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Depress

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     Felt so impressed to minister on the subject of being set free from the feelings of being cast down, felling like you’re in a rut, of just plain old felling down. Maybe you just don’t fell like you have the victory. In 1 form or another, this is depression. Now, depression can be any where from very sever to where it’s so blown up that you can’t get out of bed, to something minor, like that felling of just being a little down.

     I. No one is immune from the attacks of depression and felling cast down it is an attack of the enemy.

              A. The Psalmist said in (Psalm 42:5) “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” (KJV)

                        1. It’s possible for someone to be in the ministry, serving God and still have the attacks of depression. (Feeling down)

                                  a. These attacks will come, and it’s an attack from the enemy to stop us from walking in victory and to get us complacent so that we stop doing the things that God’s wants us to do.

                                           i. Really, I feel that complacency is a form of depression.

                                           ii. When complacency comes you feel like giving up, and that’s 1 of the steps to depression. (Remember it’s an attack of the enemy.)

              B. There are some things from the Word of God that can help us overcome these attacks and begin again to walk in victory.

                        1. Depression is 1 of the enemy’s biggest lies.

                                  a. Satan tries to get your focus and attention on yourself and on your circumstances.

                                  b. By doing that he stops you from receiving God’s strength.

                        2. God doesn’t want you going through life under a dark cloud; He wants you to rise above it and overcome the situations that keep you depressed.

              C. In (PSALM 77) it shows how a spiritual man of God (Named Asaph) sank into depression, and then rose out of it into victory.

                        1. This same principle that made him overcome in his life will also work for you today.

     II. After David became Israel’s king, David made arrangements to have the Ark of the Covenant brought and placed on Mount Zion.

              A. David also had Asaph and a number of others worship before the Ark continually. (In different shifts.)

                        1. What was so amazing is that Asaph, the great worshiper appointed by David, could succumb to depression.

                                  a. You would think that someone who was so involved in Praise and Worship daily could never fall into depression.

                                  b. Asaph became vulnerable to depression because he was not devoting enough time to God’s Word.

                                           i. No matter how much time you spend worshipping the Lord daily, it will never replace your personal study of God’s Word.

                                           ii. By the same token, God’s Word will never replace true worship in the spirit.

                        2. Look at ISA 61:3

                                  a. You might be thinking, “But Pastor, doesn’t that say if we’re feeling down or depressed, the way to be free of it is by praise and worship?” Yes, it does.

                        3. But turn with me to JOHN 8:32.

                                  a. The truth is God’s Word.

                                           i. If you neglect the Word of God you’re not going to be free.

                                           ii. On the other hand, if you neglect praise and worship you’re not going to be free.

                                  b. You need both. There has to be a balance.

              B. There has been men and woman in the ministry and those in Bible school that have either backslid or got into depression because they were not in the Word of God for themselves.

                        1. Just being around it and hearing it is not good enough. You have to be in it.

                        2. Asaph in (PSA 77) was not in the Word like he should have been.

                                  a. We can see that by some of the things he says.

     III. Look at PSA 77:1.

              A. This sounds very spiritual, but really, it isn’t.

                        1. The word “Cried” in this V means, “To cry in extreme agony or to cry aloud (in grief).”

                                  a. Asaph didn’t just call out to God. He was moaning and complaining, and murmuring.

                                           i. We could say that he was having a pity party.

                        2. In this same V, he says that God heard him.

                                  a. That almost sounds like he was standing in faith.

                                           i. But most Christians think that God hears them when they pray, if you didn’t why would you pray.

                                  b. From this V. Asaph’s confession went downhill.

                        3. Look at V 2 (PSA 77:2).

                                  a. We don’t know what the problem was in Asaph’s life, but it was probably small.

                                           i. There is nothing ever mentioned in the Word to any trouble that he had.

                                  b. When we’re not in the Word the way we should be, even the small things can look gigantic, especially in the night.

                                           i. Asaph said, (Psalm 77:2) “My sore ran in the night, and ceased not.” (KJV)

                                           ii. Have you ever gone to bed and couldn’t stop think about some problem that you were having?

                                           iii. In the morning, it didn’t look ½ as bad. But in the middle of the night, it looked like your situation was hopeless.

                                  c. The word “Sore” in the phrase, “My sore ran in the night,” literally means, “Hand.”

                                           i. What Asaph is really saying, “I extended my hand to God all night for help.”

                                           ii. Another bad attitude comes in.

                                           iii. As he holds his hand out to God, he says, “My soul refused to be comforted.”

                                  d. Many times when we get into an attitude of depression, we refuse all help.

