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Dealing with Depression

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Dealing with Depression Empty Dealing with overwhelming distress…

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Nov 2008, 7:21 pm

Dealing with overwhelming distress…

Revelation 16:10
Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven
because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of
what they had done. (NIV)

In our walk through life, sometimes our walk can be a time of
overwhelming distress. There are times when we are bombarded by trouble, pain,
and suffering from every direction. In the times of our distress, we
can reach out to others for help realizing when we reach out to others we
may not receive the help we need. When others do not help us in our
distress, we must realize the world does not revolve around us.
When others do not help us in our distress, we must realize the world
moves forward whether we have distress or not.
When distress comes into our life, we can easily slip into denial and
not want to face the truth.
However, for the sake of your loved ones and the other persons
around you, even for the world, you must be big enough and be honest enough
to tell yourself the truth.
You must be big enough and strong enough to repent.
When bad times come, it behooves you to do everything in the world to
find out what is going on within you and around you so you do not pass
your distress to others.
When distress comes, we are turned inward and we become selfish in
order to survive, to cope, and to deal with the pain of the distress.
No matter how terrible things may get in your life, your Lord God
holds your heart next to His heart.
God knows your every hurt and pain. God wills that someday all of
your suffering will be over and He wills that someday you come to live
with Him in Heaven forever.


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Dealing with Depression Empty Dealing with tragedy and trauma

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Nov 2008, 6:00 pm

Dealing with tragedy and trauma

When a terrible tragedy or prolonged suffering occurs in our lives, or
to those around us, we all go through a lot of questioning, grieving
and trying to understand this terrible situation. The issues and needs
that are brought to the surface by a tragedy are far-reaching and can
dredge up old hurts and traumas that were not adequately dealt with in our
past history. These fragments of old memories then can mix together
with fragments of new memories, cause confusion and inability of cope,
depression and a whole range of emotional problems. Sometimes it is only
with the help of a professional christian grief-cousellor and a long
period of therapy sessions that all these problems can be dealt with
adequately, and the healing process can begin. But there are also things
that we can do to cooperate with God in our own healing process.

The main thing to keep in mind is that God allowed this to happen , for
reasons only He really knows. If we can focus in this perspective, it
will help us to keep from despairing, as if the world is out of control
and we are all helpless victims waiting for the ship to sink. So let's
take a look at some things to keep in mind when we are faced with an
otherwise overwhelming tragedy...

GOD ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN

For some scriptural insight on this matter, we can investigate what
happened in the life of Job. If you look in the first chapter of Job, God
is bragging on Job before all the assembled "sons of God" including
Satan, who apparently gets to sit in on these meetings....
Job 1:8 (TLB)
Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job?
He is the finest man in all the earth--
a good man who fears God
and will have nothing to do with evil."

At this point, Satan begins to bring hypothetical accusations against
Job, and desires to have evil things happen to Him, so that Job's
character will be defaced. Notice here, that God, in His wisdom and for His
Own Purposes, allows Satan to do certain of these things to Job that he
desired to do. Among the possible reasons God allows these things to
happen to Job are to verify Job's character, help Job to deepen his
faith, to force him to reconsider his priorities of life, and to help Job to
know God in a personal way instead of just a shallow or religious way.

But even though God allows these things into Job's life to test him,
The Lord sets limits on Satan as to how far he can go to bring evil into
Job's life. It is here that we may replace our own name in the story of
Job. For as bad as it may seem at first, it is the ultimate character
and the presence of Christ in each one of us, that is being "verifed" by
tragedies and times of suffering. As Paul has written,

1 Cor 10:13 (KJV)
There hath no temptation(time of testing) taken you but such as is
common to man:
but God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.

And so we must understand that things that happen to us don't happen in
a vacuum, in an an out-of-control universe, willy-nilly, completely by
accident, unsupervised, with no-one to care or stop them...

GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL!!!

WE MUST ALWAYS SEE THE LARGER PICTURE
We may not like what is happening, it may be hurtful, harmful,
traumatic, disgusting, tragic, destructive...all these things and more, but God
always puts a limit on them, and has a purpose for allowing them to
happen. And that purpose always is that ultimately as we go through the
trauma and learn how to deal with it, we will come out the other side
stronger and more Christ-like, having a new desire for purity and
Godliness, and having new equipment to minister to the needs of others who are
going through the same problems.

