Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, God’s will for us is for us to overcome our emotions. It is God’s desire that we learn to overcome our feelings, because we are held accountable for how we deal with our emotions. Some of us say, “You just don’t understand, I cannot help how I am feeling.” This is nothing more than deception from the enemy. We can determine how we feel and we are able to be master over our emotions.
What does the Word of God say, let us take a look into the Book of Third John chapter one, verse two:
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Highlight the word, “Prosper.” This word means that we should be able to succeed in material terms; be financially successful and flourish physically and grow strong in body and health. God wants us to be whole, being whole means that we are to be complete. To become complete and whole means that we have nothing missing and nothing broken. It is God’s will that we become completely whole and successful in every area of our lives. We are not doing these things and we are letting the Satan overcome us with our emotions, we must resist him at all costs. We must know God’s will for our lives, so that we do not go around tolerating the things that come against us. The Scripture says, ‘That we may prosper in all things and we will be in health, just as our soul prospers.” Another way of saying this is for us to say “As our lives prosper.”
Let us be real here, we are all spirit beings, we possess a soul and yes we live in a body. We aren’t just a soul and we aren’t just a physical body. This is not the case at all, our soul is one part of our make-up in life and our body is another part. These two parts can never be interchanged. Yes, we are spirit beings. We have our souls and we have our physical bodies. When we die, or should I say when our physical bodies die, the body dies, it stops its function and we are either cremated into ash or buried into the ground, but our souls and spirits leave the body to go to either heaven with God or to hell with Satan.
We talk about spiritual things and we should talk about these things. We even talk about physical things and we pray for our healing to take place and yes, we should also be talking about these things, but you know what, we hardly ever talk about our souls. We seem to bypass this all together. Why is this so? This is the area that most of us need more than anything, our souls are made up of our minds, our wills and yes even our emotions.
What is emotion? It is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from our own circumstances, our moods, and our relationships with others. Emotions are our “Feelings,” they are our feelings that are inside of us that triggers our pain or our pleasure and either one will move us in some sort of direction.
We have all been given a specific purpose to do something for God. This is God’s perfect will for our lives. The enemy knows this, and he tries to cause his deceptive strategy to stop us from fulfilling God’s plan. He does this by attacking our emotions. If the enemy can trigger our negative emotions, this will easily make us stray from God’s path that He has laid out for us. If we remain focused upon Jesus, maintaining ourselves in the Word of God, keeping in our relationship through prayer and maintaining our praise and worship, then the devil cannot trigger those negative emotions. If we keep to all of this, this will keep us on the path that God has designed for us and we can continue moving on with God’s plan.
I want you to hear what I am saying, emotions (feelings) are what moves us in a direction. We can allow God to give us positive emotions, or we can allow Satan and self to move us into negative emotions. When we encounter a circumstance, it will either trigger our godly emotions or our negative emotions. If we choose to keep our godly emotions, we will remain on God’s path, but if we choose to use our negative emotions, we will fall off of God’s path.
How do we deal with the negative circumstance that comes at us? We must first understand where they are coming from. Satan, he has only one objective, he wants to keep us away from God’s plan for our lives. If he can continually bombard us with negative circumstances, then he can keep triggering our negative emotions. Our negative emotions will take us away from God’s plan and it will send us off into another path, a path that can lead to destruction. How do you think people end up in jail? Their emotions put them there! How do you think people get addicted to drugs and alcohol? Their emotions put them there! How do you think men and woman get messed up with pornography? Their emotions put them there! How do people get fired from their jobs? Their emotions cause it all. Their emotions cause them to lose everything. How do we lose the loves of our lives? Our emotions make us lose the ones we love. Our emotions take us in a direction. Negative emotions takes us away from God’s plan and place us onto the road to destruction.
A strong person is not a person who cusses people. A strong person isn’t a bully. A strong person is a person who is able to control their emotions. It is not God’s will for us to be “Mastered by Life,” it is God’s will for us to be “Master Over Life.” God wants you and me to be stable in our emotions. God wants us to be able to deal with negative circumstances by taking charge over our emotions, so that they do not take charge over us. Does this mean that we are to become “Emotionless?” No, it means that we are to take authority over our negative emotions. Each one of us have been given power and authority over these emotions, therefore, we need to begin using our authority and bind them up and cast them from us. Our feelings do not have the right to govern our lives. As Christian men and women, we need to be governing our feelings, if we don’t, then we will show that we are still immature. Our spiritual maturity is designed to handle all our emotions and if we are not able to control our emotions, then this is evidence that we are spiritually immature. When negative circumstances arise, we cannot be asking God, “Why me?’ Jesus told us that we will have trials and tribulations and when they come, we are to use the power of the Word against them, not cry, “Why me?” When we show that we can use God’s Word against the circumstance, it shows our maturity.
Let us look at Romans 8:6:, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” What is a “Carnal Mind?” It is a mind that is dominated by our senses. You are thinking, what does this mean? If we see something that is negative, than it will dominate our emotions. We keep thinking about it all day long. We then become carnally minded. If we hear something that is negative, then again it will dominate our feelings. We are not supposed to let our lives be governed by our senses. Carnality leads only to death.
We are supposed to be “Spiritually Minded.” What is meant by being spiritually minded? To find the answer we must turn in our Bibles to John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Spiritual mindedness can never be obtained without the Word of God. We must be reading and meditating upon the Scriptures in the Bible. We can never be inspired to do the things that God wants done except through His Word. Without the Word we will always fail to achieve “Spiritual Mindedness.” Without the Word inside of our hearts, we have nothing. If we don’t have the Word inside of us, then our emotions will dominate us and we will fall victim to them. We must have the Word residing within us.
