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Dealing with Depression
Today, I want to talk with you about a significant topic.
May is the month when we focus on Better Mental Health in the United States, and it seems like the right time to discuss such things.
Did you know that the Bible addresses our emotional and mental health?
Now, I’m not a trained counselor, but I have some very practical suggestions that may help today!
This is such an important topic.
And you do not have to suffer alone!
My prayer is that you will begin to find hope again today!
Let’s Talk about Dealing with Depression
So much of what we learn about mental health, we learn through the stories of various Bible characters.
And just as a reminder, don’t forget that the people on the pages of the Bible really lived and were real people.
Honestly, I think sometimes we look at them as stories or folk heroes, or fables, but they are not.
They are real people who struggle with real issues.
And one of those men, in particular, is a man named Moses. Perhaps you remember him and his story.
Did you know that Moses struggled with depression??
And today, we’re going to learn what he did to deal with his depression.
What is depression?
A Psychologist once described depression as “a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that leads to sadness.”
That’s a good definition.
A person who is depressed has problems, real or imagined, and she can’t quite get a handle on them.
Perhaps she feels like there’s no help available for her.
Despair is compounded by the fear that there’s no help on the horizon.
Pastor Adrian Rogers put it this way,
“Helplessness plus hopelessness leads to despondency.”
No One is Immune to Dealing with Depression!
Listen, don’t ever think that you’re immune to depression, because even the greatest believers can be laid low by depression.
In Numbers 11:15, for example, Moses says to the Lord,
“If you treat me like this, please kill me here and now.
If I have found favor in your sight and do not let me see my wretchedness.”
In other words, Moses said to God,
“If this is the way you’re going to treat me, then go ahead and kill me!”
This man of God felt so wretched, so miserable, so low, so depressed, so discouraged that he said,
“Oh God if you really love me, you will kill me.”
That’s an Amazing Prayer!
Moses was a good man and he loved God.
He was also an imminently successful prophet.
So, if depression could happen to him, it could happen to you or me.
But we can learn from his story and get some encouragement on what to do when and if we’re dealing with depression.
We can also use these truths to help a friend or family member who is struggling with depression.
How to Begin Dealing with Depression
Now, let’s look a little more at what we can do to better deal with depression:
As we look at the life of Moses, we discovered that he had three main problems.
First, Moses had a physical problem.
He was worn out.
In Numbers 11:14, he said, “The burden is too heavy for me.”
He was leading all of the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan.
There were 2 million people, and they were all complaining to him and to each other all the time!
The truth is clear…
“When we are worn out, we become candidates for depression.”
Second, Moses had a psychological problem.
He was emotionally exhausted. They were coming at him, coming at him, coming at him, always asking him for things he couldn’t provide.
Truly, Moses was emotionally overloaded, yet there they were, weeping and blaming him for all of their problems.
In Numbers 11:11, we read…
So, Moses said to the Lord,
“Why have You afflicted Your servant?
And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me?
Depression can often come when we feel overwhelmed.
When the burdens are just too great!
And our people are wearing us out!
Third, Moses had a spiritual problem.
Moses was not only physically worn out and emotionally wrought up, but he was spiritually run down.
The Devil knows exactly when to attack you.
Moses had come off a great emotional high… the miraculous exodus out of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea.
You would think he would be on the mountaintop forever. Yet he’s down in the valley wanting to die.
Spiritually, he was depleted and dry!
And that’s when God provided answers to his problems.
Moses and Dealing with Depression
Let’s look at some of those answers as to how he could deal with his depression…
First, God met Moses’s physical needs.
In Numbers 11:16, we read that God gave Moses 70 elders as his helpers.
God never told Moses to do it all by himself! He was never meant to handle it all alone!
Instead, God gave him some helpers.
And Moses had to learn to eliminate some things, delegate some things, and then dedicate the rest.
We may need to do the same.
- What do you need to eliminate?
- Stop doing?
- What can you delegate?
- Let someone else handle it?
- What can you dedicate to God?
The Dishwasher Story
I have a funny story that I’ll share with you concerning delegating.
My husband Randy and I have been married for almost 33 years now. For all of those years, I’ve been the one who loads and unloads the dishwasher.
I REALLY don’t like to unload the dishwasher.
And so, one day I got the crazy idea to ask him to unload the dishwasher.
I told him that I would load it if he would unload it.
He said, “Sure.”
