Handling Depression Biblically – Part 2 + LINKUP

 

Handling Depression Biblically - Part 2 - Depression, if you’ve ever suffered with it, you know it can be a dark, discouraging place to be. At its worst, it’s been called the “dark night of the soul.” But there is hope for those experiencing discouragement, depression, and hopelessness.

Did people in biblical times experience feelings of depression? Is so, what can we learn from their lives and God’s interaction with them?

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

 

We’re in a series on “Handling Emotions Biblically.” Previously we covered how to handle anger in God honoring ways. You can click the link above to read those posts.

Last week we began discussing depression, in particular, the different definitions of depression: the medical definition, the cultural and the biblical.

 

Handling Depression Biblically – Part 2

 

Last week I said that no one is immune to feelings of depression. For some it’s a mild sense of sadness, for others it can feel debilitating. Today we’re going to look at the biblical definition again and how it compares to discouragement. We’ll, also, look at Elijah’s and Jeremiah’s lives and how they responded to these feelings.

 

Depression or Discouragement?

 

The feelings involved in both depression and discouragement are much the same. They can be extremely painful and difficult and can tempt us to give in to them. The depressed person responds by shutting down. He or she stops functioning in some or all areas of life.

She may stop going to work, quit cleaning the house, avoid people, or refuse to get out of bed altogether. But when a person is discouraged, as I’m defining it here, he or she keeps going, keeps handling life, in spite of their feelings to the contrary.

So, I would define depression as, “a debilitating mood, feeling or attitude of hopelessness which becomes a person’s reason for not handling the most important issues of life.”

The difference between discouragement and depression is immobility. With depression there is an almost total reliance on feelings and those feelings become the basis for their action or inaction.

Numerous people in the Bible experienced feelings of discouragement and/or depression, including: Elijah, David, Jonah, Jeremiah, and Cain.

Today we’ll look at a two of the prophets, Elijah and Jeremiah, and next week we’ll talk about David, Jonah, and Cain.  Continue reading

“Exhaustion, Disappointment, & Discouragement” June 5

 

exhaustion

Elijah had just witnessed one of the most incredible and dramatic moves of God. But now, he had decided he was the only one left serving God, that those in charge were going to kill him, and that God wasn’t really working at all. He was so discouraged that he asked God to kill him. Instead of doing so, God gave him what we really needed. Could understanding what that was help you when you’re depressed and ready to give up?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 19 & 20
Psalm 70.1-5
Proverbs 18.1-2
John 14.1-31

 

Exhaustion, Disappointment & Discouragement

 

1 Kings 19 & 20:

God’s Provision for Elijah

 

I always find it amazing that after defeating the prophets of Baal and seeing God do such a mighty work, Elijah would respond the way he did to Jezebel’s threat (chap. 19). But it’s a good reminder to us that when we get exhausted, physically and/or spiritually, things often seem much worse than they are, because we can easily get our eyes off God and on to our own strength or the lack of it.

As John MacArthur pointed out in his Daily Bible, he probably expected Ahab and Jezebel to repent after that great display of God’s power and when they didn’t, he became discouraged.

 

Elijah’s disappointment over their lack of repentance and his own physical and spiritual exhaustion led to discouragement and depression (in verse 19.3 he asked God to take his life). Instead God gave him what he, actually, needed.

 

First, food and rest:

5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

Elijah had decided he was the only one left serving God, that those in charge were going to kill him, and that God wasn’t really working at all. That seems amazing from our perspective, but that’s the nature of discouragement and depression. It warps our sense of reality.

So, second, he needed God’s perspective on the situation. After announcing His presence with a mighty wind, an earthquake, and fire, God spoke to him and revealed His plan and instructions (19.15-17).

Then He addressed Elijah’s self pity and false belief that he was the only one left of God’s people:

Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him (v. 19.18).

 

The Goodness of God

 

The other thing that’s amazing is how God continued to give Ahab and Jezebel opportunities to see His power and goodness, and to repent and turn from their idolatry! In chapter 20 He gave them two great victories over Syria and each time He said, “… and you shall know that I am the Lord” (vss. 20.13, 28).  Continue reading

“Don’t lose heart, cave in or give up!” March 25

 

Don't lose heart, cave in or give up! - Do you feel discouraged in some area? Feel like caving in or giving up? Don't lose heart! God is faithful. Wait on Him.Do you feel discouraged in some area? Feel like caving in or giving up? Don’t lose heart! God is faithful. Wait on Him.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 11 & 12
Psalm 37.18-22
Proverbs 12.12
Luke 2.1-24

 

Don’t lose heart, cave in or give up!

 

Deuteronomy 11 & 12:

Don’t Lose Heart

 

There is so much worth commenting on in these two chapters but let’s focus on 11.16 which says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” Maybe you’re feeling discouraged about something, maybe even thinking about giving up.

