Rx For The Soul...Depression

Posted by Perry


1 Kings 19:1-18
CBC 1/10/10 SM
INTRO: Name the Opposites…
Joy – Sadness
Depression – Elation
Woe – “giddy up” …lol
Psychiatrists Minrith & Meier… “Majority of Americans suffer from a serious, clinical depression @ some point in their lives. Most never get help…they just fight this battle on their own.”
Depression is wide-spread
50,000 people/wk @ Minrith-Meier Clinics
Depression Case Study in I Kings 19:
CLASSIC SYMPTOMS
· Fear – 1Ki 19:3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life
· Suicidal tendencies – 1Ki 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers."
· Excessive tiredness – 1Ki 19:5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.
· Feelings of rejection – 1Ki 19:10 He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away."
PREVIOUS EVENT
· victory on Mt. Carmel
· exposed 400 prophets of Baal as fake
· experienced “fire from heaven”
· experienced “drought breaking rain”
· v-i-c-t-o-r-y
· why would a man who had preached an impressive message & experienced displays of God’s power…
o be crippled by fear?
o Exp. Hopelessness & despair?
o Run away into desolate corner of world & seek to die?
· probably all kinds of reasons
o fact is it happens all the time
o not a mark of a lack of faith
o not necessarily a mark of an immoral lifestyle
§ Elijah was THE man of God in his day
§ Now he’s down in the depths of despair
THAT’S NOT WHERE GOD LEFT HIM
God didn’t say, “well sorry Elijah – you have a chemical imbalance, and Paxil hasn’t been invented yet – so I can’t help you!”
· long before psychiatry
· before pills
· God healed a man of depression
NOTICE WHAT GOD DID
· God recognized Elijah’s depression was not an imaginary problem
o Didn’t tell him to increase his “faith”
o Didn’t treat him roughly
o In answer to Elijah’s prayer to die, God just lets him sleep.
o Then an angel feeds him & lets him sleep some more
o Then God sends him down to the desert in the South for 40 days & nights.
o In all that time God doesn’t say a word
o God doesn’t offer any council
o God doesn’t set him down for a face to face talk
o Elijah is left alone and given time to rest and think
GOD’S PRESCRIPTION FOR ELIJAH
· First, God sent him to church
o Mt. Horeb – mount of God in the peninsula of Sinai where the law was given to Israel.
o Church one of best places to deal with depression Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
o Duke University – study of 4000 older adults. “Attendance at a house of worship is related to lower rates of depression and anxiety.”
o Time alone w/ God in prayer and meditation
o Andrew Newberg, Dir. Clinical nuclear medicine @ Univ. of Pittsburgh used SPECT technique, prayer & meditation lower risk of depression & improve immune function.
· Second, God had Elijah tell Him what the problem was
And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
1Ki 19:13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

o Didn’t God know?...of course
o Elijah needed to vocalize what was wrong in his life
o Elijah needed to explain what he tho’t the problem was
o After verbalizing it…
· Third, God dealt with the false beliefs that were fueling Elijah’s depression.
o Joh 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
o Why is that?
o b/c false ideas (esp about God) have power to put us in bondage.
o Our lives are built around what we think is true about life.
o If the foundations of that reasoning are based on wrong info or impressions the result can be devastating
o Elijah’s reply revealed what he had wrong…”he didn’t think God was doing anything” 1Ki 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
o SW AR English – I’ve been beating my head against the wall serving you Lord. Everything seems to be falling apart…What have you been doing?
o God then corrects his thinking 1Ki 19:18 Yet will I leave me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
God says, “I haven’t been doing nothing, I’m just getting started.” 1Ki 19:15 And Jehovah said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over Syria;
1Ki 19:16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
o 1Ki 19:17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

· in our depression we tend to think God isn’t doing anything
o we have no hope
o no confidence
o God isn’t easily seen
o Need to realize, GOD IS WORKING IN OUR LIVES…even when we can’t see Him
CONCLUSION
· God got Elijah to church
· He got Elijah to tell Him what was wrong
· God corrected some of his false thinking & beliefs
· And lastly, God gave Elijah something to do.
Dr. Carl Menninger was asked, “What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?”
Answer: “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find somebody in need, and help that person.” To overcome discouragement, “Don’t focus on yourself, get involved in the lives of other people.”

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