September 3, 2008

Victory Over Depression

Posted in Devotionals at 2:56 pm by Sarah Bosse

Victory Over Depression
By Dr. James MacDonald

 

Category: Problems, Relying on God, Sin / Suffering / Satan

 

“There he came to a cave and lodged in it.  And behold, the word of the Lord came  to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” … And he said, “Go  out and stand on the mount before the Lord.”  And behold, the Lord passed by,  and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks  before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the  wind an earthquake, but the Lord was  not in the earthquake. And after the  earthquake a fire, but the Lord  was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in  his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” 1 Kings  19:9,11-13                       

True  or false? The Bible never talks about godly people who battled depression.

                       

                            If you were  around last week for our visit with Elijah under the juniper tree, then you  know that answer is false. In 1 Kings 18-19 (as well as other places), God not  only pictures for us people who were depressed, but from their lives He also  shows us the way out of depression. If you remember, the difference between  people is not the intensity of the  things that we go through, but how we choose to deal with those circumstances. We  talked last week about the three steps that take you down into depression and I  promised you that this week we’d look at five steps to getting out of that valley  and on to victory.

                       

That is exactly  what Elijah did—he got out of the valley. How? He met God and let Him change him. Let’s look at Elijah’s choices in detail.  Ask yourself if these are decisions that you too need to make:

                       

1. Let God  confront you. In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah’s frame of mind drove him to a cave.  Alone and exhausted, Elijah was asleep in the cool blackness when God spoke to  him. Elijah, what are you doing here? Stuttering with lame excuses, Elijah didn’t have a good reason for isolating  himself. Notice that the Lord didn’t get angry or judgmental of His servant; He  just ministered grace to him. I love that.

                       

2. Let God  reveal Himself to you. Once He comforted Elijah, God showed Himself strong. Go stand outside, Elijah. “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the  mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord  was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And  after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord  was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.Did you hear where God’s message was  communicated? In the quiet and the un-spectacular. We live in a day when people  clamor, Make my eyes go wow, God, and then I’ll believe in You. But  Elijah had seen the wild stuff and he was like, whatever. When God whispered to him in a still, small voice: It’s Me, Elijah. It’s going to be OK. You  can trust Me, thenElijah came  around.

                       

3. Let God provide for you. Finally, once Elijah  was in a place where he could receive help, God supernaturally sent food and  rest. If you’ll let Him, God will nourish you too with His Word or through a  friend or through a piece of wisdom that He brings to mind and you’ll feel  yourself getting stronger.

                       

4. Immediately do what God says. God gave  Elijah the very specific instructions to  leave the cave. Verses 15 through 17 can be paraphrased, Get up, man. Get on with life!

                       

5. Get  involved with people again. After all this, God sent Elijah back to  civilization. God said, I have reserved seven  thousand people in Israel  who have never bowed to Baal who are as faithful as you are. Go back and get  with those people. 

                       

Which of these  five steps up to victory do you need to take?

                       

                               

  • Do you need to trust God with some hard things  in your life? By trusting Him, you also let Him confront you with the truth.                            
  • Are you looking for God to show up in some  dramatic way and heal you? Listen instead for His whisper.                            
  • Are you seeking out God’s provision in His Word?  Be open to receiving nourishment from God’s Word and God’s people.                            
  • What is God saying you need to do to get back  into life again? Whatever it is, do it immediately.                           
  • Are you getting back with people again? Ask God  to give you the courage to begin today.                      
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1 Comment »

  1. emily said,

    these are really great and helpful thoughts. thanks so much for sharing them.


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