We can go to bed at night in right believing and wake up in the morning not to sure we are even saved, this is living under our emotions. Living under emotions is not living under the Word. When we have the Word inside of us, then we know that God loves us and we are redeemed. There are several Scriptures that say this. This my friends is being spiritually minded. The more Word that we allow into our hearts, then the more Word that will be available to overcome our emotions. Not only does the Word help govern our emotions, but it also brings us peace and life. I have to repeat this, there is nothing that will allow us to be spiritually minded except for the Word of God.
Dealing With The Emotion of “Depression.”
How are we to deal with the emotion of “Depression?” This emotion alone has caused the downfall of many men and women. What is depression? It is an evil spirit that needs to be unmasked. Mental health workers show us how to manage our depression, but it is Jesus who shows us how to get rid of it for good. Depression is the result of external issues and pressures getting inside of our hearts and weighing us down. It is usually found outside of us, some kind of circumstance or problem that goes from outside of us and enters inside our hearts where it causes us to be weighed down in heaviness. It stresses us with internal pressures. It starts outside of us, through external pressures, these could be problems that we encounter, then it enters our hearts and puts pressure upon our hearts over and over again. This depression is a feeling that we experience through our thoughts. You see, if we can understand that depression comes from our feelings, then we can attack it spiritually. You are probably asking why? It is based upon whatever we are exposed to, because this is the way that we think. Whatever we think about, determines how we are going to feel.
What we think about, determines how we feel. How we feel is determined by what we think upon. What we expose ourselves to, determines how we think. Does this make sense to you?
Why do we have to deal with our depression? If we can deal with our depression as a spirit, Jesus will deliver it from us. Like I said before, what we expose ourselves to, will determine what we think about and what we think about, determines how we feel. Not only that, but how we feel, determines our decisions. We do not want to make decisions based upon our negative emotions. There is still more, what decision we make, determines what actions that we will take and our actions determine our habits. It is our habits that determine our character and our character takes us in the direction that we are going.
Think about this now, we have all been here at one time or another. If we expose ourselves to a negative environment, this causes us to think negative thoughts. These negative thoughts produce negative feelings. Our negative feelings produce a negative decision and the negative decision causes us to take negative action. I worked in North Carolina as a probation officer, so I saw this unfold almost everyday in people’s lives. If people expose themselves to people who are using drugs, they start thinking about drugs. The thought of using drugs develops in their thinking, this produces the negative feelings. A decision is made to use drugs, the action usually comes quickly after this and they are now addicted to the drug. Not only is the negative thoughts controlling their feelings but so are the drugs. Our actions cause our habits. Our habits create our character and our character determines our destination. This is not for only people who use drugs, it is for all people who choose to expose themselves to negative environments.
Where does it all start? It all starts where we choose to hang out and what we expose ourselves to. What we see and hear determines who we will become. We must make a determination from the beginning who we are going to hang out with and where we going to hang out in. We need to know who is there to help us and who wants to hurt us. If it costs us our peace and our joy, we know that this is a negative environment and we need to move on to where we can reestablish our peace and joy. Sometimes this may require our casting out these negative influences and people. We can’t expend our peace and joy on other people’s drama. What we exposé ourselves to, determines how we think. Don’t you know that the devil knows this? This is why he tries to expose us to more negative things. He causes us to be exposed through our senses. He knows that the more we are exposed to negative things, that our minds will want to think on these things and this takes the Word away from us. Remember that he is very sly! Satan knows that if he can wear us down with negativity, the more depressed we will become. When we allow what we see and hear to determine our state of mind, in this case depression, then his plan is to bombard us with the feelings of rejection, guilt, and shame. We need to understand that these are all of the things that Jesus died for, but we aren’t seeing all that Jesus has already done, instead we are seeing the depression. This way of thinking has taken root inside of us and it is weighing us down. We are not seeing Jesus and all of His finished works, so we believe that He has rejected us as well. We have to change our way of thinking in order for us to become overcomers and the only way to do this, is by renewing our minds.
How Do We Overcome Depression?
How do we become overcomers? First we must change the way we think. If we are going to change our lives, we must change the way that we think. This of course doesn’t mean that we are to turn to self help books. Don’t get me wrong, these books are helpful in managing depression, but they will never be able to do away with it, only Jesus can do that. The problem with most of us is that we are always trying to replace God with man made things. We have to be careful about replacing God, because it can take us toward “Idolatry.” When we rely on everything around us but God, we place Him in second place and we idolize everything else. We must realize that there are certain things that God does best, that nothing else can compare. Our man made things will only give us a temporary fix, but when we turn to Jesus, He removes the problem by the root. Jesus wants us to always be in peace and joy. He wants us always to live life in abundance. Stop putting everything before Him!
Take a look at First Peter Chapter five, verse seven, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Everyone of us has cares, Jesus is telling us to cast them upon Him. This means that we are to cast all our cares upon Him, not just some of them. When was the last time you said, “Jesus, I cast all my cares upon You, because I know that You care for me?” My friends, isn’t this what He said for us to do? He is saying to us, “I want your cares, I can handle it, give them to me.” Why then do we hold back? Nothing is keeping us from doing this, except for ourselves. Jesus gives us a way out, but for some unknown reason we won’t take it. We must come to a point in our lives to trust in Him. When we can do this, then every time the devil brings a negative situation our way, we can say, “Devil it isn’t my care anymore, Jesus has this, so therefore you need to speak to Him.” Jesus says, “I got this.” How many times do we cast the care on the Lord? Cast it right now, Jesus will take care of it. Cast all your cares upon Him, He will deal with it. Today, right now we need to stop carrying this baggage any longer. It is so simple, but are willing to do it?
