How do I stay in the Word of God? I build myself up and then I get depressed thinking nothing will change, and I know in my heart that it’s not true. I don’t discourage others when I feel this way, I keep His Word alive, but I lose myself.
How do you stay in the Word of God when you get depressed? Well, you’ve got
to realize that depression is a deceptive feeling, and if you allow it to rule
your life, then depression is your Lord. Don’t let it rule your life. You let
the Word of God rule your life, and you keep believing the Word of God.
It says in James 1:2, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials.” So
if you have trials, if you’re having difficulty in an area of your life, whether
it’s depression or anything else, here’s what God tells us to do: Praise God
anyway. Rejoice. And praise God. And you are going to break out of that
depression. You can break out of that oppression. Jesus said he came to deliver.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” in Luke 4:18 he said, “to set free those
that are oppressed.” And so if you’re oppressed or depressed, the Spirit of God
will deliver you. So you keep praising God, you keep speaking God’s Word,
believing God’s Word, and you can break out of any depression.
And if you need to see a doctor, then do that. But realize that doctors are men.
You know, they can help us to a degree, but what we really need is we really
need to go to God for answers, and go to God for joy. The joy of the Lord is our
strength. And joy comes from believing the Word of God. So you’ve got to be
believing the Word of God. Adam and Eve got depressed when stopped believing the
Word of God, it led them to sin. And Cain got depressed and it caused him to
sin. He got depressed and he stopped believing God’s Word and he started
believing a lie, and thought that his real problem was his brother, so that he
could take out his problem, but his problem never went away, his problem got
I have my father living with me and he has lung cancer. So, I went to the doctor and asked him if it’s possible to get depressed being a caretaker. He said “yes” and gave me a prescription. The thing is, I’m a new Christian and I’m trying to have that motivation to go about renewing the mind, going through the steps of reading and everything. But there are days when I don’t have that motivation to do a lot of things. And I don’t like the way I feel. So, what does God say about that?
Well, He says a lot. Let me first say that you’re not alone and that a lot of
people deal with depression and with feelings that you’re feeling. It starts in
the book of Genesis chapter 4 where Cain and Abel had a confrontation. Cain
thought that Abel was his problem, the issue in his life and that if he could
get rid of Abel, then he could get rid of his problem. The Bible says that God
came to Cain after his offering was rejected and the reason his offering was
rejected was because he didn’t put God first. And the Bible says his countenance
fell. And God came to Cain and said, “Why has your countenance fallen?” In other
words, “Why is your face sad? Why are you depressed? Why have you lost your
joy?” And He said, “Sin is crouching at the door right now and you must master
it or it will master you.”
That’s where our whole teaching called Mastering Your Emotions came out of was
that passage of Scripture. The first thing that we have to identify is that Cain
was sad and his countenance had fallen and he was depressed. The first reason
was that he didn’t put God first. He had God in his life, but God wasn’t first
in his life. Step number one to get that joy back and get rid of that feeling of
depression and feeling like giving up and all that’s associated with that is
that you got to put God first. Put Him first in your life, your attitude, your
tithes and offerings, in your finances. It’s putting God first, really making
Him your Lord. Not just fitting Him in your life, but making Him your life.
Number two, Cain thought his problem was with Abel and if Abel changed, then he
would be happy. So, the second thing you got to do is to resist the temptation
to feel like when somebody else changes, then that’ll make you happy. And then,
step number three is that you have to realize that depression, sadness and grief
is always knocking at the door, “crouching at the door” the Bible says. And you
have to not let it in the door and keep the door shut on it. Keep your eyes on
Jesus and you will break out of those feelings of depression. You have to walk
by faith and do what you know is right because the Word of God says to do it
whether you feel like it or not. The feelings will come and go. But God wants
you to know He is on your side and He’s for you and you’re going to make it
Go to the Online Bookstore section of our website and look for our material
about overcoming depression and anxiety. And get our teaching on Mastering Your
My problem is that I’ve struggled with depression all my life and I’m in my fifties now. And the Lord has really saved me out of some terrible situations. I was in immorality and I was in some cult religions and I recommitted myself to the Lord about four years ago. I feel like I’m doing everything I can possible do in terms of reading the Word seriously and I’m in your church and I listen to all the teaching tapes. I’m not on medication anymore. Outwardly, it looks like I have a successful life, but I just never really feel like I’m happy, so I don’t feel like I can witness to anybody because I want to say, “Look at what the Lord has done for me,” but I don’t feel happy. I know feelings aren’t the important thing and I act over my feelings and it seems like I should feel happy a little bit more.