                                           i. We get rebellious.

                                           ii. That reminds me of the saying, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.”

                                           iii. Sometimes when we get into depression, we don’t want any help. We would rather run from God, than run to Him.

                                  e. Sometimes we would rather wallow in our self pity for a while, rather then receiving God’s help and strength.

              B. PSA 77:3 says

                        1. When Asaph said, “I remembered God,” He was remembering God as a judge and judgment.

                                  a. Ready to hit us over the head every time we make a mistake.

                                           i. He went from depression, to rebellion, to condemnation.

                        2. Then he says, (Psalm 77:3) “I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.” (KJV)

                                  a. He was not getting any better, in fact he was getting worse. Now he was complaining.

                                           i. God hates murmuring and complaining.

                                           ii. NUM 14:27-29a

                                           iii. The word “murmur” in this V means, “To complain, cause to grumble.”

                        3. In Psalm 77:4 it says, “Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” (KJV)

                                  a. When we get into depression, everything begins to get distorted. In this V he is blaming God for his insomnia.

                                  b. Then he says, “I cannot speak.”

                                           i. That’s probably the best thing that he did.

              C. Let’s go on reading in PSA 77:5-6a

                        1. This looked like he was getting back on the right track.

                                  a. But as we go on, we’ll see that he was not trying to fellowship with God to receive comfort and strength.

                                           i. He was trying to comfort himself.

                        2. V 6b

                                  a. The word “commune” here means, “To meditate, speak, to talk to, ponder, or complain.”

                                           i. He’s asking himself what went wrong. Am I that bad of a person?

                                  b. He’s still having a pity party.

                        3. PSA 77:7-8

                                  a. He’s still looking at God as a judge.

                                           i. He doesn’t think the promises of God will come to pass. He’s doubting the Word of God.

                                  b. That sounds just like us when we get out eyes on the problem and off the problem solver.

                                           i. Asaph was doing what we sometimes do, forgetting the Word that we know because of self-pity.

                        4. V 9 (PSA77:9)

                                  a. Have you ever felt that God has forgotten you.

                                  b. Maybe you felt that God passed right over you to bless someone else.

                                           i. You’ve been standing so long and been such a good Christian, but someone else gets the blessing.

     IV. But this was Asaph turning point. Notice the word “Selah” in this V. (V 9)

              A. “Selah” means “Pause,” but it also comes from the Hebrew word “Calah” {saw-law’} which means, “To weigh, balance.”

                        1. What Asaph is saying is “Selah or stop and think about what you are saying.”

                        2. He asked the question, “Has God forgotten me? Stop and think about it.”

                                  a. Of course, the answer is NO.

                        3. V 10a. He finally realizes that his complaining is only making things worse.

                                  a. V 10b

                                  b. Remembrance is a key to getting back on track with God.

                        4. Look at REV 2:5a

                                  a. Remember what it was like to be on fire for God, and then act the same way you acted then: consume God’s Word, and let it consume you.

                                           i. Be at church and stay in prayer.

              B. When Asaph began looking at the goodness of God, he refocused his attention on the Word.

                        1. Go back to PSA 77:11

                                  a. Asaph was remembering the works of the Lord.

                                           i. He began to realize that God is no respecter of persons. If He did it in the past, He will do it for me.

                                           ii. What Asaph was doing by remembering the wonders of old and the works of the Lord is that he was remembering the Word of God.

                        2. PSA 77:12-13

                                  a. Can you see the change in Asaph’s attitude?

                                  b. He’s saying, “Your way, Your plan for my life, oh God, is holy. Who [is so] great a God as [our] God?”

                                           i. God has a plan for your life and if you hook up with His plan, you cannot be defeated.

              C. Let’s go on reading PSA 77:14-20.

                        1. God is reminding us here how he took care of the Israelites at the Red Sea.

                                  a. If He took care of them, He will take care of you.

                        2. I remember a story told by another minister of a woman that was in the occult, but now she came to the minister and said she was hearing demonic voices in the morning....

                                  a. Do you want demonic activity (that’s what depression is), do you want demonic activity in your life or Word activity.

              D. The next time you are starting to feel a little blue, a little down, don’t let it continue, it can lead to full blown depression.

                        1. Stop that depression with the Word of God. The bigger the problem the more Word you need.

                                  a. As you put the Word in your heart and meditate on it, it will be in your heart in abundance.

                                  b. (Proverbs 23:7) Says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he.” (KJV)

WOLCC SUN AM 1/29/95 & W. O. L. C. C. Sunday, August 26, 2001

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