I'm Glad You Asked - Anxiety+Depression in Our Culture
Series: I'm Glad You Asked
Anxiety+Depression in Our Culture
1 Kings 17-19 recounts the remarkable story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Elijah prophesied that there would be a 3-year drought. Ahab blames Elijah for the drought, so Elijah asks Ahab to gather the 850 prophets of Baal and Ashera to prove which is real, the gods of Baal or the God of Israel. The prophets try and try to get Baal to send fire down from heaven to consume a bull sacrifice, but nothing happens. Elijah then places a bull on the alter, digs a trench around it, places 12 stones, and douses it with a lot of water (remember, there is a drought). Elijah calls to God and He sends fire down to consume it ALL.
Ahab's wife, Jezebel, was angry with Elijah because he had slaughtered all of the prophets of Baal. She told him that she would kill him by the next day. 1 Kings 19:3 says, "Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life..." All in all, he traveled 160 miles and was physically exhausted. He was afraid, and he asked God if he could just die. Elijah had forgotten the lesson God had been teaching him at Kerith, Zarephath, and Carmel. His eyes were on his circumstances rather than on the Lord. God sent an angel to provide cake and water to Elijah. Elijah "went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights" as he traveled to Horeb. There, God reminded Elijah what was most important and helped Elijah finish the task that he was called to do.
Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness. You have no energy and you lost interest in activities you once loved.
Anxiety involves fear or worry that you can't control.
Sources of Anxiety and Depression:
- Physical exhaustion - sleep reminds us that we are not God.
- Spiritual attack - demonic oppression is real.
- Brain Chemistry - sometimes we need medication, but don't start here. Pray for answers.
- Circumstances/Situations - Be careful where you look. What are you beholding?
- Loneliness - we were built for community. Isolation is very dangerous.
- Social Media - comparison robs joy. Evaluate whether you need this in your life.
- Loss - of a loved one, job, community, financial security.
Remember, Satan lies and he isolates. John 8:44, "When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Steps that will help you overcome Anxiety and Depression:
- Listen to the Truth - the Word is life
- Live in community - where is your biblical community?
- Talk to the Father - Spend time in daily prayer
- Talk to someone - counseling can be of great benefit!
Phil 4:6-7 says, "Don't be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.