The Cause And Cure of Depression --- Travis Case
Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher Northgate Baptist Church

The Cause And Cure of Depression

 

Psalms 77:1-20, "I cried unto God with my voice, unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. {2} In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. {3} I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. {4} Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. {5} I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. {6} I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. {7} Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? {8} Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth promise fail for evermore? {9} Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. {10} And I said, This my infirmity: but I will remember> the years of the right hand of the most High. {11} I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. {12} I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. {13} Thy way, O God, in the sanctuary: who great a God as God? {14} Thou the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. {15} Thou hast with arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. {16} The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. {17} The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. {18} The voice of thy thunder in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. {19} Thy way in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. {20} Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

Introduction:

A. Most of us know what depression is --- few can claim that they have never experienced depression.

B. Certainly, even the psalmist (a man after God's own heart) was depressed.

I. Depression Affects Us In At Least Four Ways:

A. It Overwhelms Our Spirit

1. Psalms 77:3, "I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah."

2. One dictionary definition of depression is "a lowering of the spirit".

3. Has your spirit been defeated, dejected and overwhelmed.

B. It Awaken Our Memory

1. Psalms 77:6, "I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search."

2. The psalmist remembered the times when he had been able to sing, even in the night --- but not now.

3. When he compared the past with the present --- he longed for the past.

4. However, even the very memory of the good times --- made him even more miserable.

C. It Robs Us Of Sleep

1. Psalms 77:4, "Thou holdest mine eyes waking: ..." --- his eyelids refused to close.

2. Depression is usually worse at night than during the day.

D. It Seals Our Lips

1. Psalms 77:4, "... I am so troubled that I cannot speak."

2. Have you ever been where you had no desire to speak.

3. There are two reasons for dumbness --- pre-occupation and depression.

4. We can easily rouse ourselves out of our pre-occupation, but not out of our depression.

II. The Most Common Causes Of Depression:

A. A Morbid, Pessimistic Outlook On Life

1. Psalms 77:2, "In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted."

2. Some people are full of pessimism --- always thinking and speaking in the "negative" --- even "enjoying bad health."

3. As Christians we should cultivate a holy optimism and deliberately refuse to dwell upon the dark side of things.

4. What right do we have to be pessimists?

B. An Offending Conscience

1. Psalms 77:3, "I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah."

2. In his depression he suddenly remembered God --- and was troubled.

a. Evidently he did not have a conscience "void of offence". --- Acts 24:16, "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and men."

b. There was something between him and God.

3. Is there anything between you and God --- Are you disobeying Him in any way.

Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

C. A Complaining Spirit

1. Psalms 77:3, "... I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah."

2. The person who is always complaining is especially prone to depression.

D. Too Much Unhealthy Introspection

1. Psalms 77:6, "I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search."

2. We must make sure that our depression is not caused by sin.

a. We do need to search and try our ways.

b. Lamentations 3:40, "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD."

c. Psalms 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: {24} And see if wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

3. However, we must at all cost avoid plunging into an unhealthy, unspiritual, morbid introspection that keeps looking inside and can see nothing but bad.

4. The look we need to cultivate is indicated in:

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Colossians 3:1-2, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. {2} Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

5. Many of God's people are spiritually, mentally and physically ill because they keep looking at themselves.

E. Leaving God Out Of Our Reckoning

1. Psalms 77:7-9, "Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? {8} Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth promise fail for evermore? {9} Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah."

2. This is the all-inclusive reason we stay depressed.

3. We fail to reckon on the presence, power and provision of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

III. What Is The Cure For Depression?

A. First, How Do I Keep From Becoming Depressed?

1. Try to lead a regular, healthy life,

2. Get the right amount of sleep, relaxation, exercise,

3. Get the right amount of fresh air, food and fun,

4. Stay busy --- plenty of work,

5. Seek to live an all-round balanced life to the glory of God.

(( However, Should Depression Descend Upon You: ))

B. Admit And Confess It At Once

1. Psalms 77:10, "And I said, This my infirmity: the years of the right hand of the most High."

2. Depression is not a sin, --- though staying under it may well be.

3. Depression is a weakness --- we must not pretend it does not exist.

4. If it comes, admit that it is there --- Paul did.

2 Corinthians 7:5, "For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without fightings, within fears."

C. Seek God "In The Sanctuary"

1. Psalms 77:13, "Thy way, O God, in the sanctuary: who great a God as God?"

2. In the place of prayer.

a. Privately --- Matthew 6:6, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

b. Corporately --- Acts 12:5, "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."

3. Remember, His way is not only in the sanctuary (V. 13) --- but also in the midst of your difficult circumstances.

Psalms 77:19, "Thy way in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known."

D. Encourage Yourself In The Lord

1. Psalms 77:10-12, "And I said, This my infirmity: the years of the right hand of the most High. {11} I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. {12} I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings." --- V. 14, "Thou the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people."

2. Do what David did.

1 Samuel 30:6, "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

Psalms 34:1-6, of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise continually in my mouth. {2} My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear , and be glad. {3} O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. {4} I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. {5} They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. {6} This poor man cried, and the LORD heard , and saved him out of all his troubles."

E. Testify To Others Of The Lord's Doings

1. Psalms 77:12, "I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings."

2. This will soon banish depression!




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