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4Depression, Its Cause and Cure

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How many of you will honestly admit that at some time in your life you have been depressed?

Affliction, distress, agony. Pain, sorrow, woe, despondency, depression, grief, heartache, sadness, anguish, anxiety, desolation, despair, dejection, discouragement, unhappiness, mourning, gloom, malaise, doom, troubled, torment, Hell.

Emotional depression is widespread of not almost universal.  Severe depressed states have characterized human history every since Adam=s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Depression is defined by Webster=s dictionary as: Athe state of being depressed...dejection, as of mind...a lowering of vitality of functional abnormal state of inactivity and unpleasant emotion.@

Genesis 3: 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (NIV)

 01644 garash {gaw©rash'}a primitive root; TWOT - 388; drive out, cast out, thrust out, drive away,  put away, divorced, driven, expel, drive forth, surely, troubled, cast up divorced woman

Psalm 69:20 (READ) Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. (NIV).

HEART 2588 kardia {kar©dee'©ah}prolonged from a primary kar (Latin, cor, "heart"); TDNT - 3:605,415; n f AV - heart 159, broken hearted + 4937 1; 1601) the heart


1a) that organ in the animal body which is the center of the circulation of the blood, and hence was regarded as the seat of physical life


1b) denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life

       2a) the vigor and sense of physical life

       2b) the center and seat of spiritual life

           2b1) the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires,                     appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors

           2b2) of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence

           2b3) of the will and character

           2b4) of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul                      as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions

      1c) of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate

05315 nephesh {neh'©fesh}from 05314; TWOT - 1395a; n f AV - soul 475, life 117, person 29, mind 15, heart 15, creature 9, body 8, himself 8, yourselves 6, dead 5, will 4, desire 4, man 3,

themselves 3, any 3, appetite 2, misc 45; 751 


1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion

   1a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man

   1b) living being

   1c) living being (with life in the blood)

   1d) the man himself, self, person or individual

   1e) seat of the appetites

   1f) seat of emotions and passions

   1g) activity of mind

       1g1) dubious

   1h) activity of the will

       1h1) dubious

   1i) activity of the character

       1i1) dubious

Matt 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

THINK    5426 phroneo {fron©eh'©o}from 5424; TDNT - 9:220,1277;  think , regard, mind, be minded, savor, be of the same mind, be like minded, misc

1) to have understanding, be wise

2) to feel, to think

   2a) to have an opinion of one's self, think of one's self, to be modest, not let one's opinion            (though just) of himself exceed the bounds of modesty

   2b) to think or judge what one's opinion is

   2c) to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious

3) to direct one's mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for

   3a) to seek one's interest or advantage

   3b) to be of one's party, side with him (in public affairs)

Everyone is prone to depression regardless of your social status.  The sophisticated and highly intellectual are not exempt. Even Jesus was prone to depression.

Mark 14:32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," 

1 Corinthians 3:18©23

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future -- all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (NIV)


The high cost of being depressed

Every negative emotion indulged in over a period of time takes a heavy toll on a person.  Depression is not just an emotional state, but the result of a particular thinking pattern.

Romans 12:1©3

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment (see Asober@ below), in accordance with the measure (MEASURE: proverbially, the rule or standard of judgment) of FAITH God has given you. (NIV)

SOBER  from 4998; TDNT - 7:1097,1150; v AV - be in right mind 2, be sober 2, be sober minded 1, soberly 1; 6

1) to be of sound mind

   1a) to be in one's right mind

   1b) to exercise self control

       1b1) to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly

       1b2) to curb one's passions

ABeautiful young people are acts of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.@


FAITH  4102 pistis {pis'©tis}from 3982; TDNT - 6:174,849; n f AV - faith 239, assurance 1, believe + 1537 1, belief 1, them that believe 1, fidelity 1; 244

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and

holy fervor born of faith and joined with it

   1a) relating to God

       1a1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider                 and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

   1b) relating to Christ

       1b1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom                 we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God

   1c) the religious beliefs of Christians

   1d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ,            springing from faith in the same

2) fidelity, faithfulness

   2a) the character of one who can be relied on

2 Corinthians 2:1©2

1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? (NIV).



