In 21st century America, we hear that word every day. While depression takes on a variety of forms, a “blanket” definition would be…
“the state of being depressed–a feeling of let down, of hopelessness.”
It can affect the body. It can cause an overwhelming sense of fatigue to come upon a person. In fact, there are studies that indicate that many psychological neuroses, as well as some fatigue diseases, are the results of living with depression.
A permanent cure for depression?
Is there such a thing? Statistics show that multitudes of Americans are hoping for the quick cure. In 2001, it was estimated that 28 million Americans were taking anti-depressants. In 2016, studies suggest that one in six Americans are on some kind of psychiatric drug, a figure nearly double the 2001 number.
When Jesus began His ministry, His very first sermon included a quote from Isaiah 61…
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. ~ Luke 4:18-19
In Isaiah 61 (the original passage Jesus quoted), He goes on to say…
“… And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
The Bible doesn’t call it depression. The Bible calls it the spirit of heaviness. There is a demon involved here. David called it “being cast down.” Depression is a state of mourning in your life, a state of heaviness over circumstances. You are under the circumstances of your life. A great many things can open your life to the spirit of depression; circumstances, illness, negative and unhealthy thought patterns, bad (sinful) habits, rejection, death and loss, lack of direction, failure, and loss of passion for God can all be contributing factors that allow the enemy to gain access to your mind. The symptoms of depression as as varied as the causes; feelings of panic, unrelenting dissatisfaction, unstable emotions, oppression, and feelings of being overwhelmed or forgotten are all signs that you are heading down a dark and lonely road of depression.
So how do you hit the brakes? How do you recover when depression has you bound up? What can put you on the path to positive spiritual and mental health?
In order to be healed from depression, you must experience a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in your life! Isaiah 61 (then again in Luke 4) tells how Jesus would come to the depressed, enslaved, and the broken…
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord anointed Me….”
Jesus came with an anointing, a yoke-breaking, depression-crushing, life-giving, freedom-announcing anointing. All you need to do is ask Him for it. Then ask for a fresh word from the Lord. He says, “I’ve come to proclaim. I’ve come with a word.” He is our help and our salvation!
The third thing you need is a fresh worship offering to God.
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~ Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
Remember Jesus says to, “Put on a garment of praise.” Don’t be afraid to let God do something different in your worship life.
You say, “Well, Brother Ron, I just praise Him in my heart.”
I can guarantee that when you get up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., no matter how tired you are, you will get dressed for work. You can’t walk into your workplace with no clothes on, saying, “I didn’t feel like getting dressed; I thought I’d just skip that today.” God said, “I’ll give you a garment of praise.” You put on a garment whether you feel like it or not. Your heart may be heavy. You may have been through some painful stuff, but shout to the Lord anyway.
The devil can’t take away the blood of the cross. Satan can’t take away the resurrection of Jesus. He can’t take away your salvation. Proclaim along with Job…
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”
~ Job 13:15a (NKJV)
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth”
~ Job 19:25 (NKJV)
This devil of depression must be rooted out, or its impact will be devastating. If the depressed father doesn’t take these steps to overcome it, it could take his wife and it could take his children. Grandmother, it could take your grandchildren. You had better get rid of it.
I used to have to fight this spirit of depression every Christmas. Because of difficulties in my youth and the memories that would flood me, I feel myself begin to withdraw even as my children and friends around me were celebrating Jesus’ coming. God has used my kids to pull me out of this seasonal attack of depression.
Demons can’t possess Christians, but they can obsess, compress, and depress you. They can live in you like a rat or a cockroach. You have to drive them out. I didn’t get rid of them by telling them, “Well, I’m just so sorry you’re here.” I just told them where to go. “Get out of my life, heaviness!” And by the power and blood of Jesus, those spirits must flee!
~ Adapted from my book
Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
Copyright © 2010 Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House Book Group