And you know what? God wants you to be happy. But you’re right. First of all,
I congratulate you on acting over your feelings rather than allowing your
feelings to prevail over you. So that’s a good thing. And you’re doing the right
thing and you’re doing a great job. Keep doing that.
The thing about sharing the gospel with other people, we need to realize the
number one reason to minister or witness to other people is not because of the
feelings that we have or the happiness that we feel because of the Lord, but
because there is a heaven and there is a hell and without Jesus, there is no
hope to be saved. There is no hope for eternal life without Jesus Christ and
that should be enough of a reason to minister to people. Don’t let your feelings
stop you, because the reason people should serve God is not because of “Oh, look
at what He’s done for me.” But it’s because, “Look at what He’s done for you. He
died for your sins so that you could have a way into heaven and a way to have
So, turn the table on the devil on that one and let people know, and you need to
know in your mind and heart, it’s not about what God has done for you or about
how you feel right now. But it’s about what Jesus has done for that person. And
whether we feel it or not, Jesus died for their sins and rose from the dead so
that they could be saved.
Now, with depression - and thank God you’re off medication and life is
successful on the outside - but yes, there needs to be an infusion of happiness.
Here’s what I want to encourage you to do. Go to the Scriptures and look in your
concordance and find all the places in the concordance where the word “Happy” is
mentioned and look up those Scriptures and do a Bible study because there are
several things the Bible says will produce happiness. And if the Word of God is
true, which you and I know that it is, if you will do the things that the Bible
says produce happiness, you will experience happiness. So go to the Scriptures.
For example, I’ll give you one. Romans 14 it says, “Happy is the man that does
not condemn himself.” So chances are, if there’s unhappiness in your life, one
of the possible reasons is that you condemn yourself easily, you beat yourself
up about your mistakes easily, you feel bad about the shortcomings in your life.
So what I want you to do is look up those Scriptures where the word “happy” is
found in the Bible and start meditating on those things and you are going to see
a change. In the meantime, whether you see a change or not, you need to know
that God is very pleased with you for acting over your feelings.
I would like to know how to deal with a state of despair and despondency?
How do you deal with a state of despair and despondency? Well, there’s a
number of ways you deal with that. Number one, you put your hope in God. You
take your eyes off of the people that have disappointed you and the things in
life that have disappointed you and you put your hope in God. Put your trust in
Him. Put your confidence in Him. Put your eyes on Him because He’s the only one
that will never disappoint, He’s the only one that will never leave you in
despair; He’s the only one that will never leave you despondent. So call upon
Him and look to Him.
Psalm chapter 42, “Why so downcast? Why so in despair O my soul? Put your hope
in God.” See, when you put your hope in God, that’s when you’re going to be free
from despair. But when your hope is in anything else or in anyone else, you’re
going to lose hope. When your confidence is in people rather than in God, you’re
going to end up being depressed and disappointed. So, that’s the number one way
to overcome despair and despondency is to put your hope back in God. Get your
eyes on Him and He will not disappoint you.
Could it be God's will for me to have depression, anxiety and panic attacks, for a period of time, or does He not want that at all?
No, God doesn’t want that at all. It’s not God’s will for you to be depressed. It’s not God’s will for you to have anxiety and attacks. The Bible says that God wants you to have peace and joy, according to Romans 15:13. And as you meditate on that Word, it will show you one of the ways that you can have peace and joy. Romans 15:13.