And he’s been doing it ever since!!
I only wish I had thought of it before! It has been life-changing!! So nice!!
We’d been married for 32 years before I delegated a job that I hated to do.
By the way, he does an amazing job… meticulously putting away those dishes and cups, and utensils every morning.
But I had to ask for help!
Do You Need to Ask for Help?
- Do you need to ask for help?
- Is there something you need to ask for?
- A job you can get your spouse or kids to do.
- Something you can let someone else handle.
It might be life-altering for you!
Second, God met Moses’s psychological needs.
All Moses could do was see the people, but God gave him a promise.
God told Moses to look to Him – to Almighty God!
In addition, God promised Moses that He (God) would take care of the people.
If you want to read more, you can look at Chapter 11 of Numbers and see how God intervened.
In essence, God took some of the heavy burdens off of Moses’s shoulders and invited him to trust Him.
God would take care of the rest!
Finally, we see that God met Moses’s spiritual needs.
God poured his love on Moses. And, God led Moses back to himself, filled him back up, and then used him.
Can I encourage you today that God loves you too?
Moses’s story didn’t end in depression, and depression isn’t the final word in your story.
You don’t have to stay depressed!
Let’s make this very practical today in Dealing with Depression
First, if you’re depressed, it may be that you need to talk to a doctor or see a trusted Christian counselor.
Many large churches offer free counseling services, and some Christian centers offer discounted pricing!
If you need help, reach out!
Talk to a trusted source!
Don’t suffer alone!
Second – If you are sad or depressed, it could be that you just need rest.
You just need some sleep!
Years ago, when my children were much younger, I was having a particularly hard week.
I was weary, weepy, and sad. My husband was working long hours and our ministry was very demanding.
During this time, I got really low and down in the pits.
I just wasn’t doing well. (And I’m almost always pretty upbeat.)
So, I called a trusted friend thinking she would give me some great Bible advice.
After hearing my story and my woes, my friend very nicely said,
“It sounds like you are really exhausted, Melanie.
I really think you need sleep more than anything else.”
And she was right!
I went to bed early for about a week, and I was feeling much better.
Honestly, I was just tired and in much need of rest!
You may be too!
So, take a nap!
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier all this week!
Allow yourself to rest!
See if you don’t feel better!
Third – If you are depressed, it could be that you need a change.
You may need a vacation, a change of diet, or location, or a new vocation.
Or you may need a change of scenery.
- Take a walk or a drive.
- Visit the library or the zoo.
- Head to the park or the woods!
- Get outdoors!
- Do something new and different!
Fourth – If you are depressed, it could be that you need to talk to a trusted friend.
Truly, you may need to talk through your issue with a trusted friend.
You may need to talk about those things that are overwhelming you and invite your friend to pray with you.
Often, just saying things out loud helps!!
It’s as if speaking it out loud makes it all not seem so overwhelming!
Fifth – If you are depressed, I want to encourage you to talk to God — all the time!
Crank up the conversation with Him and never stop!
God will get you through any spiritual issue.
It’s true… God always has an answer.
Though deeply spiritual, His answer for you may be intensely practical.
So, start talking to Him–all the time!
Sixth – If you are depressed, it could be that you need a Bible promise to hang on to!
Here are 3 of them:
- “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
- God will never leave us or forsake us! Hebrews 13:5
- God is with us and for us! Psalm 118:6-8
Also, I’ve created a printable for you with lots of these promises. To copy the verses, just right-click the image, save, and print!
You can print it off and take it with you.
The Bible is powerful in our lives!
Finally, I want you to know that we are here for you – whether you are dealing with depression or not.
- We have many MORE PODCASTS like this one to encourage you. Here are a few to check out:
- Also, our WEBSITE is here to encourage you. Be sure to look around and discover all that we offer to you for inspiration.
- In addition, we recently started a YOUTUBE channel with videos to encourage you. You can find that link HERE.
- And I would LOVE TO PRAY for you. Send me a prayer request on social media or email and I will lift you up in the name of Jesus! You can reach me at email@example.com.
- One more mention… Love Worth Finding has a wonderful page for you on the topic of depression. To get more inspirational resources from Love Worth Finding about depression, go to this Search Page. (Once you get over there, type in the word “depression” in the search bar. You will be taken to many great tools to encourage you.)
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We are ordinary women, but we are pursuing an extraordinary God.
And He is crazy about you!
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