Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist

Depression


DOWN AND OUT

 

1Samuel 22:1-5

1 “David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him.”

2 “And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.”

3 “And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.”

4 “And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.”

5 “And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.” 

 

     It’s not very hard for preachers to feel the spiritual pulse of their congregation. When parents let their children pass notes, draw on the tithing envelopes, and even sleep during the preaching hour, something is wrong.   When members come in looking like God died, they’re apathetic about the things of God, and we couldn’t get them to shout if Ray Steven’s Mississippi squirrel ran up their leg – it’s not hard to tell something is wrong. 

     America is experiencing unprecedented psychological misery in a time of unparalleled economic prosperity and material well being. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one out of four Americans will suffer a major episode of depression.  I admit many times the reason for defeated Christians is defeated preachers.  But the burden can’t rest entirely on the shoulders of the men of God.   If a man has been born again – washed in the blood of Christ, he is a new creature, and he is more than a conqueror “through him that loved us.”

    You say, “I don’t feel defeated preacher.” Really?  When was the last time you testified about how good God is? When was the last time you handed a complete stranger a gospel tract and said, “Hey, let me tell you what Jesus did for me”?  If it’s been a while, I guarantee it’s not because you have become more spiritual.It may be a situation in your life that’s robbed you of all your joy.  David experienced some things in his life that would have killed the average Baptist and knocked him out of church for at least a year, but David stayed with God. 

 

WHY DO WE GET DOWN AND OUT? 

First of all, it could be…

SIN

         David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray…” (Ps 119:67). We will reap what we sow.  You sow to the flesh and you will reap corruption. We all know those spiritual truths. But all the theological arguments aside, let’s just face it – when we sin we are not happy.  If you can continue in sin and be happy, you are probably not saved.By way of illustration: the children of Israel began murmuring in the wilderness. They had grown tired of bread from Heaven and now they wanted flesh.  God should have killed them, but in Ps 106:15 “…He gave them their request – – BUT sent leanness into their soul.”   

      Want to know why coming to church doesn’t feel like Heaven on Earth anymore?  It could be that you are full of Hell! You can have your playthings – but you’ll get leanness of soul to go along with it. You can have your cigarettes, your TV, your ballgames – you can feed the flesh, if you want to. But you’ll have leanness of soul!You want to play the lottery, skip Sunday school, not read your Bible, fornicate, and smoke dope – you go right ahead.  I’m not going to say you are lost (Israel was still God’s chosen people) but at the very least God will make you miserable when He sends ‘leanness’ to your soul! 

 

Why do we get depressed?

MAYBE YOU’RE JUST BURNT OUT

Preaching is a lot like farming. Farmers use fertilizer and we all know what fertilizer is made of.  You go through a lot of manure before you ever see any fruit!  We pour ourselves into the souls of men – to the point we feel like fragile empty vessels and all the life’s been drained out of us! 

 

 Why do you get depressed?

MAYBE YOU’VE LOST SOMEONE

By losing someone I mean perhaps there has been a death in the family or a distance placed between you and a loved one.  A group of caterpillars were grieving as they carried an empty cocoon to its final resting place. The poor, distressed caterpillars, clad in black raiment, were weeping, and – all the while – the beautiful butterfly fluttered high above the muck and mire of earth, forever freed from its earthly shell.[1]We’ve all played Peek-a-boo with a baby before.  Ever wonder why that amuses them so much?  Psychologists speculate its because when we put our face behind our hands – that baby hasn’t learned yet, that just because he can’t see us, doesn’t mean we’re not there anymore.  And when we lose our loved ones, when we no longer see their smiling faces – that doesn’t mean we’ve lost them.  If they’re saved, we know where they are and we shall see them again in a land where we’ll never grow old.  We see death as a departure but Heaven sees it as arrival. We call it separation but Heaven calls it a reunion! And if we could ever get a hold of the fact our loved ones are feeling better than ever, I believe we’d have more joy in our religion.  

  

 What do you do when you’re down and out?

When your heart gets broken, when you feel like you’re on your last leg, there’s a few things from our text I want you to remember first of all,

 

