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CAT | Depression: Root Cause & the Path to Freedom

THE SOUL OF MAN

Ps 23:3 He restores my soul.

Rom 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  (NLT)
I said in my last Blog that it is our thought life that is the key to deliverance from the soul destroying effects of depression.

In the diagram above we see that God created our soul of mind, will & emotions. This is our personality, our character, the real us. And He programmed our soul to operate from the default position of mind, will & emotions. Not will, emotions, mind, or emotions, mind, will, but, ‘mind will & emotions’.

From this default position ( follow the direction of the arrows in the Dia) we see that the mind activates the operation of the will, and the will activates the operation of the emotions.

Eg – We receive a date for a job interview. Negative thoughts enter our mind, “What if I can’t answer the questions, what if they don’t like me” etc. Our will now has to make a decision to allow or disallow those thoughts to remain in our mind. If our will chooses to allow them, this activates our emotions to release the appropriate emotions to go with our thoughts.

Hence, our emotions release fear and worry which leads to anxiety, and anxiety yielded too leads to depression.

So how can we change this scenario. We change it by replacing our negative thoughts with positive thoughts; and for the Christian, we are to use the thoughts that come from God’s Word. Such thoughts as, “Father, I trust this job interview to You, and I leave the results to You. I put my hope in Your guidance for my life. You have my best interests at heart” etc, etc.

By replacing the negative with the positive it will activate positive emotions such as peace and joy and lead us to a place of rest.

Paul the Apostle lays out this principle in Phil 4:6-9 in 4 steps:

1) Do not be worried about anything.

2) Commit the worry to God and trust Him to work it out for us.

3) By leaving it with God, we will now experience His peace.

4) Exchange the negative by practicing meditating on the good, true, lovely and noble things of God’s Word.

This is a process of learning. We have to practice leaving our worries with God and not take them back in our minds. We do this by keep replacing them with the thoughts of God’s Word. We should also speak out God’s Word which releases the power that is inherent in it and establishes it in our life.

We are showing by our actions that we believe that God is in control of our life and are putting our trust and faith in Him. This is why worry is an issue of unbelief. Worry says that I can sort out my own life, I am in control, I will work things out, and I can do all this without God’s help! This is self idol worship!

Finally, in seeking to change the way we think, if we fail and find ourselves taking back those negative thoughts and worrying, we must not feel guilty, condemn or beat ourselves up. NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! Rom 8:1 There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (NIV)

His grace covers all our faults, mistakes, failures and sin. He is pleased with us even when we fail and His love is unconditional. He’s made us worthy and accepts us at all times. Rom 5:20 Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

Ps 103:13,14.  He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. For he knows we are but dust.  (TLB)

Let us pick ourselves up and apply ourselves again to substituting the negative for the positive thoughts of God’s Word. Let us ask the Holy spirit for His help and strength and the day will come when we win through and gain a victory over worry and prove to ourselves we can conquer depression.

Meditation Point: The Gospel message was given to meet every need of man. God’s Word correctly applied will bring deliverance, victory and healing to spirit, soul and body. Jesus did not die to leave us at the mercy of the negative aspects of the fall of man into sin.



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DEPRESSED

JOYFUL

Isa 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives. ‘The oil of joy for mourning’.  (NKJV)

To cure depression we have to find the root cause. When we destroy the root, the fruit will shrivel up.When Jesus cursed the fig tree, He said, “May you never bear fruit again” (Mt 21:19). The following day as they passed by the same spot, Mark 11:20 says,’They saw the fig-tree withered from the roots‘.

We know that depression can be caused by physical things such as bad diet, overwork, exhaustion etc. As we address such issues the depression is healed. But where the depression is caused internally by prolonged worry, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness; my view is that the root cause of such depression is ‘unbelief in God’.

But before we address unbelief, let’s first look at what causes internal depression.

The Dict Def of depression is: To make sad or gloomy; to be low in spirit, dejectedness, hopelessness.

We arrive at such a state because we are reacting negatively to the circumstances surrounding our lives. In Ps 42 King David is fighting a battle, but his enemies are gaining the upper hand. This causes David to go into a depression Ps 42:9. What is the cause of his depression? The answer – His thought life. The key to our positive or negative well-being is found in the thoughts we allow into our minds.

Our thoughts determine the way we think, the way we think determines the way we speak, the way we speak determines the way we act!

In our next Blog we will look at how our thoughts are the key to breaking free from depression.

Meditation Point: Mt 11:28-30. Jesus said,”Come unto Me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you’ll find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

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Broken Happiness

Expectation

Ps 42:5  Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. (NKJV)

I think it’s important to start this series by being clear about this subject of depression and my view as a Christian.

If we are struggling with depression, we should never feel guilty or condemned by what other Christians say. Unwise things can come out of all our mouths because we’ve not thought through what the other person is suffering. The Scripture that should always keep us in peace is Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.

Whether we fail to live up to people’s expectations, fall short or cannot maintain victory in our lives, this Scripture should keep us anchored and stable. Neither should we be ashamed. Christ took all our shame upon Himself on the cross.

Neither should we avoid seeking medical help. If we are offered medicine which will help us until we can be healed, we should take it. We don’t have a problem taking medicine for a physical ailment, therefore, we shouldn’t have a problem taking medicine for a mental ailment.

Paul the apostle was criticised for his ministry in building the Corinthian Church. This is what he said:

1 Cor 4:2-4 Now the most important thing about a servant is that he does just what his master tells him to. What about me? Have I been a good servant? Well, I don’t worry over what you think about this or what anyone else thinks. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point.  My conscience is clear, but even that isn’t final proof. It is the Lord himself who must examine me and decide.  (TLB)

v4 ‘It is the Lord Himself who must examine me’. Another translation says,It is the Lord who judges me’. And how does the Lord judge us. He judges us righteous on the basis of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we must learn to stand in Christ’s righteousness and not be shaken by other people’s opinions or judgements.

Meditation Point: I am accepted by the Father in spite of what others say about me. His love for me is unconditional and He sees me perfect and whole ‘in Christ’.

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