2 Cor 1:3-5 (TLB)
{3} What a wonderful God we have--
He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy,
{4} and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us
in our hardships and trials.
And why does he do this?
So that when others are troubled,
needing our sympathy and encouragement,
we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
{5} You can be sure that the more we undergo sufferings for Christ,
the more he will shower us with his comfort and encouragement.


WE ARE REQUIRED TO ENDURE IT
Let me emphasize for a moment, the statement I just made ,
"as we go through the trauma and learn how to deal with it".
Unfortunately, as with any traumatic experience, we have to go through
it. Since it is God's will that allowed this to happen to us in the
first place, and God designed and limited the testing for His own
purposes, we have to experience it and to feel the pain, to have our lives and
our minds scrambled...we have to cry, pray, ask why, get angry, feel
abused, feel confused, experience loss and lostness...lose sleep, feel
like the heavens are as brass, mistakenly feel that God has abandoned us
or doesn't care about us, or that we could have done more, or "if only
I had done such and such", or "I am inadequate", and a million possible
other feelings and terrors might go through our minds during times like
this. And all this with the ultimate goal that we will be purified like
gold is purified, in the fires that will burn away that which is impure
and meaningless, so that the brightness of Christ will glisten in us
that much more brightly.

Job 23:10 (KJV)
But God knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.

It is this harsh refining process that ultimately creates new riches in
our lives, by tearing away the veneer of human self-confidence,
worldliness, pride, secret unconfessed sins, arrogance, complacency,
misdirected life-goals, materialism, all of which our flesh enjoys. These habits
and attitudes tend to accumulate secretly and un-noticed in our hearts
when everything is going well. But God hates all of them and wants to
remove them from our lives, because they are obscuring the inner light
of Christ from shining through our lives to those around us.

God wants us to recognize how much these things obscure the life of
Christ within us. He wants us to crumble into a heap of self-abhorance,
one of complete dependence on the mercy and grace of God. He wants us to
realize that inside each one of us is the ability to commit any
disgusting sin that we abhor in others, that it is true that when we point a
finger at someone else, 3 fingers are pointing back at ourselves. But
always remember, one finger is still left in this example, to point up to
God, the way of escape, the refuge from sin and the source of all
holiness.

As it is recorded in Job, after all the suffering and self-examination
that Job went through, he finally turns to God and admits...

Job 42:1-6 (KJV)
Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
{2} I know that thou canst do every thing,
and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
{3} Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?
therefore have I uttered that which I understood not;
things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
{4} Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak:
I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
{5} I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:
but now mine eye seeth thee.
{6} Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Job confesses that the experience of God that he had previously, was
superficial...even though it was enough for God to proclaim him as "a
good man who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil". After going
through all the trauma and suffering and pain, he describes his former
spiritual experience as if he only had second-hand knowledge about God
before. His was a superficial experience, one based on the teachings
and testimonies of others. But now his experinece of God is real, as if
face to face, person to person.

And now his estimation of his own self has also changed...he sees the
Holiness and Omnipotence of God, and his own loathesome sinfulness by
comparison. Much like Isaiah's experience, when he was confronted with
the Holiness of God..

Isa 6:1-5 (TLB)
{1}The year King Uzziah died I saw the Lord!
He was sitting on a lofty throne,
and the Temple was filled with his glory.
{2} Hovering about him were mighty, six-winged angels of fire.
With two of their wings they covered their faces
with two others they covered their feet,
and with two they flew.
{3} In a great antiphonal chorus they sang,
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is filled with his glory."
{4} Such singing it was! It shook the Temple to its foundations,
and suddenly the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke.

{5} Then I said, "My doom is sealed,
for I am a foul-mouthed sinner,
a member of a sinful, foul-mouthed race;
and I have looked upon the King,
the Lord of heaven's armies."


WHAT DO WE DO IN THE MEANTIME
First of all, don't blame, criticise, accuse, other people, or even
ourselves. Realize that just because bad things are happening to you or a
loved one, it may NOT mean that there is some sin lurking in the
person's life who is undergoing suffering. As in the story of Job, his
so-called friends, rather than actually comforting him, end up accusing him
of some hidden sin or flaw that brought on his suffering. The fact that
God disapproved of these false accusations was clearly shown as God
admonished them for their lack of understanding and compassion with these
words:

Job 42:7 (KJV)
And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job,
the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite(one of the false accusers),
My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends:
for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right,
as my servant Job hath.

