Tag Archive | Depression

What Are You Telling Yourself?

What are you telling yourself?

Are you listening to yourself and becoming more and more depressed?

What right have you to be depressed?

Do you think too highly of yourself and feel you deserve better?

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’-what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’-instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Depression Quote

“Do you want to know how great God truly is? If so, then you will have to discover how insignificant you truly are, and this means you will have to be brought low, perhaps to the deepest reaches of depression. But it will be worth it, and it will make you more useful to God as well, just as it did Job. Notice, for example, that at the beginning of the book we are told that Job offered sacrifices for his children and interceded for them (1:5). But at the end of the book Job’s ministry was expanded to include his friends (42:7-9). Thus he found that he was able to minister to the very friends who had let him down, and he was able to do so in a way he never could have had he not gone through the trials he went through. We are also told that Job received more blessing from the Lord than ever, after he had gone through all of his trials (42:12a).”

From a series at Reformed Baptist Blog on Depression.


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Feelings

FEELINGS (Morris Albert)

Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
trying to forget my feelings of love.

………

When I was growing up this was a hated song that was sung everywhere.  That song was sung for the purpose of making fun of others and as a parody in skits.  However, it honestly embodies a change that occurred in the way life has been lived since the sixties.  See until the revolution of the sixties people where more likely to make decisions based on “right and wrong”, honor, honesty, and the law; any number of governing factors were present.  But after the sixties “feelings” became a driving force in decisions.  Now, of course, there have always been individuals who based their life on their feelings, yet the majority of society did not, until the past fifty years.

Marriages were broken because spouses didn’t “feel” love for each other.

Children were sent off to daycare because mothers didn’t “feel” fulfilled as a homemaker.

Living together became more common because people didn’t “feel” like marriage.

Have you ever heard the expression “Feelings are neither right nor wrong; they just are“?  If you are a Christian you should instantly recognized that as a false statement.  Just an example:

Hate

Leviticus 19:17-18 (ESV)
17  “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.
18  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)
43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

So see the feeling of hate of another person is wrong and it is a sin.  Yet we may hate their works (their actions) such as murder, abuse, etc.

Revelation 2:6 (ESV) Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

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Do you think the dramatic increase in “mental illness” and depression can be related to this focus on “feelings”?

This is what Jay Adams says in his book The Christian Counselor’s Manual:

“Feelings are up and down, they have peaks and troughs…. Nothing short of commandment living (often in spite of feelings) can keep life stable.  The peaks and troughs grow larger as they are allowed to become the life motivating force; however, on the other hand, they tend to flatten out as life becomes commandment oriented.”

Do you know people who are so swayed by their feelings that their emotions are up and down constantly?

Dare we not confront another when they are swayed by their feelings in direct opposition to God’s commands?

Proverbs 27:5-6 (ESV)
5  Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Oh, that another would love us such to confront us about our acting according to our sinful feelings!

 


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Unfulfilled Longings

Lies Women Believe about Unfulfilled Longings By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Our society has bought into the philosophy that there is (or ought to be) a remedy (preferably quick and easy) for every unfulfilled longing.

We are encouraged to identify our longings and do whatever is necessary to get those “needs” met. Therefore . . . if you’re hungry, eat. If you want something you can’t afford, charge it. If you crave romance, dress or act in a way that will get men to notice you. If you’re lonely, share your heart with that married man at work.  more

The latter summary is this:

The truth is, every created thing is guaranteed to disappoint us. Things can burn or break or be stolen or get lost. People can move or change or fail or die. It took the loss of some of my dearest loved ones some years ago to awaken me to the truth that I would always live in a state of disappointment if I was looking to people to satisfy me at the core of my being.

More of this is covered in the book Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.


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The Older Feminist Women Today

Have you ever sat and thought about the feminist women, those of the sixties through the eighties, who are getting older?  The ones who rejected marriage or else went through several failed marriages?  They may or may not have children.  Do you know any that fit that description?