Say this: “Jesus I cast all my cares upon You, because I know that You care for me. Thank You Jesus.”
Do you think that this is going to make you feel great? No, it is not, not at this moment anyway, but that is where the Word of God comes in and that is why it is important for us to become grounded in God’s Word. Turn to Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” The writer of Hebrews is saying, our conduct must be without covetousness. What does covetousness mean? It is only for the desire for wealth, power and possessions of others, no matter the cost. It is putting everything in front of God and idolizing self. God wants us to be content with the things that we have. Now take a look at what it says in First Timothy 6:6, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” We are not able to enjoy life when we are always looking at what others have. Our focus should change from looking at others and looking to God. Timothy says, “Godliness comes from being content in what we have.” As we continue to focus our attention upon God and His Word, we will actually receive so much more. We cannot keep trying to be like others. We must be ok with who we are. God wants us to have things, but He doesn’t want us to replace things with Him. God promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us. This should always be comforting to us. This will always give us the peace that we need and fill us with unspeakable joy. Believe me when I say this, when we know for certain that God is on our side, it will send the devil running.
Let us take the time to look at Hebrews 13:5 in the Amplified Bible, “ Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” Why do you think that God mentions greed, avarice [extreme greed for wealth or material gain], lust and cravings for earthly possessions? He wanted us to know that these are the things that will weigh heavily upon our hearts. These are the things that without the Word in our hearts, will subject us to the spirit of depression. The ultimate way for us to overcome depression is to change our thoughts. If we don’t change the way that we think, we will never be able to overcome how we feel.
Overcoming depression starts by us changing the way that we think. How do we do this? We must renew our minds. How do we stop the thoughts that weigh heavy upon us? Again we must renew our minds, so that we can continue with God’s good, acceptable and perfect will for our lives. Jesus is the only One who can renew our thoughts. Let us turn to Romans 12: 1-3, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” To overcome the spirit of depression, God is saying that we need to change ourselves. He is saying that we need to stay away from the world’s ways and we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds with His Word. By doing this, renewing ourselves with His Word, the Word will prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is.
Depression is not the will of God. We cannot prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is, if our thinking doesn’t line up with God’s Word. Take a look at these verses in the Amplified Bible, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” To be transformed means that we have to be changed. A lot of people go to therapists and doctors, and they are given anti-depressants because they want to change the way that they feel. Remember what God said in the beginning of these verses, He forewarns us that we are not to conform to the ways of the world. He tells us to not fashion ourselves to trusting just what man has to say and He tells us to not adapt to the external and superficial customs of the world. Why do you think He said this? It was said because the external things can weigh us down and they will determine how we feel. Please bear with me a little longer, God is saying that we need to be transformed, we need to be changed. How do we do this? We change by the renewing of our minds. The verse tells us exactly how we are to do this, we are to change our minds by taking on new ideas and establishing new attitudes. We do this in order to prove for ourselves what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. If we want to change the way we feel, we must change our thinking. What else should be changed? What we expose ourselves to. If we don’t change what we expose ourselves to, then we are going to still receive the thoughts that still weigh us down. Eventually, we are going to have to make a search of ourselves and find out what we have been exposing ourselves to or who we are exposing ourselves to. We will want to know why we are like we are.
Turn to Philippians 4:8 and let us see what God wants us to be exposed to, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” These are the things that we should be thinking about. Read the next verse, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” How long are we going to ignore God’s instructions? How long are we going to let the world influence how we think and what we are thinking about? Didn’t God say what we are to think about? God created us in His image and He even gave us the manual of instruction to follow when we aren’t thinking correctly.
God told us to renew our minds with the instruction manual that He gave to us. What is renewal of the mind anyway? It is when we exchange how we think to the way that God thinks. Renewing our minds is not a one time event, it takes determination and it goes on for our entire lifetime. When we feel heaviness upon our hearts, we need to be renewing our minds with the instruction manual, better known as the Bible. You see, the Word is what changes us, because without the Word in our hearts, our lives would remain in chaos. When we expose ourselves to the Word, it changes us and renews our minds to the way that God thinks. It changes the way that we think, which in-turn changes the way we make decisions. The Word changes our character and we ae given such peace and joy. If you want this lasting peace and joy, say Amen?
Four Symptoms of Depression
In my years of service as a Christian police officer and probation officer, I had to attend many mental health classes. At first I was reluctant, but our company policy said that it was mandatory. In my mind I thought that it was going to be useless and that it had no benefit for me as an officer, but I was wrong. In 2002, I was dispatched to home where a young man was threatening his family with a weapon. When I arrived on scene, the mother rushed me into the house where this young man was very depressed and he wanted to die. After a lengthy conversation with the young man, I was able to get the weapon from him, calm him down and take him where he could get some help. I know that if I had not received the training in dealing with an “Emotionally Disturbed Person,” this man would have either forced me to kill him or he would have taken his own life. Either way it would have been a tragedy.
The first symptom of depression is, “Being Reclusive.” Reclusiveness is a wanting to prefer seclusion or isolation. They want to be alone. They want solitary seclusion from everyone. ( The Free Dictionary) This is not the will of God. It violates God’s desire for His children to fellowship one with another. You see, relationships help us to live with one another and people who have the spirit of depression, will always withdraw from fellowship. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Please take note of what God is saying, “It is not good that man [mankind] be alone….” What does aloneness do to people? It makes us think the wrong feelings. The Lord told us that He would never leave us or forsake us, but even with this knowledge, we still have an internal desire to have fellowship with others. God instilled this inside of each one of us, that is why He said, “I will make him (mankind) a helper comparable to him.” Fellowship is important, but remember the type of fellowship that we need is godly. We certainly don’t need more negativity. We must have good and wholesome fellowship, not drama. That is why we are to surround ourselves with people who are spiritually uplifting.
