This Sunday, Pastor Ed continued his series "How to Deal with How You Feel," looking at the topic of Depression.
Over 9 million Americans have depression, so this is an important topic.
We looked at Psalm 42-43, not a psalm about depression, but a psalm written in and from depression.
Three Epic, Liberating Truths:
1) Depression affects our spirits.
It affects our ability to detect God's presence. In Psalm 42:1, this is the thirst of the desert.
Depression is an emotional disorder, but it affects us physically and spiritually, too. There's no great wall separating our emotions from the rest of us.
-- If you're depressed, reject the thinking that you are actually distant from God. (Don't allow your feelings to be omnipotent.) Your nearness to God doesn't depend on your sense of his presence.
Don't surrender spiritual ground in the midst of depression.
-- Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions.
You must do spiritual work to adequately deal with depression.
Also do physical work to combat it, and emotional work.
2) Circumstances often aggravate depression.
The psalmist has a wonderful memory of worshiping at Jerusalem, but he's now far to the north. He's overwhelmed, and he's surrounded by a pack of skeptics.
-- When you experience depression, examine your circumstances and change what you can.
Possibly change your physical regimen.
Lean more completely into your support network. (Don't worry! This is what we're here for!)
*Be careful about making major life changes when depressed.*
-- Pray for either a change in circumstances or the ability to weather the circumstances. (43:3)
3) Depression is not a form of unfaithfulness and does not have to result in unfaithfulness.
The psalmist holds onto his faith.
-- You can battle depression!
Do some spiritual work!
We hear three voices -- our voice, God's voice, and the voice of the enemy. We can battle that third voice.
*Rehearse what you know to be true.
*Remember past times with God and what God has done.
-- Be realistic about your happiness.
The world is tough, but tough times can drive us to God.
We finished the service with prayer and Communion.
What do you think about these ideas? What helps you when you're down?