Consider the following five costs as only part of the price one pays for depression, depending on how serious and prolonged it is.

Gloom and pessimism(discouragement, disbelief) Everything looks black, and even the most simple things become difficult. Depressed people make Amountains out of mole hills.@  That does not make for good fellowship does it?  Consequently a depressed person is not sought after by their friends and therefore becomes more depressed. The gloomy and pessimistic spirit of the depressed person usually makes them a very lonely person.

Apathy (disinterest, inattention)  and fatigue. These conditions like anger and fear, involve very fatiguing emotions.  It takes considerable energy to be angry all day or to lie awake worrying all night, and this expenditure of energy does not leave and angry or fear-dominated person with much pep to enjoy the pleasurable blessings of life.  Depression is often worse than fear and anger in that it tends to neutralize man=s natural ambitions.  Since the Amole-hill@ looks like a mountain, attitudes usually are AWhat=s the use?@

Hypochondria.  A depressed person usually has aching pains, a sore stomach, and numerous difficulties without any known cause. Some people use this Atool@ to avoid what they think are unpleasant tasks by pretending to be sick. Our attitude decides whether stress makes us better or bitter.

Loss of productivity.  It is only natural that if depression leads to apathy, then it also leads to loss of productivity.  The loss is not only in this life, but also in the life to come. Matt 25:14-30 The Parable of the Talents.  (READ MATT. 25:28-30)

Irritability.  A person suffering from depression is prone to be irritable.  It irritates them that others are in a good, energetic mood when they are in a gloomy, nasty mood.

1 Samuel 1:6©7 6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. (NIV)

Withdraw. Depressed people withdraw from other people. Individuals tend to escape from the realities of life, and, if they are able, daydreaming about pleasant things or building castles about the future. Most depresses people stay in negative thinking (stinking thinking). Daydreaming is dangerous and a serious deterrent to an effective thinking process and not at all beneficial to good mental health.


The Causes of Depression

Self-centeredness.  Everything in the depressed persons life is related to self.  Self examination is commendable when it results in doing something about that which has been discovered.  Self examination for its own sake is introspection, which produces depression.

Perfectionism. Perfectionist find it easy to criticize not only others, but themselves too. Establishing our own supreme standards is dangerous and defeating especially when you do not measure up to your own standards which are un-obtainable.

Unrealistic towards yourself and others.  Depressed people seem incapable of adjusting to the demands made upon them by changes in the course of life.

Hypocrisy (dishonesty, insincerity) leads to depression.  The average Christian who attends a Bible-teaching church soon learns the standards of the Christian life.  If he attacks his weakness externally rather than by the control of the Holy Spirit working from within, he may become depressed.  Example: a man has a problem with resentment, bitterness and hostility.  He soon learns that this is not the standard of spirituality for the Christian. Unless he handles this matter on a personal basis with God, he will try to solve it by the power of self-control.  To control anger by the force of one=s will is not only futile, but it will lead to an explosion somewhere in the human bodyChigh blood pressure, heart trouble, ulcers, colitis, or a myriad of other maladies, or it may result in a belated explosion. The frustration that follows an angry reaction to a given situation leads to depression.

Physical problems.  Physical problems can lead to depression. Whenever a person is weak, even simple difficulties are magnified. However, in

2 Corinthians 12:9©10 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NIV).

Before a person attributes all of their depression to physical reasons,  physical causes should be investigated by his physician; however, most people are inclined to attribute their depression to physical problems rather than consider that it is spiritually and emotionally induced.

Rebellion and unbelief. Psalm 79

Psychological  letdown.  There is a natural psychological letdown whenever a great project had been completed. A very energetic and creative individual can be happy and contented while working toward a long-range goal.  But when the goal is reached, it is often followed by a period of depression.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.


1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

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