Reclusive behavior is dangerous, because it only wants to take us into the dark side of life. We will become withdrawn from society and we will even be withdrawn from reality. Some people have been known to seclude themselves from people and enjoy their pets over all people. We must remember what Genesis 2:20 says, “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” Don’t think wrong of me and I do believe that our pets are a good source of therapy, but they are not “Comparable to us.” We are always in need of fellowship with one another.
The second symptom of depression is, “A Passive Mind.” People who have the spirit of depression, have no desire to have the issues of life, they are completely unimportant to them. They have what I like to call, “The I Don’t Care Attitude.” People who are in this state of mind let their life fall into a shambles. They just don’t care if the house is clean, the laundry is done, the family has food in the refrigerator and they will search through the social media, indulging in all kinds of ungodly activities. People with a passive mind don’t like activity. This is dangerous, because the Word of God clearly teaches us that we must be alert, cautious and active — we are to fan the flame and stir up the gifts within us. Satan knows that our inactivity, our failure to exercise the will of God, will cause us to fall from His grace. As long as we are moving toward the enemy by using God’s Word, he can never win. If we enter into a state of passivity, we are in serious trouble and the enemy will come at us with everything that he can bring. A passive mind doesn’t resist the wrong thoughts. People who have this mind-set don’t realize that the evil spirit has injected these thoughts into an empty space that doesn’t have the Word to fill it. People who are passive think that they are doing nothing wrong, because they are doing nothing at all. When they are confronted, they say, “I wasn’t do anything wrong.” His analysis is correct , but his behavior tells a different story.
The problem arises, because the person does nothing. We can change from having this mind-set, by changing the way that we think. In order for this to happen, we have to direct our minds to what we need to think about. When people are depressed, they need to begin speaking the Word to themselves. They need to commit themselves to praise and worship. The more stronger they will become as more of the Word enters their hearts. We must renew our minds with God’s Word, because if we don’t, our minds will go wild and unleash some nasty thoughts.
The third symptom of depression is, “Amplifying and Magnifying Difficulties.” It is when we turn our conditions that we suffer from, into the problem. People who are depressed will take something that is small and make it the most difficult problem that they are facing. They enlarge it so much that they begin to fear it and it takes them over. In essence they take a molehill and make it a mountain. Small thoughts become rivers that they cannot cross.
Let me give you an example, You don’t receive a good-bye kiss from you husband or wife one day as they are going to work. A person who is depressed, this could be the trigger that makes them believe that their spouse is having an affair. In their mind, they start thinking that they aren’t loved anymore. This is how subtle the devil can be, he uses the spirit of depression as a weapon against us. He suggests to us that the spouse is in love with someone else and that is the way Satan is, he suggests something to us and we begin to harbor the thoughts until it consumes us. Even when the spouse returns home, the devil has already did the damage and the spirit of depression has driven a wedge between the spouse and you. Now exposure has been completed and now comes the thinking about our spouses having an affair, soon we can’t think about anything else and the hurt develops. Now we make a decision and right behind it we take action. This is how the devil gets into the details, he makes the suggestion and we end up with an action. This is what I like to call mayhem. Regardless of the suggestion that Satan makes, we usually follow it up with an emotional response.
When we unmask the suggestion and find it is Satan, hit him with the Word, it will keep us from mayhem and we will not think the negative thoughts and with no negative thoughts there will not be a negative emotional response. Of course if we don’t expose the enemy, we will listen to his suggestions, we will think about it without going to God’s Word and we will let the negative thoughts flood our minds and then we will have an emotional response. This is the way he works. While I was in the military, I always knew that I had to understand the enemies tactics, so that I can bring the battle to their doorstep and not let them bring it to mine. Know this, that the battle is not just between the devil and God, we too are in this fight. God gave us free spirit, the ability to choose and to make decisions. Our decisions determine our destiny.
The fourth symptom of depression is, “Lack of Concentration.” Depressed people feel as though they cannot concentrate on anything. They cannot focus. They are like a bird hopping from one branch to another. When we have a hard time sitting down with our loved ones and talk, the spirit of depression is taking control of our lives. We should be capable of thinking on anything, as long as we want to think about. Jesus gave us authority over the enemy, this includes what we think about. We must stop saying that “we have a short- memory.” We must stop saying that “we can’t focus.” Stop believing that you have what is called “Attention Deficit Disorder.” Remember that Jesus’ body was broken for us, so that we can be whole. He allowed the “Crown of Thorns,” to be placed on His head. I believe that the “Crown of Thorns,” had to be placed on Jesus’ head so that He could conquer “Mental Illness.” What kind of mind does God want us to have? The answer is found in Second Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This is what God has given us, a “Sound Mind.” When the devil tells us that we cannot concentrate, tell him to go away, because it is written God has given us power, love and a sound mind. God says that we have been given a sound mind, therefore, we are able to think about anything we want to, for however long we want to, because Jesus made sure that we have been given a sound mind. If a psychologist or a psychiatrist diagnose you with a disorder, don’t accept what he or she says, because God’s Word says that we have a sound mind. If our minds do not appear sound, resist the devil, hit him with God’s Word and let God do the rest. God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. If we are fearful of anything, know this it is never from God. God gives us power, love and a sound mind. We must learn to resist agreeing with the devil and we must start hearing what God says.
Say this: “I have been given a sound mind. I have been given power over the devil and I have been given love. Yes I have a sound mind and no mental illness can affect me. Thank You Jesus for what You have already done.”
