Survival Guide: Fend Off Depression, Part #1

30 04 2009

worst-case-scenarioWhat is so cool about the Bible is that there are people just like us who struggled with discouragement, doubt and depression. Elijah, a spokesperson for God in the Old Testament was seriously down, defeated and depressed. His story is told in 1 Kings 19.

1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died

Ever been there? Feeling like you would like your fed up and ready to give up? Elijah, like many of us was a the end of his rope. When I am feeling down, I start to at just like Elijah. We do these four things which only increases our depression.

1. Focus on Your Feelings
2. Push People Away
3. Compare Yourself to Others
4. Assume the Worst

Elijah did all of those things, but what is so amazing is God’s response. God doesn’t condemn him; He doesn’t criticize him. Elijah may have given up on God, but God hasn’t given up on Elijah. He offers a practical Survival Guide to help people like you and me fend off depression. He pulls Elijah up and restores his soul.

1. Take Care of Your Physical Needs
5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength.

2. Don’t Suppress Your Frustrations, Tell them to God
There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

3. Understand God’s Position and Power
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

4. Start Again
15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.

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