YOU’VE STILL GOT YOUR FAMILY. 1Sam 22:1

Preacher Bachelor has mentioned many of times how his dear old mother took her hard earned paycheck one day and just signed it over to him.  That’s true love.When you’re down and out you’ll find out who your real friends are! When the Prodigal son’s money was all gone and “…he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat…”  The Bible says, “…No man gave unto him.” That’s how this world treats you. They’ll chew you up and spit you out.  I remember getting busted with Methamphetamine and sitting in jail all night before I called home.  I felt so unworthy to even trouble them with a phone call.  There’ve been times I’ve been too ashamed to go home. But I went home for the same reason the Prodigal son did.  He went home because – he – knew – he – could go home! Thank God!  He knew there was a daddy there waiting on him who’d welcome him back with open arms.  He told his father, “I am no more worthy to be called thy son.”    But his daddy didn’t even answer that!  He was going to tell his father he’d be happy just to be a hired servant. “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet…For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found…” (Lu 15:22-24)Maybe you don’t have much of a family at home. Your mother may not be living. Your dad may not be around.  But, You still have a Heavenly Father above that loves you so much; He’d rather die than see you go to Hell. And “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Ps 27:10)  

 

When you’re down and out, secondly, don’t forget;

 YOU’RE NOT THE FIRST. 1Sam 22:2. 

 A young mother had grown tired of living one day.  She shut all the windows, stuffed towels under the cracks of the doors, and went to the stove.  She blew out the pilot light and turned the gas on.  Scooping her little daughter up in her arms, she went to the bedroom and laid down.  The little girl asked what she was doing and the mother said, “We’re just going to take a nap honey.”  After they’d laid there a little while, the woman realized she’d forgot to turn off the radio in the Kitchen.  She didn’t think much of it at first, but then, over the airwaves she heard the words to a song she’d sung so often as a little girl:  Oh, what peace we often forfeit,Oh what needless pain we bare,All because we do not carry,Everything to God in prayer. With tears in her eyes she got out of the bed, opened the windows, turned the stove off, the radio up, then got down on her knees.  She realized her life hadn’t been worth living because she was trying to live it without God.       In David’s day, there were many others that were in distress, in debt, or just plain discontented.  No matter how bad we have it, we can always look around us and see those who are worse off.  As twelve miners lay in a collapsed tunnel; on the surface a crowd had gathered at a nearby church.  Over the voice of the reporter, I could hear the faint but familiar words.  It was night time and many held candles as the sang, “Farther along we’ll know all about it, farther along, we’ll understand why…” I don’t know why some things happen – I don’t understand it all, but “Farther along, I believe – we’ll know all about it!”Daniel, the loyal servant of God, revealer of dreams, was thrown into a den of lions. Micaiah, the only faithful prophet out of 401 was sent to prison and fed bread of affliction while the false prophets were living it up and dined at the king’s table. And many other men in scripture have been thus treated.  If God allowed tribulation into the lives of these men, there’s no reason to think we won’t have our share as well! Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall. Good men are especially promised tribulation in this life. That’s why Peter said, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” (1Pe 4:12) 

 

When you’re down and out, its important to remember you’re not the first and 

YOU’VE STILL GOT YOUR FRIENDS. 1Sam 22:3-4.

David sent his mom and dad to a friend’s house to stay.  At such a low point in David’s life it must have meant a lot to him. Now, these friends of David’s weren’t saved people, but it was awful nice of them. Maybe you’ve had friends like that in your life. They may not be saved, but if your house burned down tonight you know they’ve got an extra bed you can sleep in.I tell you, I have had some good friends in my life, but there’s One that outshines them all. Daddy always told me “Son, if you go through life and find one true friend, you’ve done good!” Thank God, I’ve found a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He’s the fairest of ten thousand.  He’s the Lily of the Valleys. Come what may, I’ve got a friend.  

 

 Fourth, when you’re down and out, always remember,

YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE FOREVER.  1Sam 22:5. 

Notice, even with all those people supporting him, David still stayed in that cave.  But one day a preacher named Gad came along and said, “David, you need to get out of this mess you’re in.”  David said, “Well, what should I do?”  Gad said, “You have got to get to the land of Juda!”  Juda in the Bible means “Praise!”  What do you do when you’re down and out?  What do you do when things aren’t going your way?  You praise God anyhow! Yes sir, it only took one shout to knock down the walls of Jericho! I’m not saying you have to walk around all the time with a smile on your face. But in your problems, and in spite of your sorrow, give God the glory!You’ll never convince me that Job was tickled to death over his circumstances. He’d lost it all brother. But even with his children dead – he sat down in the ashes of everything he’d ever owned and looked up to heaven saying, “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)If you’ll read the introductory words of Psalm 142, you’ll find that David wrote it while in the cave.  He says, “I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me …” When my spirit was so wrapped up in trouble and gloom, so burdened down that I could not see the path before me, when I was so distracted that I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, “…then thou knewest my path!” 