We were never designed to retain depression. Depression will affect every part of our human bodies. It will age us much quicker. It will bring sickness and disease. It will affect our minds. It will cause us to be insomniacs. Lack of sleep causes high blood pressure and even heart conditions. Our bodies have to rest in order to regenerate. We can keep the spirit of depression out of our lives, by defeating it with God’s Word. We must know Jesus and we must know what He has already done. Think on the Word day and night. Don’t go to bed worrying, replace the worry with the Word. Make it a habit of picking some Scriptures to got to sleep with. Go to bed with the Word upon your mind and wake up with it upon your mind. Joshua 1:8 says it all, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Depression steals our ambition. It stops us from participating in family events. It takes us away from our friends. It steals our peace and joy and it steals our strength. Depression is our enemy. It is the enemy of our happiness. It is also the enemy of our success. When it comes at us we need to unmask it.
What is success? Success is our fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. It is not wealth, riches, or power. Yes depression is our enemy. We cannot let the spirit of depression win. The Bible says this in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.” The enemy to our success is not only the devil but also how we deal with our emotions.
The Effects And Causes of Depression
Did you know that Jesus had to deal with depression? Yes, He did when He was in the garden praying before He was going to be crucified. Turn with me to Mark 14:33, “And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.” Jesus was tempted just like us. A person who is deeply destressed is someone suffering from anxiety, sorrow, and mental pain. This mental pain is what I call a deep emotional pain. Even with all of this affecting Jesus, notice how He says that He is feeling, look at the next verse, “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” Even with all that He was experiencing, He knew prayer was the answer. Now let us read verse thirty-five, “He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.” Do you think that Jesus was displaying the symptoms of depression?
Emotions play an important part in our lives. We are in charge of all of our emotions. We are accountable for how our emotions respond to situations. We have never seen this taught inside the church, they have never told us that we are responsible for how we feel. We have been told that we have to accept what is happening to us and we have to deal with it. This is Satan’s deception and this is the way that he wants us to think. He wants us to be deceived into thinking that when we have negative emotions, there is nothing that can be done about it. We define emotions as feelings that are inside of us for pain or pleasure that will move us into a direction. God never intended for us to become emotionless. He gave us these emotions, but He never said that the emotions could be our masters.
There are godly emotions that direct us into God’s plan and they are not negative. These godly emotions will direct us towards God’s plan. We must understand that self-control is a gift given to us by God. Meekness is self-control. Self control is the gift from God that helps us reach the plan of God for our lives. When we are out of control and our emotions rule us, then that is where the Word needs to step in, so that God can show us how to be an overcomer. I am not saying that we will never experience a negative emotion, but I am saying that God will teach us how to capture those negative emotion when they do come. The Word will show us how to take authority over those negative emotions. I am not saying that we will not have negative emotions. These emotions will show up, this is just a part of life. What I am saying is this, that we will know what to do when they do show up.
The problem that has affected most of us is this, that when the negative emotions show up, they start controlling us, instead of us controlling them. For some reason, we allow these negative emotions or feelings to move us toward the direction of destruction. Jesus never allowed negative emotions to move Him away from God’s plan. We must learn to do the same thing. God wants us to know that we are in control of our emotions. As we soak in His presence, meditating upon His Word, we will find out about what we have authority over.
What are the effects of depression? First we become “Physically ill,” as sickness overtakes us because we are depressed. Negative thought weigh so heavily upon us, that they begin to fill our hearts and this causes negative feelings that bring in the illnesses. Believe it or not, these feelings can affect the organs in our bodies. Why? They steal our peace and joy and give us stress. Stress can hurt us physically. If stress attacks our minds, then our bodies also become stressed and we in-turn become sick. In order for us to combat stress, we have to battle the stress in our minds. Jesus dealt with stress and in Mark 14:35, Jesus shows us what to do, “He went further, fell to the ground and prayed.” He saturated Himself in the presence of God. This is how He dealt with stress and I believe that this is the way we must battle stress as well.
Worry causes sickness! When we are sad all the time, we cause sickness. When we cannot forgive, we cause sickness. Joan Hunter, an Evangelist from Texas told me, “The root of why people are sick and in pain is because they harbor unforgiveness.” She said, “Many people receive healing when the root of bitterness and unforgiveness is pulled out of them.”
Know this, the devil may throw all kinds of things at you, but God’s Word defeats all of them. Instead of worrying, we should read about what peace God has given us. Instead of sadness, we should fill our minds with the joy of the Lord. Instead of depression, think on good wholesome thoughts. Instead of unforgiveness, forgive those who trespass against us. You see, everything that the devil wants to throw at us, Jesus has already defeated.
