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Discouragement is a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and this discouragement can lead us into a state of doubt and fear.

Remember how the Hebrews became so discouraged by their circumstances that THEY HAD LOST HOPE.

Numbers 14:2ff records a very dark and discouraging moment for Moses and his leadership:

Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the  people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about  Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died   in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land   to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to  Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader   and go back to Egypt.”  Numbers 14:1-4

Notice the question, “Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”.

You may recall that this passage speaks to the time right after 10 spies filed a very negative analysis of possessing Canaan, the Land of Promise.

The people worked themselves into such a state of despair and discouragement that they demanded “slavery as their NEW VISION.”

Today, discouragement is still a powerful tool of the “accuser,” our adversary; and he seeks to create in our hearts and attitudes a state of doubt and fear.

For many years and during the most recent months we have seen situations all across this country that point to how divided and fractured our nation is. Nightly news casts, internet blogs, opinions of “experts” all seem to point to a nation that is being ravaged by racial, economic, and social class unrest and mistrust.

The adversary is sowing the same mistrust, hatred and division today, which is creating a spirit of discouragement and fear in the lives of those who claim to KNOW and TRUST God.

WE MUST NOT FALL into a state of fear and distress.

The question is HOW do we LIVE ABOVE fear and distress.

Here is Truth from God’s Word:

Remember what God has promised.

Remember when we experience hardship, it’s part of the process, not a sign that God isn’t working on our behalf.

We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not  crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; we  are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down,      but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body.   2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Remember God will finish what He started. He doesn’t leave us behind.

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you[a]     will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.      Philippians 1:6 (HCSB)

Bottom Line:  Don’t Despair!  REMEMBER:

God’s Love WANTS what is Best for me;

God’s Wisdom KNOWS what is Best for me; and

God’s Power WILL ACCOMPLISH what is Best for me!

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at  tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

 

 

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Many mourn the death of Robin Williams.  His death and the revelation that he had been struggling with depression has lead to many questions about Depression. In the Christian Community questions such as:  How should a Christian deal with depression? What does the Bible say about depression? Should a Christian ever be depressed? How can a Christian overcome depression?” are often pondered.


Depression is a complicated, multifaceted condition
. Being depressed is not inherently sinful, and depression is not always caused by sin, nor does it indicate a lack of faith. When depression strikes, the victim needs to make discovering the cause and treatment of the depression a priority.

Seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for any injury of an ongoing condition.
Being depressed is not a sin; any more than having a broken arm or cancer is a sin; but one is still accountable for the response to the affliction, including getting the professional help that is needed.

This is what we KNOW…….Millions of people, including Christians, suffer from depression every day. Depression has a strong genetic component. Depression can manifest as sadness, low energy, frustration, and extended misery.

People dealing with depression may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed.

Personal choices play a role in depression. Unfortunately, it’s been said that depression is sin; IT is more accurate to say that sometimes sin leads to and feeds depression.

Depression can be caused by alcohol and drug abuse, indulging in anger and self-centeredness, and other self-destructive behaviors. Sin always has negative consequences, and part of any therapy for depression should include an analysis of what sins could be exacerbating the situation.

Depression is driven by negative feelings
, perceptions, and thoughts. Unbiblical beliefs about one’s value and ability often contribute to depression. The Bible exhorts us to take thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), to concentrate on the truth of a situation and not a faulty perception (John 8:32), and to rely on God’s Word and not our feelings (Psalm 56:4).

What a person thinks, feels, and chooses to believe, true or not, can have physical repercussions. Refusing to believe the power and love of God and concentrating on brokenness and pain would make anyone depressed (Psalm 25:4-5, 16-19).

Depression has a definite spiritual element. It can be one of Satan’s tools to take Christians out of the work of the Kingdom. Depression can affect our view of God and sap our joy.

It is impossible to live a Spirit-guided life without joy (Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:4). Sometimes, depression may be caused by direct demonic activity (1 Samuel 16:14), but not always. How we handle depression is a highly spiritual matter. The Bible says to cast all our cares on God (1 Peter 5:7).

A remedy for a “downcast soul” is to place one’s trust in the God who saves. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

In addition to all this we know there are many different sources of depression and several types.

Situation depression is, as the name implies, brought on by adverse situations. Generally, the depression clears with time, as the situation is resolved or accepted. Situational depression is a response to the pain of living in a fallen world.

Clinical depression is a physical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician. It may not be caused by unfortunate life circumstances, nor can the symptoms be alleviated by one’s own will. Contrary to what some in the Christian community believe, clinical depression is not always caused by sin.

Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course, God is able to cure any disease or disorder. However, in some cases, Clinical depression interferes with day-to-day life at work, school, and home.

Chronic depression is less intense than clinical depression, but can last much longe.   It’s characterized by fatigue, sadness, and it can be punctuated by bouts of clinical depression.

Whereas Chronic depression doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t typically affect lifestyle or the ability to work.

Before the fall of man, there was no sin, no shame, no fear, and no depression. Depression is a result of the fall, and those who suffer from depression find that it has ramifications in all parts of human life.

Treatment for Depression can come from several fronts —temporary medication to relax the body and relieve the mind, adjustments to the diet, confession of sin, and spiritual counsel from trained mature Christ followers.

A Prayer for those dealing with Depression:

Dear Jesus, you are our refuge in good and in bad times. In your infinite mercy, bring peace and comfort to those of us who face days sometimes filled with pain and depression. Help us to realize    that through you there is joy and the promise of lasting peace.  Help us through the rough times. Walk before and beside us so that we may walk in your footsteps and reach out to you in our          journey on this earth. Help us to focus on our blessings rather than our misfortunes.  Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. I Pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

(Content of this Blog has been taken from many sources. The reader is urged to Read more about Depression and encourages those troubled by Depression to Reach out to professionals trained and equip to assist us in this issue of life.)

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (http://www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.