Rather view a time of tragedy or suffering as a "wake-up call" for
yourself, and for all of those involved. Even though we may have been
growing in prosperity or worldly maturity, God may be calling us to start
growing inwardly, spiritually, in dimensions of holiness, committment
and service. Oftentimes, the means of this growth is the pathway of
suffering.
Job 1:20-22 (TLB)
{20}Then Job stood up and tore his robe in grief
and fell down upon the ground before God.
{21} "I came naked from my mother's womb," he said,
"and I shall have nothing when I die.
The Lord gave me everything I had,
and they were his to take away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
{22} In all of this Job did not sin or revile God.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE
Job's first response was to cry out in grief, but then to immediately
fall down on the ground in worship, and focus his attention on God. He
took an attitude of submission to the sovereign will of God. He sat in
silence for 7 days, saying nothing, meditating and rehearsing all the
traumatic events that had just befallen him. I suggest that in the midst
of a traumatic experience or tragedy, we must focus our attention as
never before on the Person of God...in repentence, and humble submission,
seeking a new relationship of closeness to Jesus Christ, calling out to
Him for mercy.

TALK IT OUT

Therefore I will not refrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 7:11 (KJV)

Job's next set of responses was to talk and reminisce within a circle
of his trusted friends his feelings, doubts, loss, sadness. Even though
his friends didnt really "get it", and they accused him falsely of sins
he never committed, He talked over everything. He complained about
everything, cursed his own existence, and his own troubles. He expressed
all the deep despair and hopelessness that was in his heart...verse after
verse, chapter upon chapter...putting into words all the pain and
anguish that was inside his own heart...not hiding it or bottling it up. He
put it into words and sentences his pain and grief, where he could look
at them and ventilate them, where others could share in the pain of his
trauma.

Here is another suggestion to anyone affected by a terrible
tragedy...seek out a trusted friend or a very few friends, or cousellors at
church or other professionals, and ventilate all your pent up pain,
frustration, anger...all of it. Or go to a private place and talk outloud and
verbally to God. Try to concentrate on your own reaction to all of this
rather than on the tragedy itself. You cannot find any verse in all of
the Book of Job where Job says, "O, my little children, killed by a
mighty wind from God", or any other reference to the actual losses he
suffered, but everything was a ventilation of his own emotional response to
it, good and bad; because that is apparently where the real injury
lies, in the thoughts and doubts and responses of the heart to a tragedy.
And apparently that is where the healing lies also, and not in
concentrating on or remembering the traumatic event itself, but in dealing with
the response that you had to it.


RE-FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON THE SOVEREIGNTY AND GOODNESS OF GOD

Eventually Job got back to focussing on God, and recognizing the
sovereignty of God from His creation and His goodness. It is then that the
real healing and re- ordering of his life took place. Having talked to
himself, his friends, and his wife, he eventually got to talking TO God,
not just ABOUT God. It is this place that God wants us to arrive...face
to face with God, in submission and worship.

Exo 33:11 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face,
as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Judg 6:22 (KJV)
And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon
said,
Alas, O Lord GOD!
for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.

1 Cor 13:12 (KJV)
For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face:
now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known.

May you never have to go through a deep spirit-wrenching tragedy. But
if you must, may your focus be on the Living God who who gives this
gracious invitation by Jesus Christ to all those who suffer tragedies or
are worn out by the circumstances of life:

Mat 11:28-29 (KJV)
Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
{29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

In Christ....brother bob......<><


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Dealing with Depression Empty Dealing with Depression

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Nov 2008, 5:59 pm

At one time or another, we have all felt depressed. Webster's II New College Dictionary defines depression as 'an area sunk below its surroundings.' When you're depressed, that's exactly how you feel - sunk below everything around you.

Because depression is viewed as negative, many Christians who suffer from depression now and again have come to believe that something is wrong with them because of the depressed feelings. After all, they are taught to believe, Christians are joyful. Therefore, if you are not filled with joy, there's something wrong with your relationship with God.

*Sometimes there are very deep psychological reasons behind depression. There could even be severe biological reasons. Under these particular conditions, professional medical assistance is needed.*

However, the majority of the time when we feel depressed, it is a temporary feeling of being sad and blue. During these times, we lose
interest in things that before have filled us with joy, we don't want to be around others, and we lose hope that our circumstances will change.

We are going to take a look at someone that most consider a spiritual giant who went through a period of depression and look at the remedy God used to turn the depression around.