Know this also, every trial and tribulation has an expiration date attached to it. When we come through the trial, we must take what God has taught us, because wisdom is gained through trials. As we grow stronger through God’s Word, we will know our identity and we will understand our authority over the enemy. When the devil comes to dance with us, don’t fear him but show him the door. We must become aggressive with our enemy. Take his mask off and expose him. The devil doesn’t get permission from God to hurt us, we give it to him. I know that is hard to swallow, but it is true. The devil uses his power of suggestion and trickery to have us invite him in for the attack. We open up our mouths and speak his suggestions into the air and we start agreeing with what he says. Our emotions fire up and we don’t expose ourselves to the Word, we now are allowing ourselves to be destroyed. This is nothing but ignorance on our part. We must learn to our authority to benefit ourselves instead of using it to hurt us. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
The second effect of depression is “Guilt.” Guilt is defined as the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime. (Dictionary.com) When the enemy attacks us with guilt, the first thing we should do is take the mask off and expose him. Guilt is a product of fear. It is very powerful and it fills us with negative emotions. These emotions can sometimes overwhelm us, that we will forsake the people that we know and love. These emotions or feelings will keep us from following the plan of God, because the guilt brings with it unforgiveness. Know this, that God has forgiven you, matter-a-fact, He has forgiven the whole world, but people who have the spirit of depression become filled with guilt and they feel that God doesn’t forgive them. They keep carrying the weight and they have a hard time of letting go of it. The weight that they carry will eventually have an effect on the way they walk. They can continue carrying the guilt around with them and have a miserable life or they can learn to forgive and walk in victory. It is terrible that people hold grudges against others and that they don’t let the weight of guilt come off of them. The problem that I see with guilt is that God cannot use us, because grace cannot flow freely. Guilt is a form of “Pride,’ and God needs for us to be free of pride. We must let the guilt go, so that wee can focus on God’s will for our lives. Please do not take my word for it, look at what God says about it, turn to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Understand this, many people that read admire in the Bible have committed atrocities, but God forgave them. Moses killed someone, but God forgave him, then God used him to free Israel. David committed adultery with another man’s wife, then he had the man killed so that he could have the wife all for himself, but God forgave him and kept him as king of Israel. Saul a Pharisee persecuted the followers of Jesus, he imprisoned and tortured them, some even unto death, but Jesus forgave him and set him on the path to bring the gospel message to the Gentiles. You may know him now as the apostle Paul. We may have guilt, but we must learn to let go of it, so that we can stay on the path that God has laid out for us. God have given us the free gift of “No Condemnation.” He did this so that we can walk in the Spirit. It has already been done for us. Jesus has already made this available to us. It is one of His finished works. Who did He give it to? He gave it to those who are “In Christ Jesus! We do not have to work to receive it, because it is already ours.
The third effect of depression is, “Jealousy and Hostility.” A person who is depressed will always bring hostility into the place they live. Jealousy comes from the depressed person towards others, because those around them don’t exhibit signs of despair and sadness. The depressed person doesn’t want to see people happy so they lash out at them, because they are happy. Depressed people also blame others for their sadness. The people closest to them are the ones that receive the blunt of their negative emotions. Know this, it is the depressed person who is the problem. This brings chaos within the home. The depressed individual becomes so self-absorbed that they cannot rationalize anything as real. Flashes of anger jump out of them, because nothing is making sense to them. Criticism becomes an everyday occurrence. Control of family members becomes a daily thing. They accuse their loved ones of ruining their lives and ignoring their needs. In their minds, nothing is done right. Depression has an enormous impact on a person’s ability to function at work, in relationships, and in other areas of life. Depression affects not only the ability to function and their quality of life, but also their physical health, driving them toward suicide. Christian men and women must have an intimate relationship with Jesus. That relationship with Jesus will help them cope with the stress of life. The Word of God gives us the information to overcome any and all situations that we may face.
Causes of Depression
The first cause of depression is, “Sorrow.” Psalms 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.” Jesus gives us what we need. As Psalms forty says, God promises to lift us out of despair and He promises that He will set our feet on solid ground. He promises to give us a “New Song,” in our hearts. What is He saying? He is saying to us, instead of being filled with sorrow, surround yourselves with His Word.
The second cause of depression is, “Disappointment.” Disappointment is sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of hopes or expectations. Know this, we are to always to expect from God, because when we have nothing, He has everything.
The third cause of depression is, “Rejection.” Rejection is the feeling of not being accepted. This is an issue of our self-worth, it is the feeling of being insignificant. This is why it is so important that we know that we are loved by the Father. Mankind may reject us, but God loves us with an unending love. If we try to please mankind and make the world see us as something special, then rejection will come into us. As “Born Again” children of God, we are not of this world anymore. We walk in it, but we are not it’s citizens, because we are the citizen’s of heaven. We are ambassadors to this world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We must understand that we are not here to be approved by the world, we are already accepted by Jesus and He loves us. Psalms 3:3 says, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” The Lord is saying to us that He is our shield for us, He is the shield that surrounds us. He lifts our heads up because He tells us that He loves us.
The fourth cause of depression is, “Dead Religion.” If we return from church and we are always filled with depression, something is not right with the church. A church that is under the law is a “Dead Church.” A church that doesn’t allow the Holy Spirit to have free reign, is a dead church. God’s desire is for us to be free to worship Him in Spirit and truth. A body of believers who are constantly saying that we have to do something to get God to do something is a church that is bound by the law. Jesus freed us from this bondage when He tore the veil between the holy place and the Holy of holies. He bridged the gap between us and the Father. We do not have to do something to get God to do something, all that we have to do is believe. We must believe in the One that God sent and also believe in His finished works.
I have seen this first hand, where people are depressed, because they are not seeing the finished works of Jesus in the church that they attend. They are told constantly that they are not good enough for God. People who are bound by the traditional way of thinking. God desires His Church to move through the power of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 42:11 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” If you are reading this and you are disquieted within your soul, put your hope in Jesus and He will change what is wrong to what is right or He will move you to where it is right. That is where we find that God’s grace paves the way that we need to follow. Fire flows from His grace and power flows from His grace.
The fifth cause of depression is, “Illness and Sickness.” When people are sick, it cause depression. People become sad and disquieted within their souls, when sickness hits them. Many of us need to be delivered from the spirit of depression, before we are healed of our sicknesses. Depression will destroy our lives, by hindering our faith.