 

John R. Rice Story About Trust

John R. Rice told one time about a horse his daddy had.  It was blind.  But you could get on him – ride him and other people couldn’t tell the difference. He was blind, but he trusted the man riding him and he went right ahead.[2] Can you trust God without seeing where the road may lead? Job felt like he could.  He said, ‘I don’t know where He is!’ “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10). In Psalm 142:4 David was surrounded by his family and yet he wrote: “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.”  I have been depressed at times and I just couldn’t figure out why. I reason with myself, “Jason, you’ve got nothing to be upset about – your past is gone, the present is great!”  But then the strangest thing happens – I’ll get depressed because I’m depressed! (I hope that makes sense.)  It seems so unreasonable and even sinful to be troubled without being able to point at something and say, “This is the reason.”  But regardless of whether a man can put his finger on it or not, he’s still in the depths of despair.  

 

Is Depression Merely Self-Pity?

I do not believe all depression is merely self-pity.  Sometimes I believe God sends us seasons of sorrow.   Hey, you can’t get saved until you repent and its “Godly sorrow” that brings you to that point! That’s why “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” What did David do about his sorrow?  Vs. 5 – “I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.” It does us good to pour out our sorrows before the God of Heaven, b/c many of them vanish in the process! When we spread our petition before the Lord, it’s not that He may see it, but that we might see Him! Anything that leads us to cry out to God is a blessing to us. Have you lost your Joy Christian?  Why don’t you pray like David did?  “Restore unto me the Joy of thy salvation!” We all have sorrows, burdens, and things we wish were different.   Why don’t you pour out your heart to God? Get honest with yourself. Don’t hold anything back – God knows your every thought anyhow.  Maybe you have financial problems, Jesus understands, because though He was rich, yet became He poor for our sakes.  The Son of God cried out, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” Therefore, don’t be surprised if you feel forsaken.  And yet still, though we may feel forsaken, we shall not be forsaken.  For He who cannot lie “…hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb 13:5).  That’s even good backwards, “thee forsake, nor thee leave, never will I…”  In Your Christian Life You’re Bound To Encounter: Walls that seem impregnable, Foes that seem invincible, and Tasks that seem Impossible.  Its then you need to remind yourself that not only are the Steps of A Good Man ordered by the Lord – But The STOPS of A Good Man are Ordained of God as well.  There IS a time to Walk With The Lord. But there is also a time to Wait On The Lord! For “…They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles; They shall run, and not be weary; And they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa 40:31)You’re going to fumble your words, be discouraged, lose your place, and wonder why in the world God would ever want you to preach. This is normal.  It’s amazing how all alone you can feel while staring at a church full of people. At times while preaching I’ve wanted to shut my Bible and look for a place to crawl up and die.  But “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).  That doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to look back! 

It’s a simple fact: unless there was something in us that’s above us, we’d be overwhelmed by all that’s around us. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight.” But that doesn’t mean he won them all. He said, “I’ve finished my course.” But that doesn’t mean he always got first place.    You may feel you’ve fallen, but “…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Prov 24:16)  It may be midnight in your spiritual life, but “Ye shall have a song, as in the night” (Isa 30:29).  You may cry all night, “…but joy cometh in the morning.” (Ps 30:5).  Sometimes you will fail.  But “Failure is not fatal, unless it’s final!” (Charlie Rice) While man may see our failures, God notices our strivings.  Paul had a thorn in the flesh that he prayed God would remove.  God said, ‘Paul, I’m not going to take it away, but I will give you grace. And I’ll tell you something else Paul, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2Cor 12:9)  In conclusion let me leave you with this thought on trials and afflictions. After long periods of time, when everything seems so dark, its good to have this little excerpt lying around to remind you God is still on the throne and He still knows what He’s doing.  A page from John Wesley’s Diary reads as follows:

·        Sunday morning, May 5, preached in St. Ann’s, was asked not to come back anymore.

·        Sunday p.m., May 5, preached at St. John’s, deacons said, “Get out and stay out.”

 ·        Sunday a.m., May 12, preached at St. Jude’s, can’t go back there either.

·        Sunday p.m., May 12, preached at St. George’s, kicked out again.

·        Sunday a.m., May 19, preached at St. somebody else’s, deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

·        Sunday p.m., May 19, preached on the street, kicked off the street. ·        Sunday a.m., May 26, preached in meadow, chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services.

·        Sunday a.m., June 2, preached out at the edge of town, kicked off the highway.

·        Sunday p.m., June 2, afternoon service, preached in a pasture, 10,000 people came to hear me preach. 

 Hey, it’s not the size of the dog in a fight as much as the size of the fight in that dog that matters. This aint a “Don’t Quit!” message, this is a “Can’t Quit” message! May God help us all to “Endure afflictions” and make full proof of the ministry God has called us to.    

 

[1]  [Sanctuary Magazine]

[2] (John R. Rice Illustrations Pg 232)


1 Comment »

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    Comment by online stock trading in india | February 2, 2010 | Reply


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