Symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or hopeless mood.
- Irritability and feelings of anger.
- Weight loss or weight gain.
- Loss of sleep and energy or too much sleep.
- Lose interest in most or all pleasurable activities.
- Reduced ability to concentrate, remember, or make decisions.
- Overcome with feelings of hopelessness, uselessness, or guilt.
- Manifests into physical pain in your body.
Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 18-19 is an example of depression brought on by physical exhaustion.
Illness can be another physical cause of depression.
Psalm 88:15, 18 (NIV)
- SENSE OF LOSS
The aging process can bring both physical pains and a sense of loss for the missed opportunities and regrets that can flood your mind.
Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet.
- ENVIRONMENT AND CIRCUMSTANCES
Job is an example of how depression can overwhelm us because of our environment and circumstances.
- POOR SELF CONCEPT
A healthy self concept is made up of three things:
- Your sense of IDENTITY. We are satisfied with who we are as a person.
- Your sense of WORTH. Without being boastful or proud we know that we are valuable to God and other people.
- Your sense of COMPETENCE. We have the self confidence to know we can succeed and do what is asked of us.
Naomi is a perfect example of how a poor self-concept breeds depression. (Ruth 1:20)
- SPIRITUAL FAILURE Sin or spiritual failure can make us depressed.
Another name for this kind of depression is guilt.
Remember what David said in Psalm 32 that describes the depth of his depression brought on by his sin with Bathsheba?
- Psalm 32:3-4
If your depression is brought on by lingering guilt it has become shame.
- SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Many doctors and psychologists won’t think of spiritual warfare as a part of your depression.
- Six steps to climb out of the “Valley of Gloom”
We discover freedom from depression by learning to follow the footsteps and example of Jesus.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was engaged in perhaps His greatest spiritual battles with Satan.
This was the deciding moment for Jesus.
- Mark 14:33
- Matthew 26:37
- Jesus did not isolate Himself.
- Matthew 26:36-37
Jesus did not try to win His battle with despair/depression all by Himself.
- Galatians 6:2
Jesus was open and honest about the trial He was facing; He did not let His despair/depression isolate Him from others.
- Jesus did not put on a mask and pretend everything was okay.
- Matthew 26:38
Jesus not only was with His disciples, but He let them in on the struggle He was going through.
- Notice too that Jesus didn’t just tell everyone about His need.
Use wisdom as you share your depression and heartache with others.
- Jesus prayed and was
honest with God.
- Matthew 26:39
Jesus told the Father about His heartache.
• Psalm 51:16-17
• Psalm 18:6
- Jesus did not get trapped by bitterness or blame.
- Matthew 26:40-41
• Matthew 26:43-44
Jesus did not become bitter with His disciples; He didn’t hold a grudge or push them away. Jesus let them sleep and He continued to pray!
Will we follow Jesus example or will we make mountains out of mole hills? Will we make a big deal over the faults and failures of our friends and make them bear the brunt of our depression, or will we avoid the trap of bitterness and blame?
- Jesus ‘prayed continually’ and received strength
- Matthew 26:42, 44
• Luke 22:43
- Jesus faced His crisis and took action in God’ strength.
- Matthew 26:45-46
Jesus got up from His time in prayer and confronted His difficulty head on.
- Philippians 4:13
Will you follow Jesus’ example and find freedom from depression?
- 1 Peter 2:21
Will we follow His steps and climb out of our Valley of Gloom?