Maybe you have been trying to walk with the Lord, trying to read your Bible, trying to grow and be the husband or wife, father or mother God has called you to be. Maybe you have been waiting for your husband, your wife, or someone else to come to know the Lord. Maybe you have been waiting for God to answer some other prayer. Continue reading

“The Tribulation: Opening the 7 Seals” December 16

 

The Tribulation: God is a God of mercy and grace, but He is also the Righteous Judge and will one day, possibly soon, begin opening the seven seals of Revelation 6 and unleashing final judgment on all who refuse to repent and turn to Him for forgiveness. What will that look like?

Also read about praying when you’re discouraged and God’s wisdom.

 

Today’s Readings:
Amos 8 & 9
Psalm 143.1-6
Proverbs 30.1-4
Revelation 6.1-17

 

The Tribulation: Opening the 7 Seals

 

Revelation 6.1-17:

Opening the Seven Seals

 

seven seals

Well, we’re getting into the heart of the book of Revelation—today chapter 6.

In this chapter we see God’s wrath, being poured out in the events of the Tribulation period. His wrath is represented by the seven seals on the scroll. Chapter 6 briefly describes the opening of the first six seals.

The first seal reveals a white horse, on it a rider with a bow who goes out “conquering and to conquer.” Although there is a bow, there are no arrows, so this conquering will be done through peaceful means—lies and deception. So, at first, there will appear to be a time of peace, but it will be short lived.

The second seal reveals another horse and rider. This time the horse is red representing bloodshed—war and wholesale killing. The killing will not just be during warfare, but murder will become commonplace.

The third seal reveals a black horse and rider. The black horse speaks of famine and shortages. This will lead to rationing, food lines, and price gouging.

When the fourth seal is opened we see a pale horse and his rider—Death, followed by Hades. This pale or ashen color is the color of a corpse when it is decaying. This horseman will be given the power to kill one-fourth of the world’s population.  Continue reading

“Could guilt lead to paranoia?” October 27

 

Could guilt lead to paranoia? - Could guilt lead to paranoia?Could guilt lead to paranoia? Could those feelings of guilt and anxiety be God’s early warning system to keep us from experiencing deeper emotional issues? And what happens when we ignore those warnings?

Also read about God’s faithfulness in hard times and a biblical view of authority.

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 39 & 40
Psalm 119.81-88
Proverbs 28.1
1 Timothy 6.1-21

 

Could guilt lead to paranoia?

 

Proverbs 28.1:

Guilt, Anxiety & Paranoia

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

Wickedness can lead to double-mindedness, fear, worry and what the world calls “paranoia.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines paranoia as “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.”

God gave each of us a conscience. Romans 2.14-15:

14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them).

And when we violate our consciences, we’ll experience guilt, anxiety and, at times, even paranoia. Not all guilt and anxiety are bad. Sometimes they’re God’s early warning system to keep us from hardening our hearts and doing things that can harm us or others.

But when we refuse to heed the warning behind those unpleasant emotions, they can morph into paranoia and a continued downward spiral of sin (Rom. 1.18-32).

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Jeremiah 39 & 40:

The Faithfulness of God in Hard Times

What a sweet testimony to the faithfulness of God!

When the city was defeated, Nebuchadnezzar gave orders that Jeremiah was not just to be spared, but to be given a ration and told he was free to go anywhere he wanted to go!

We get so concerned about how the economy or some political change will affect us. Instead of standing firm for truth in the face of adversity and evil, we compromise, worry, and put our trust in other gods, like government, to save us. Instead of voting for candidates who are morally right we vote our pocketbooks (who promises me the most?). We lie to get unemployment benefits. Or we compromise our values in the work place, the classroom and the marketplace. Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “Why, Lord?” + LINKUP

Chapter 5 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”

This week: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).

In this chapter the author points out that few people in history have ever seen the number of miracles that the children of Israel did during the Exodus and the events that followed. Yet, when they got their eyes off of yesterday’s blessings (and miracles) and on to today’s problems, they started to question God.

As they focused on the “now,” they were unhappy about two things. They didn’t like how they were being led and they didn’t like what they were being fed. They became discouraged and started to grumble and complain about Moses and the menu … and they rebelled. Quoting the author:

Discouragement left to fester can have devastating results. Ask any one of these Jews in the wilderness. They learned that when we openly rebel against God’s leadership and provision in our lives, He often disciplines us for our own benefit: “The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died” (Numbers 21: 6).

Discouragement comes from getting our eyes off of the Lord and His provision. When it’s not dealt with, it leads to sin and rebellion against God which, in turn, leads to painful consequences. God sent fiery serpents among them. When they were bitten it caused excruciating pain and some even died.

Sin causes pain in our lives, too, and as Paul told us, the end result is death (Rom. 6.23). But discouragement also has a remedy. When the people cried out, Moses prayed and God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. When the people looked at it, they were healed.

In the New Testament, Jesus told Nicodemus, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (Jn. 3.14-15).

That bronze serpent in the wilderness represented Christ. He was the answer then, just as He is now.

