
In order to reduce feelings of depression, we have to learn how to respond to emotional stressors.
Everyone has emotional stressors. Each person has stressors that hurt them and distract them from living a full life as God offers. At BCC, we often say that depression begins with disappointment. Our emotional stressors are often rooted in a deep feeling of disappointment regarding something we had and lost or about something we have longed for and never received. Depression is a progression, which left unchecked can go deeper and deeper. The following chart illustrates how this often happens:
Jesus Is Our Example Of How To Fight The Good Fight Vs More Works To Prove His Faith
When the devil approached Jesus in the wilderness, he tried to tempt Jesus by questioning His identity in relation to his pain. If you notice, the questions were related to testing Jesus identity in order to create fear, tempting Him to prove Himself and even give up His identity for earthly glories.
The devil tempted Jesus by saying,
If you are the Son of God, then .
Jesus “fought the good fight” by resting in the Truth of who He was and His secure relationship with the Father, not by testing or proving it with works.
Jesus responded with the Truth,
It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test” .
Interestingly, Jesus didn’t do anything except stand in the Truth. In other words, Jesus rested securely in the true focus of who He is, His secure relationship IN THE Father, and His focus on earth was for us . Thus, Jesus endured the wilderness with intimate security, not a formula of a distant God.
As a result, the devil departed and Jesus returned from the wilderness in great power .
Maybe you will return from the wilderness in great power, too!
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Put Your Trust And Hope In God Call Upon Him
Sometimes we put our trust and hope in the wrong thing. There is only one place that we can put our hope in God and trust that can never fail us that is in God. He is the source of every good and perfect gift.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
Thus saith the LORD Cursed the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8 KJV
What The Bible Says About Depression
Editors Note: This article is part of our series on finding hope in the midst of depression. In this series, our counselors are helping people understand the reality of depression and how God sustains and helps those who are depressed.View the Series Page here.
As depression becomes more common and more talked about in society, many Christians are wondering what the Bible says about depression.
Depression can be very difficult to express or understand. We hear more and more people talking about depression, and see more people struggling with it.
Listen to the way that some who are going through depression describe what they are going through:
- Whenever I have a good few months and I think Ive gotten over the worst on my depression, it silently returns. This isnt a battle I asked to fight. Im tired of knowing its always coming back.
- Iwanted to write down exactly what I felt but somehow the paper stayed empty andI could not have described it any better.
- No one realizes how strong someone with depression has to be just to do daily stuff like shower, brush hair, or get out of bed.
- When youre depressed, you dont control your thoughtsyour thoughts control you. I wish people would understand this.
- I am not using my depression as an excuse. Trust me, Id give anything to function normally on a day-to-day basis.
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Have You Considered Being Great In The Kingdom Of God
Not only does God want to pull you out of the rut of depression and out of the influence of the spirit of heaviness, He wants to form you into who He created you to be. You have a special place and purpose in His Kingdom that only you can fill. However, to fill that place, you have to switch your perspective off yourself, your worries, and your problems, and begin to reach out and to see yourself and the world from Gods perspective.
If you remain fixated on your own problems, it will effectively keep you from functioning in Gods kingdom, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit .
The principle of selflessness is evident in the fruit of the spirit, which are the elements of Gods nature that He wants to grow in you:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
This Narrative Counsel Creates Negative Associations Triggering More Anxiousness
Our brains creates associations to predict good or bad . The challenge is that this type of counsel implies depression, anxiety, or any mental or emotional pain as bad Gods displeasure and pulls away or a sign of the enemy . It associates more blame on the person and being more vulnerable, or weak, to the enemy. So, if they have a bad day, they can easily go into unhealthy introspection why they’re losing “the fight and left feeling, Im not enough. Its a negative bias that turns into a spiritual sin bias searching to get right with God.
It triggers more anxiety and they end up more exhausted!
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Effect Of Climate Change On Food Security
Food security will be maintained when access to food by all people at all times is adequate for an active and healthy life . Biodiversity is a key source of food . If biodiversity is negatively affected by CC it goes to show that the world food security is greatly threatened stemming from an imbalance in the natural ecosystem . Therefore, concerns over species extinction are warranted because of the goods and services provided by species such as pollination, natural pest control, food, and medicine. CC is affecting those goods, services, and ecosystem resilience through hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, drought, and extreme weather events . For example, rainfall and Elinio events between 1996 to 2003 produce high amounts of precipitation in parts of equatorial, East Africa, and resulted in flooding, reduction of crops, and agricultural yields. Therefore, change in climatic effects has immediate impacts on food production and distribution . Moreover, changes in mean temperatures and rainfall will affect the suitability of land for crops, pasture, and productivity of marine resources. It will also increases the incidence of pests and diseases loss of biodiversity, a decline of ecosystem functioning reduce the availability of water for crop, livestock, and inland fish production, groundwater depletion, and sea-level rise .
Table 2 Impacts of droughts on livestock in African countries for the year 1981 to 1999
We Must Be Clothed In God’s Armor In Order To Stand In The Battle
God has not left us to stand on our own. He tells us what protection and weapons we have to fight this spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:10-17 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Our only offensive weapon is the sword: Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God .
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Scripture Quotes For Depression
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you be not dismayed, for I am your God I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Psalm 143:7-8 Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
What Does The Bible Say About Depression
Proverbs 12:25 mentions depression directly, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” . That’s a good place to begin. In this little couplet God, via the wisdom of Solomon, provides both a diagnosis and prescription that can help people grow beyond depression. A heart full of anxiety is the culprit. Jesus said:
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”.
In broad strokes, many Christians suffering from depression can find hope in biblical foundations. You can also find stories of the Bible where certain people experienced depression: Moses , David , Elijah , Job, Jonah , Psalmist .
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