When I was stationed in Afghanistan, I developed a DVT [Deep Vein Thrombosis] or a blood clot in my right calf under the knee. I was immediately taken to a mobile army hospital and I was given treatment. While I was in this mobile hospital, that was ran by NATO Forces, depression began to set in on me, because I was uncertain of my sickness. I became depressed, because the feeling of uncertainty had set in. I felt that I was abandoned by God, my country, and my friends. It wasn’t until I was returned to the United States that God intervened and He delivered me from the spirit of depression and made His Word come alive for me. Soon I was healed from the DVT. Depression came upon me during my sickness, because I allowed the devil’s suggestion of uncertainty to overwhelm me. I began saying out of my mouth about the uncertainty. I started saying that I would not be healed, I won’t have a job and I was abandoned. I was uncertain where I would go, what I would do and most of all what God was going to do. I was sad and disquieted within my soul, because I felt there was no hope for me. My faith was on trial. God in His mercy changed everything for me, but I had to change the way I was thinking. I had to overcome the situation with His Word. The devil, he was out to destroy me, but God used this situation to open my eyes to the truth of the Gospel of Grace. Sicknesses can fill us with negative emotions and if we don’t give them to God, through the Word, those negative emotions will destroy us.
In these days that are to come, know this, that God will never abandon you. He will give you His light, when everything around you is dark. He will provide your needs when others are suffering. He will heal you and deliver you from all of the devil’s oppression. God has given you the Word with the specific instructions to meditate upon it day and night. God doesn’t abandon His own. Where is our help? He comes like a flood, He is the Lord, strong and mighty.
What is depression? We know that it is the thoughts and feelings that weigh us down. Depression is from the way that we think. It is an emotion. What have you been thinking about lately? what are the thoughts that have been weighing you down? What hurtful, painful and convicting thoughts are you hanging onto? Depression is an external stress that comes from outside of us and enters inside of us. What are your outside stresses? What circumstances do you run through your mind daily? Do they cause you pain and weigh you down?
Depression is thoughts that weigh us down, therefore in order to overcome depression we must change the way that we think. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he….” Most people today say that this is not important. If we are going to deal with how we feel, we have to deal with how we think. How we think, is going to determine how we feel. “As we think, so are we.” We are the sum total of who we are, because of the way that we think. What are the thoughts that you are holding onto the most? What keeps you weighed down? What external pressures are you thinking about?
Those thoughts that we harbored have not only entered our minds, but now they have taken root in our hearts. We say, “I tried to get rid of these thoughts, but they keep coming back, why?” We cannot just “try’ to change the way that we thinking, because the way that we think comes from what we expose ourselves to. We must examine what we are continually exposing ourselves to. How much time do you expose yourself to God’s Word? How much exposure time do you give to the Holy Spirit?
Why is it that we want to replace God with something else? God gives us everything that we need to live life, yet we do not trust Him or His Word. We say, “I trust God to deliver me from depression,” but our words are followed by the action to seek out anti-depressants. We have the cure for depression right before our eyes, yet will still will not believe in Jesus and His finished works. Jesus is our deliverer, but we will not trust Him. Do you believe that Jesus is greater than the spirit of depression? Do you believe that Jesus will deliver you? Do you believe that Jesus will heal you?
We have always believed in the right thing. Our belief has gotten into our thinking. Our thinking is the result of what we expose ourselves to. Saying all of this, we must believe in Jesus and His finished works. We must believe that Jesus can change our way of thinking and we must expose ourselves to the Word. I pray that you truly get something out of this? if we believe in the wrong things, we think the wrong thoughts and we expose ourselves to the wrong things. When will you let Jesus be enough? When will you trust Him for what He has already done?
How Do We Change The Way We Think?
How do we change the way that we think? How are we able to do this? We must expose ourselves to God and His Word and this will change our way of thinking and our godly thinking will change to godly emotions. What we sow is what we will reap. Godly emotions will produce godly decisions. Godly decisions produce godly actions. Godly actions produce godly habits and godly habits produces godly character. Godly character brings about godly direction and godly direction puts us on God’s path to God’s divine plan.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” God wants you to receive the “Good Word,” are you ready to receive it?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, it is typically produced by an imminent event or an unlikely outcome. Worry or anxiety when it enters our hearts, causes depression. God has given us the cure, if we will just believe Him. He tells us the cure is found in First Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Do you believe God has the cure? Most people today do not, they believe that they must hold onto their cares and grin and bear them. The problem is, if we continue holding onto our cares, they will weigh us down.
How Do We Overcome?
How do we become overcomers? It is done with precision as the Word of God gives us direction. We know that Jesus has healed us of all of our diseases and all of our sicknesses. His body was broken and beaten for us, so that we could become whole. We know that depression is a sickness. Like all the sicknesses, Jesus has said, “I have already healed you from it.” The Bible teaches us how to be free from depression. Depression may be knocking on your door, but now you know that it is an oppression from the devil, Jesus has already delivered you from it. You can say to this mountain, move and it will.
What Are The Steps To Overcome?
What are the steps that God wants us to take to overcome depression? Let’s start by looking at Third John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” God’s will for us is that we will be successful in every way, He wants us successful in our physical bodies. Look at this verse in Third John from that Amplified Bible, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” It says it right here underline or highlight in your Bibles the words “that your body may keep well.” What is this saying to us? That God desires for us to have divine health. Notice the last part of this verse and underline or highlight the words, “even as I know your souls keeps well and prospers.” Is there something being said here? Our souls consist of our mind, will and emotions. From reading this, I can only produce one truth, in order for our bodies to made well, our minds have to made well. The condition of the soul is going to be based upon the success in our lives and in our bodies. The conditions of our bodies are based upon the conditions of the success in life and the wellness of our souls.