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Next week’s question is, “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

  linkup


 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs: Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries Book Musing Mondays Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels My Daily Walk in His Grace Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Missional Call Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness   This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“The Jesus Code: Discouragement, Diversion & Doubt” + LINKUP

Chapter 3 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins.

For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?” (Genesis 3.1).

Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18.25).

And this week: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39.9).

This week hit close to home. I’ll explain in a minute.

First let me talk a little about the question itself. You probably remember the setting. Joseph had been sold by his jealous brothers into slavery. He wound up in Egypt in the home of a man named Potiphar.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority … 

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”

Joseph was faced with the age-old temptation.

His master was gone. Who would know?

But Joseph understood that sin was not just sin against another person, but more importantly, against God Himself. So he ran.

Joseph’s stand for righteousness cost him. Once she was rebuffed, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of rape and Joseph was thrown into prison.

Many years before, Joseph had a dream of his brothers and parents bowing down to him. Now sitting in that prison, his dream must have seemed nearly hopeless.

In this great chapter Hawkins talks about the three obstacles Joseph had to overcome to reach his dream – the same three obstacles many of us must overcome before we’ll reach our dreams:

  • Discouragement
  • Diversion
  • Doubt

So why was this chapter so personal? Because I have been struggling with some discouragement, and even some doubt, about my own dream. Just this morning, before I read this week’s chapter, I was pouring my heart out to God.

Then God did a couple of things for me. First, I had a schedule change and was free during our early morning service, so I decided to attend our women’s Sunday school class. Our Women’s Ministry Director was teaching on goal setting. The first thing she said was, “Do you have a dream?” She went on to make some great points, most of which I had heard before, but I heard them today with that clarity only the Lord can give.

When I got home and sat down to read this chapter, those “obstacles” jumped off the page at me, especially, discouragement and doubt. As I read the rest of the chapter, I could feel the Lord continue to minister to me and refresh my dream.

If you have a dream and you’re getting weary of waiting or just feeling discouraged for some reason, I want to encourage you to read the rest of the chapter for yourself.

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Next week’s question is, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3.11).

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

 

linkup


I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries Book Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels My Daily Walk in His Grace Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Missional Call
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

 

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

July 23 “Got problems?”

Got problems? If you are like most of us, you have a few, maybe a lot! Are you distressed, fearful, anxious, or discouraged? Where are you looking for the answers?

imagesCAB0B7SS

Today’s Readings:
Ezra 7 & 8
Psalm 88.1-5
Proverbs 21.21-22
Acts 23.16-35

Ezra 7 & 8:

How God protects His Word

As you can well imagine, most of the returning Jews who had lived and been born in a pagan culture had little understanding of God’s law. But chapter 7 verse 6 says:

“This Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given.”

Ezra had faithfully studied and meditated on the laws and precepts of God in spite of the culture around him. And because of his faithful preparation, he was instrumental in teaching the people who returned to Jerusalem from the captivity and was greatly used by God!

bible

Do you suppose he ever wondered, “Why am I spending all this time reading and studying and memorizing?” John MacArthur says in his Daily Bible that, according to tradition, Ezra had God’s law memorized. That would have been at least the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—memorized! God has always supernaturally protected His Word and always had a remnant of men and women faithful to seek to understand and apply it. Continue reading

June 5 “Exhaustion, disappointment and lack of spiritual food”

Allowing yourself to get to the point of exhaustion, dwelling on disappointment, and neglecting your time in the Word can easily lead to discouragement and, even, depression.

exhausted

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 19 & 20
Psalm 70.1-5
Proverbs 18.1-2
John 14.1-31

1 Kings 19 & 20:

Exhaustion and disappointment and discouragement

I always find it amazing that after defeating the prophets of Baal and seeing God do such a mighty work, Elijah would respond the way he did to Jezebel’s threat (chap. 19). But it’s a good reminder to us that when we get exhausted, physically and/or spiritually things often seem much worse than they are, because we can easily get our eyes off God and on to our own strength or the lack of it.

As John MacArthur pointed out in his Daily Bible, he probably expected Ahab and Jezebel to repent after that great display of God’s power and when they didn’t, it was easy to get discouraged.

Elijah’s disappointment over their lack of repentance and his own physical and spiritual exhaustion led to discouragement and depression (in verse 19.3 he asked God to take his life). Instead God gave him what he needed. Continue reading

March 4 “The law of jealousy – unfair to women?”

What does an Old Testament law about jealousy have to do with us today?

jealousy

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 5 & 6
Psalm 30.8-12
Proverbs 11.1-3
Mark 8.22-38

Numbers 5 & 6:

The adultery or jealousy test

Numbers 5 contains a passage that is difficult to understand and, at first glance, seems highly slanted against women, but it’s important to study it in light of God’s sovereignty and in light of other Scripture.

Verses 11-31 describe a ceremony to be performed when a man suspected, but couldn’t prove, his wife had committed adultery. Continue reading