“WISDOM OF LIVING (59) DEPRESSION” By Pastor YAU
Text: Exodus 6:1-12 March 16, 2008.
conclusion: Scientists in the
A practical conclusion: Thousands of years ago, the Hebrews had high hope
that Moses would rescue them from slavery when God sent him to pronounce His
intention. (Exodus 4:29-31) But their hopes were crushed by Pharaoh, the king
GETTING TO KNOW DEPRESSION:
1) Depression: its definition: According to Encyclopedic Dictionary, “depression” means: lowering in vigor, value or quality; sinking in spirit. The root is from “depress” which means: to push or pull down, to bring low or humble, dispirit or deject or bad situation.
2) Depression: Its symptoms: According to Medical Dictionary from WebMD, “depression” is: 1, reduction of the level of functioning; 2, displacement of a part downward or inward; and 3, a mental state or chronic mental disorder characterized by feelings of hopelessness, sadness and loneliness, despair, low self-esteem, self-reproach and dejection. Sleepless night, loss of appetite and loss of interest to live are just a few obvious signs of depression.
3) Depression: Its causes: Besides medical conditions that caused people to be depressed, such as chronic mental disorder, chemical imbalance many people become depressed because of unfavorable life condition, pressure of life and helpless situation they face. Just look at the 2 scenarios in the introduction, people were depressed in early February and Moses who faced a downward spiral in the mission God called him to do. When life environment presses in and we can see no way out, many of us will feel depressed.
4) Depression: Its victims: Many of us, as well as people in Bible time, face life conditions that may lead to depression. But that doesn’t mean all possible victims will become depressed. We see this in real life to day and examples in the Bible. While difficult life experience is universal, cases of depression is not. Not all who live their life under insurmountable problems will become victims of depression. It is a case by case situation. We will explore these phenomena from the Bible in the next part of this message.
DEPRESSION IN THE BIBLE: You may be surprised that the Bible did record cases of people who went through extraordinary life experiences and had become depressed or very depressed. You will also see people who went through similar life experiences but came out victorious, not depressed at all. As we study these cases, we may come up with some practical remedies that may help us to handle difficult life experience.
depressed: In the second year of
leading the Israelis out of
2) Job was depressed: After he had lost all his children and properties, got painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head and the scolding of his wife urging him to curse God and die, Job did most people will do. “Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said, ‘May the day of my birth perish and the night it was said ‘a boy is born.’ That day, may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it, may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more, may a cloud settle over it, may blackness overwhelm its light.” (Job 1:13-3:5)I think we all can understand why Job was so depressed that he wished he had never been born.
depressed: Right after he had won a great
victory over the false prophets of Jezebel on
Habakkuk was a
victor: After years of oppression and
destruction in the
5) Paul was a victor: Not many of us live a life as pressured and even hopeless as the life of Paul, especially during his decades of missionary endeavor. With uncommon faith and commitment on the mission God called him to do, Paul repeatedly faced many setbacks, betrayal, persecution, danger and helpless situation, (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)Paul did not surrender to the environment to become depressed. His secret? Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.” It is the power of God which lived in him that sustained him to go through all kinds of circumstances without becoming depressed.
6) More victors: James, the brother of Jesus, encouraged the early Christians to stand firm in time of trials and difficulties. James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (1:2-4) Then he said, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”()History of Christian Church has countless accounts that many survived the test of faith and became victors instead of victims.
SUPER CURE OF DEPRESSION: (Exodus 6:1-12) We need to know. . .
1) God has a plan: When we read chapter 5 of Exodus, the only thing we see is how the situation of the Israelis went from bad to worse after Moses went to tell Pharaoh what God wanted him to say: let me people go. We don’t blame Moses when he complained that God had brought more trouble for the people and had done nothing to deliver them. ()But God has a plan. Read 6:1, “Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” What will God do with His mighty hand? He will send enough plaques to punish Pharaoh so he will allow the Israelis to leave. In fact, he begged them to leave and sent them away with many treasures. ((Exodus 12:31-36)
God has a name: To know God by his name was a desire of Moses when
he was called to deliver the Israelis out of
3) God is their God: Here in 6:7, God told Moses His desire to be their God and they His people---a covenant relationship throughout the Bible. God wants to be God for the Israelis and He wants the Israelis be His people. No any other god of any religion has such a relationship with those who worship it. This covenant relationship is the basis of God’s loving care, protection, guidance, riches and blessing. All that God is and has are inheritance of His people. He is much more than just a distant deity with super power. This is the God who loves His people like a Father to His children. This close relationship sustains all our needs and supplies all our strength to go through all kinds of difficult times.
4) God made a promise: In this text, God repeatedly reminded Moses His promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (6:2-5, 8)God will never forget His promises made to the patriarchs nor will He forget those promises made to the Israelis, His people. Whatever God said He will do, He has never failed in the past and He will not fail in the future.
This is a
depressed world: Just look around our
city, we can easily see many reasons why people got depressed. (News reported a
gun shot incident at
2) There is a cure: Preceding the warning of trouble in this world, Jesus gave His disciples a guarantee of peace, not depression. “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.” ()We can’t run away from this world and all her troubles. But we can run to Jesus and hide ourselves in Him for protection and care. King David gave many testimonies of his experience that the Lord is his shelter, his rock his fortress and his salvation. In God he has no fear of evil. (Psalm 23:4)
3) Get protection: Insurance sales agents will tell us buying insurance policies will provide protection when “things” happen. The truth is that insurance cannot protect us or stop things from happening. It provides financial support when things do happen. God provides more than monetary protection when things happen. He provides us with peace, hope and strength when we face adversities. In Him we shall not be moved.