Know this, that the spirit and the soul are not the same thing. We are spirit beings, we possess a soul and we live in a physical body. Our souls are filled with emotions and this determines how we feel. Jump over to Proverbs 4:20-24, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.” Do you see what God wants you to see? He is giving you the way through life.
The first step to be an overcomer, is that we must “Pay Attention to God’s Word.” We must tune out the world and it’s influence and keep on God’s frequency. We are not to let it slip from our sight and we are to keep it in our minds and hearts. God is saying that it is His Word that is life to us and it is His Word that gives health to our flesh. The last thing that God is saying is to cast out our perverse lips, in other words, do not speak death but speak life. As my wife reminds me from time to time, “Believe and Receive.” Look at verse twenty again, it starts with “My son.” Who is that? It is everyone of us. It is all mankind. God is personally addressing each one of us. Let us read further, “Give attention to My Word.” God is saying, if we want to be overcomers, if we want to make it through life, then pay attention to His Word. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t see the writing on the wall, we fill our minds with everything in the world, but we aren’t willing to fill it with God’s Word. What God is saying is that if we will fill ourselves with His Word we will walk around in complete wholeness. It is really shameful of us to try everything that the world offers and place God only there for emergencies. When all else fails, where do we turn? We turn to God! Don’t we realize that if we turned to Him first, then everything would be solved. The cure would happen right away. We would be free from the mess that we are in. I want you to take a look at verses twenty and twenty-two in the Message Bible, “Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.” Are you seeing what God is saying? He says that I have given you the instruction manual, Hear the words that I speak, tune yourselves into My Word, concentrate on it, learn from it, and those that discover it will live. We will live and not die in our bodies and our souls. God has given the instructions to having an abundant life.
Some people say, that the Bible is just a book. I used to think that as well, until I asked God to make His Word come alive within me. Notice what I said, “within me,” not just to me. This is very important, because I believe that the Word has to become part of us. To those who do not know Jesus, that is all the Bible is, just another book, but to those who are “Born Again,” the Bible is God’s Spoken Word. This Word is alive. The Bible is alive and it teaches us how to live life in abundance.
“Fill your head and your heart with the Scriptures…as you do this, you are sowing in your heart seeds which the Spirit can germinate…you must be soaked with the Word of God, you must be so filled with it.” (Smith Wigglesworth)
What we choose to believe, will be allowed to enter into our hearts. What we allow into our hearts, becomes our life. Depression can’t stay within us, if we are holding onto to God’s Word, every time depression rises up, read and speak the Word against it and it will have to go.
The second step is, “Speak To The Problem.” We must speak to the situation or problem, before it speaks to us. We must stop speaking about our problems, and speak to them. When we speak about our problems, nothing happens except for the spirit of depression taking root inside of us, but when we speak to our problems, we take authority over them. Don’t take my word for it, but look at what God says, turn to Mark 11:23, “ For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” The Bible says, that we are to speak to the mountain of depression, move it away from us in the name of Jesus. We are to command it to leave and cast it out. The key is what is said next, “Do Not Doubt But Believe.” When we do this we will have whatever we say. Do you believe in what the Word says?
Right now, today, this is the time to bring the battle against depression. Speak directly to it, don’t speak about it. Speak to the problem. Speak to sickness in the name of Jesus. Speak to demons in the name of Jesus. Speak to your body in the name of Jesus. Do you believe? If you do believe speak to the problem!
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” (Psalms 107:2) Do you know what the devil is afraid of? He is afraid of a “Born Again, Spirit Filled, Devil Stomping, Tongue Talking Believer.” He is afraid of them because they aren’t afraid of opening their mouths and speak with authority. He has “No Defense” against a man or woman of God who knows who they are in Christ and that they know what their authority is.
The third step is, “Ask God If There Is Anything Missing In Your Life.” If there is something that is missing in your life, ask God for it. If you don’t doubt you will have whatever you say.
If we are depressed, because something that is missing in our lives, ask the Father to give it to you. Some people get depressed because they don’t appear to have the gifts like other people have. The question that needs to be asked is, “Did you ask God for it?” Look at John 16:24, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” God gives us another key to being free from depression, He says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Have you asked God for what is missing in your life?
We receive what ask for and joy is promised to us. Depression cannot hold onto us when we are filled with joy. Remember, do not ask amiss, another words don’t ask for something that is self centered. Ask for something that only grace can supply. “Faith Takes” and “Grace Makes.” If it is outside of the purview of what Jesus has already done, then grace cannot manifest it and faith will not take it. Remember also, to always ask for things that are not for your advantage, but for others advantage.
Let me be real with you, we must be real in our thinking. The spirit of depression is going to attack us. It is going to come against us, but we now know how to be an “Overcomer.” Overcome the spirit of depression with the Word of God. This spirit will not stop with just one strike of the Word, it will come again and maybe even more times, but we must continue striking it with the Word and believe me the more you slash it with the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), the weaker it will become, until one day it will give up its hold on you. Then with the authority given to you by Jesus, you can cast it out completely. Speaking to the mountain will move the problems, it isn’t magic, it is Jesus! Speaking to it once will not move it, but in faith and no doubt you can cast the problem into the abyss and you will be an “Overcomer.”
Are you an “Overcomer?” Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, then let me introduce you to Him:
Pray this prayer: “Father God, I believe that You love me so much that You sent your one and only Son (Jesus) to pay the penalty for my sin. I admit that I have sinned. I repent of those sins and I believe that Jesus paid for all my sins. I believe that Jesus loved me so much He died for me. I believe that after He died, He rose from the dead and is seated in heaven with the Father. I ask You Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You Jesus…Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, you are an “Overcomer.” Find a Bible believing church and ask Jesus to make His Word come alive within you.