I Kings 19 describes the experience of Elijah - the same Elijah who in the previous chapter single-handedly killed 450 Baal priests. When Queen Jezebel heard that 450 of her priests had been slaughtered, she put a price on Elijah's head. When Elijah heard this, he got scared and discouraged and ran (I Kings 19:3).

Instead of facing the threat, Elijah went 80 miles in the opposite direction to avoid the problem (verse 3). Once he arrived at Beersheba in Judah, he wanted to go off and be depressed by himself. So he left his servant and went walking a day's journey into the wilderness (verse 4). It wasn't enough for Elijah to be off by himself, the surroundings had to be especially brown, dry, and discouraging.

He found the most pitiful lonely tree and laid down under it. Then he asked God if he could just die (verse 4). Does this sound like the mighty prophet of God?

Elijah falls asleep, an angel fed him, Elijah slept again, and the angel fed him again (verses 6 and 7). After regaining his strength, Elijah made a 6-week journey to Mount Horeb (verse 8). At Mount Horeb, God said something very interesting to Elijah. '(A)nd behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah?' (verse 9).

And most pitifully Elijah tells the Lord that he has worked and worked in God's service, he is the ONLY ONE in all of Israel still worshipping God, and everyone he knows is out to kill him (verse 10). Ever feel like that? It is evident that Elijah has sunk into depression because there is no hope in his outlook.

After a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, God spoke to Elijah in a quiet voice. God told Elijah to go back home, but to go a different way. On Elijah's way back he was to anoint a new king over Judah, a new king over Israel, and a new prophet apprentice (verses 15 and 16). And then He reminded Elijah that there were still 7,000 people in Israel who remained true to God.

What can we learn from all of this about overcoming depression?

1) We can be comforted that depression hits even the spiritual giants among us. Depression is not an indication of our level of spirituality. God did not condemn Elijah for being depressed, and He will not condemn us either.

2) We can be on the lookout because many times depression hits after an extreme spiritual high - like killing 450 Baal prophets on Mount Carmel. Depression can also hit when we are bone tired - like racing 20 miles ahead of Ahab's chariot in the rain (I Kings 18:46).

3) We need time to rest and eat. Things begin to look better when we're no longer exhausted.

4) We need some exercise. When depressed, we tend to sit down under the lone tree and remain there. Moving around gets the blood flowing and helps us feel better.

5) We need to keep the communication lines open to God, even if we don't feel His presence. After being on a spiritual high, we tend to look for Him in the wind, fire, and earthquake missing what He's trying to tell us. Instead we need to listen for His quiet voice.

6) Sometimes we need to make small changes in life. Elijah was to go back home, but go a different way.

7) We need to do something for someone else. When we take our eyes off of our circumstances and focus on meeting the needs of other's, we
ourselves are helped.

8) We need a support system. Elijah had worn himself out by performing all the prophet duties himself. God gave him Elisha as an apprentice to take away some of the burden.

9) We need to remember we are not alone. The enemy likes to isolate us, much like hunting lions isolate a wounded caribou. When we feel like we are the only ones going through a trial, it is easier for the enemy to overtake us.


Note: David song out this in Psalms 42:5:
5Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and
6my God. My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you From the land of the Jordan,the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.
8By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is
with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

....and again in Psalms 43:5
"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so
disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God" he repeats the phase!

The inscription calls the psalm "A maskil of the Sons of
Korah." The "Sons of Korah" were a Levitical family of musicians and
singers. Though this psalm is not explicitly attributed to David,
most commentators believe that David wrote these psalms for the "Sons
of Korah" to perform in the worship of God.

A Topical Study-Fighting Depression

Put On A Happy Face!
Bishop's Prescription For Fighting Depression!

Bishop CD Miller
Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Can be found at my MSN group as well at:

http://groups.msn.com/DMBOnlineMinistry/supportboard.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=5681&LastModified=4675561686095602659


It may help to play praise music in your home to help you during
these times. And I would suggest reading of the Psalms especially
Psalms 16, 32, 41, 42, 46, 59, 77, 85, 86, 90, 102, 105, 130, 137, 142
150.

Isn't it wonderful how God has provided answers for every area of our lives in His Word? He loves each one of us as a whole person, and He ministers to all of our needs. Amen!

Remember, the Lord will never leave nor forsake you, (Deut 31:6 and Deut 13:5)

May the Lord Bless you and keep you safe, Rev D.M. Barry, or ufofc_minister.
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