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Depression – The beginning or the end

Most Americans will experience some form of depression during their lifetime. It is the most common mental disorder in the U. S. and can lead to a number of health problems. One sobering fact is those experiencing deep depression are 25 times more likely to commit suicide.

Depression can result from a number of sources such as genetics and physical or emotional needs. One type many overlook, however, is spiritual depression which can come from two sources. One is Satan who uses it to defeat or destroy us. He may also overwhelm us by using oppression, temptation, lies and deception. Our only hope is through a personal relationship with the Lord as a child of God.

We can cause our own depression by rejecting, disobeying or neglecting the Lord as He uses things in our lives for correction or growth. When we allow these things to separate us from Him the burden is more than we can handle. We can either go through the challenges of life or we can grow through them. There is a tendency to place too much value on money, health, popularity or pleasure and too little on the spiritual. It is our relationship with the Lord that is the most valuable and is what He wants to develop.

We need to divide our lives into sections like a pie with each slice representing different aspects such as health, finances, family, etc. When one slice balloons out of control it begins to dominate all other areas thus leading to depression. We are, however, bigger than just one area of our lives.

It is said depression is a wake-up call that leads to the healing process. The body shuts down to promote physical healing just as our spirit shuts down to heal our emotional and mental needs. Healing takes time, after all, it took time to lead up to our depression. If we try to rush or bypass the process, it is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone.

The Lord is developing the weak areas of our lives. The biggest hindrance to our getting over depression is pride. We do not want to admit we need help and pretend everything is all right or cover up our needs rather than facing and dealing with them. Most of us are living a lie by trying to convince people that we have more than we do or we are more successful than we really are.

We need to confess our sins, failures and hurts to God so He can give us grace. When we hit rock-bottom we can try to escape depression by the wrong exit or allow it to lead us in another direction. Our losses can become our gains when the Lord is in control of them. The blind man would never have known what the Lord could do if he had not been blind. Failures can be stepping stones rather than stumbling stones. Disappointments may lead us to opportunities where we can discover God’s mercy and grace.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” He can be reached at SteveConwell@outlook.com.