Depression is rising and it is rampant in our generation. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by extreme sadness, poor concentration, sleep problems, loss of appetite and feelings of guild, helplessness and hopelessness. It can happen to anyone.
There are five changes I want to challenge you to make this year to have a new you, a new achievement and a truly new year. I am targeting the issue of depression with routines to help you beat depression in 2022 based on the life of Elijah in 1 Kings 19.
- Get your physical health in order by developing discipline for your physical health in terms of your eating, sleeping and exercising.
- Embrace community.
- Start to take fasts and extended fasts.
- Make a decision to be in God’s Word, experience God in His Word and make God’s Word the standard for your life.
- Live for a cause in the midst of the chaos.
In 1 Kings 19:5, Jezebel sends a message to Elijah. Her expertise is intimidation and Elijah got so scared that he ran for his life. Then, when Elijah started talking to God, he said he’d had enough and even asked God to kill him. After this, Elijah slept, was woken by an angel and given food, he arose and ate.
God is pleased when you take care of your body.You will experience the compensation of the Lord when you take care of the temple of the Lord. Click To Tweet
However, if this year you become lazy and just let go, you will experience the consequences of that on your mood.
Your body matters to God; He created it, He heals it, He rewards you for what is done in it and He will raise it from the dead one day.
In 1 Kings 19:3, we can see that Elijah was a very lonely man. It is not that nobody wanted to be around Elijah, it is that Elijah lived alone intentionally and on purpose. I don’t know the reason but one of the things God did was instruct him to find Elisha. You need to surround yourself with good people.
To embrace community, firstly, prioritize your family, being with your family and structuring meetings with your family this year. You can even make it weekly. It honors God and will do something to your emotions. Secondly, make a decision to join a small group or Bible study and discipleship group. Thirdly, make a decision not to skip church.
In 1 Kings 19:8, after he ran from Jezebel and was strengthened by the angel, Elijah escaped into extended fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.Fasting is not a diet. Fasting is when you abstain from food for spiritual reasons. The benefit of fasting can be physical but the cause and motive of fasting is always spiritual. Click To Tweet
I challenge you to consider and ask the Lord if that’s something He would want you to join in this month. If you are trying to escape something this year, may I give you a good escape strategy? Extended fasting.
In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah got into a cave and the Word of God came to him. The Bible is the only book in the world that is God breathed. It is the only book where the Author will speak to you as you read it. The Bible makes all the difference.The secret to beating porn, loneliness, depression and a lot of emotional problems is a consistent diet in the Word of God. Click To Tweet
This is the power of being in the Word of God. Every morning when you open the Bible, God will come to you in the form of His Word.
I want to challenge you to do a few practical challenges with the Bible this year.
1.Read the Bible daily.
2. Read the Bible as a study Bible. The goal is not to finish it in one year but to read it every single day, to be fed, to have it speak to you and understand what it is saying.
3. Download a Bible memorization app.
When you are down, you express your hurt and frustration but when you read the Bible, you are letting God speak His mind to you and He can pull your out of your misery through His Word.
Then, the Lord gave Elijah a new assignment, job and purpose. One of the things that can help pull you out of depression and discouragement is having a cause and a purpose.
If you are someone who is not just depressed but feel suicidal, listen to me very carefully: you don’t need to take your life; somebody has already given His life for you and His name is Jesus Christ. Suicide is not your salvation, Jesus is. He paid the price so you don’t have to. All you have to do is come to Him and give your life to Jesus.Your current mood and emotional state is not an indication of what God wants to do in your life. Click To Tweet
Lastly, depression is not a pet that should be entertained; it’s a pest that should be exterminated. Elijah didn’t really have a problem with his diet or health. Elijah had a force that he had to confront, which was Jezebel.
A lot of times, behind extended periods of depression and anxiety, there actually is a demonic spiritual force. Medicine cannot help with demons. If you’re going through a heavy depression right now, suicide is not a solution; medicine is not a lack of your faith and deliverance is not just an option, it might be a necessity.
Sermon by Vladimir Savchuk; Blog by Edward Gardiner
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