Disciple Up #20
Dealing with Depression Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh 8-30-2017
Depression is a component of human existence.
Hippocrates, the ancient physician, wrote a treatise on melancholy.
Winston Churchill underwent severe bouts of depression.
Edgar Allan Poe is said to have been depressed after writing “The Pit and the Pendulum.”
Stalin’s daughter said that he was the victim of deep and dark depression.
Martin “Luther himself endured many instances of depression. He described the experience in varied terms: melancholy, heaviness, depression, dejection of spirit; downcast, sad, downhearted. He suffered in this area for much of his life and often revealed these struggles in his works. Evidently he did not think it a shameful problem to be hidden.”
Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher suffered lengthy bouts of darkness and melancholy.
And then there’s Jeremiah, known for good reason as the weeping prophet. If we’re going to look at depression and serving God we’ve got to look at him.
The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. Jeremiah 1:1-3 (ESV)
The exact meaning of Jeremiah is not certain: it may mean “the LORD exalts”; it may mean “the LORD hurls.” What is certain is that “the LORD,” the personal name of God, is in his name.
Jeremiah Endured Because…
Jeremiah as almost all the prophets, saw themselves as people being acted upon by God. This is God’s call, God’s will, God’s plan, NOT his! If we are to endure the hardships of ministry we must understand that this is all about God and what HE wants, not about us.
1:4-5: …of his call. See Eph. 2:10, etc.
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5 (ESV)
1:10: His Mission Statement – get examples of Jesus, Paul, etc.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:10 (ESV)
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:11-12 (ESV)
The almond tree is one of the earliest trees to bloom in Palestine. Before it puts forth leaves, it puts forth blossoms, white and snowy.
The vision is accented with a word play. The word almond and the word watching are nearly identical in Hebrew. “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I see a shaped (“almond”). “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you. I am shoqed (“watching”) my word to make every word I give you come true. I am watching my word like a shepherd watching his flock.
1:17b-19: God’s promise of strength to Jeremiah
… Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” Jeremiah 1:17b-19 (ESV)
SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
1. I do things slowly.
2. My future seems hopeless.
3. It is hard for me to concentrate on reading.
4. The pleasure and joy has gone out of my life.
5. I have difficulty making decisions.
6. I have lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me.
7. I feel sad, blue, and unhappy.
8. I am agitated and keep moving around.
9. I feel fatigued.
10. It takes great effort for me to do simple things.
11. I feel that I am a guilty person who deserves to be punished.
12. I feel like a failure.
13. I feel lifeless — more dead than alive.
14. My sleep has been disturbed — too little, too much, or broken sleep.
15. I spend time thinking about HOW I might kill myself.
16. I feel trapped or caught.
17. I feel depressed even when good things happen to me.
18. Without trying to diet, I have lost, or gained, weight.
JEREMIAH’S SOFT HEART – WE NEED THIS TOO BUT THE COST IS HIGH:
My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me. Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: “Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?” “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored? Jeremiah 8:18-22 (ESV)
JEREMIAH’S HONESTY WITH GOD:
He complains to God about all this:
Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, “He will not see our latter end.” Jeremiah 12:1-4 (ESV)
God Answer him:
“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? Jer. 12:5
JEREMIAH COMPLAINS AGAIN
You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable? Jeremiah 15:15-18 (NASB)
GOD’S INCREDIBLE ANSWER!!
Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them.
“Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” declares the LORD.
“So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.” Jeremiah 15:19-21 (NASB)
The Disciple Up Low Down On Depression, Pt. 2
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