One thing I’ve noticed more and more frequently is that there are large amounts of women who are getting past the prime of their life and they are doing so alone. 

  • They do not have a husband to grow old with.

  • They often don’t have children to help care for them.

  • If they do have children many times the children are insecurely attached.  They’ve spent too many years in changing childcare situations to be attached well.

  • The women have to work hard to be able to support themselves on their income so often they work much later in life or for many more hours than others.

  • But the most interesting thing and sad thing is that the women are often so bitter and depressed.  They are still mad at men even though many rejected men years ago.

The older feminist women wanted their freedom and the right to make their own choices without the government, the church, husbands or families having any input.  They have gotten what they wanted, but do they really want that now?  No, now they are lonely and forgotten. 

Now granted some of the women who have large amounts of money are able to buy and pay for all they need.  But the average American woman who accepted the feminist ideology, where does that put her?  She is often barely getting by, worried about her retirement account, afraid of being sick or alone and she’s miserable.

For fear of becoming victims to husbands and tied down with children they have now become their own victims.  Victims to loneliness and depression.  From fear of being badgered by oppressive husbands, they have become badgered by oppressive bosses.

The deeper problem is that the Lord was rejected just as soundly as the men were rejected.  You can’t be a Bride of Christ if you reject the principles of marriage.  While a few feminist have been part of the church, I contend they have distorted their relationship with Christ just as they distorted their relationships with men.  You cannot reject submission in all human forms and still submit to Jesus Christ as Lord.

How can we today minister to these droves of lonely and miserable women who are in need of the Savior and the Bridegroom whom they’ve rejected?



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How Are You Advising Others?

Most of us do not serve as official counselors nor do we typically sit down with someone on a regular basis to counsel them. Neither did the servants in the example below.  However, in a general sense we all counsel others daily whether it is a spouse, our children or just our friends in conversation. Do you consider well your counsel before giving it?

An interesting story in the book of 1 Samuel is the story of Saul being tormented by the evil spirit.

1 Samuel 16:14-23

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”
19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul.
21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer.
22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”
23 And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
ESV

When Saul was being tormented what did his servants counsel him to do?

1 Samuel 16:15-16
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.

Listen to soothing music. (While the soothing music issue is a very interesting issue, it is for a later discussion.) But what did they not advise Saul to do?

  • Pray
  • Seek God
  • Read the Scriptures

Was Saul ultimately helped by listening to David’s music?

No.

He was only helped temporarily. There was no lasting effect. Listening to soothing and even God centered music did not calm the torment in Saul’s soul. We can see that as we read further into the book of 1 Samuel. Saul was tormented such that he tried to kill David on several occasions and Saul suffered under paranoia and delusional attacks thinking David was trying to kill him.

The music only was a temporary balm, or band-aid, to his troubled soul. The true relief that Saul could have found in turning to God and his Word was not offered to him by his counselors.

It is a lot easier if we just stick band-aids on another’s soul than when we actually deal with the real issue, separation from God. How can we not direct another to the true source of healing from the torments they face?

I’m sure the servants that counseled Saul were concerned for themselves and they sought immediate relieve for Saul if only to make their own life easier. It would have been much harder to point out to Saul that his disobedience had turned God away from him.

1 Samuel 28:16-18

16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy?
17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.
18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day.
ESV

Is it easier for us to seek the immediate relief when counseling another than to deal with the real issues and direct another back to the Lord?

You bet it is.

But temporary fixes do not work.

Despite the fact that Saul was soothed by David’s music, he was also more and more tormented as time went on. Throwing spears in the castle are not signs of a soothed soul. I’m sure that the servants suffered even more during Saul’s mental breakdown.

Oh that we would always encourage another to seek the Lord.

Isaiah 55:6-7
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
ESV



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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure:

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ’. That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you. What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying. No! You just begin to say:

 

I rest my faith on Him alone
Who died for my transgressions to atone.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org


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