How To Fight Off Depression
Depression is rising and it is rampant in our generation. It is a mood disorder characterized by extreme sadness, poor concentration, sleep problems, and a loss of appetite. It often results in feelings of guilt and hopelessness. As unfortunate as it is, it can happen to anyone.
In the Bible, we see an example of an anointed man who was able to make fire fall from heaven at his command, yet even he was not exempt from depression. In the story of 1 Kings, Jezebel sends a message to Elijah threatening to end his life. Her expertise intimidates Elijah so much so, that he runs for his life. Then, when Elijah comes before God, he said he’d had enough and asks God to kill him.
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”1 Kings 19:3-4 NIV
Based on this passage, I want to share with you 5 things that will help you fight off depression and begin to live a full life the way God intended.
5 Routines To Fight Depression
1. Care for your physical health.
Scripture goes on to say in the same passage that after pleading with God, Elijah slept. During that, an angel of the Lord woke him up and gave him to drink and to eat.
Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.1 Kings 19:5-6 NIV
It’s always important to have discipline, but it is especially recommended if you are battling depression. It can be difficult at times to get up and eat or do day-to-day things when you’re battling depression. But, make it an aim to create a discipline for your physical health in terms of your eating, sleeping, and exercising.
The Bible tells us that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…?
1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV
Your body matters to God. He created it, He heals it, He rewards you for what is done in it, and He will raise it from the dead one day.
2. Embrace community.
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there.
1 Kings 19:3 NIV
We can see that Elijah was a very lonely man. It’s not that nobody wanted to be around Elijah, it is that Elijah lived alone intentionally. I don’t know the reason but one of the things God did was instruct him to find Elisha.
In order to embrace community, first off, prioritize your family–structure meetings with your family this year. You can even make it weekly. It honors God and will do something to your emotions.
Secondly, make a decision to join a small group or Bible study and discipleship group.
And lastly, make a decision not to skip church. Surround yourself with people.
3. Start fasting and even try an extended fast.
As we continue to read the story of Elijah, we see that after he encounters the angel, he goes into a fast.
So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:8 NIV
I challenge you to consider asking the Lord if that’s something He would want you to join in this month. If you are trying to escape something this year, I know a good escape strategy–extended fasting.
Fasting is abstaining from food for spiritual reasons.
4. Make a decision to be in God’s Word.
We see in the next verse that after he is walking for 40 days and nights, he arrives at the mountain of God, and goes into a cave. It is there that He hears God speak to him.
…he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:8-9 NIV
The Bible is the only book in the world that is God-breathed. It is the only book where the Author will speak to you as you read it. The Bible will make all the difference in your life and in your current situation. Every morning when you open the Bible, God will come to you in the form of His Word.
I want to challenge you to do a few practical challenges with the Bible this year:
- Read the Bible daily.
- Read the Bible as a study Bible. The goal is not to finish it in one year but to read it every single day, to be fed, and to have it speak to you, and for you to understand what it is saying.
- Download a Bible memorization app.
When you are down, you express your hurt and frustration but when you read the Bible, you are letting God speak His mind to you, and He can pull you out of your misery through His Word.
The secret to beating porn, loneliness, and depression is a consistent diet in the Word of God.
5. Live for a cause in the midst of the chaos.
Then, the Lord gave Elijah a new assignment, job, and purpose.
The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
1 Kings 19:15-16 NIV
One of the things that can help pull you out of depression and discouragement is having a cause and a purpose to live for and focus your attention on.
If you are someone who is not just depressed but feels suicidal, listen to me very carefully–you don’t need to take your life. Somebody has already given His life for you and His name is Jesus Christ. Suicide is not your salvation, Jesus is.
He paid the price so you don’t have to. All you have to do is come to Him and give your life to Jesus.
Your current emotional state is not an indication of what God wants to do in your life.
6. Lastly, depression is not a pet that should be entertained; it’s a pest that should be exterminated.
Elijah didn’t really have a problem with his diet or health, he had a force that he had to confront–Jezebel.
A lot of times, behind extended periods of depression and anxiety, there actually is a demonic spiritual force.
Medicine cannot help with demons. If you’re going through a heavy depression right now, suicide is not a solution. If a medication helps, use it. Medicine is not a sign that you are lacking faith, but note that deliverance is not just an option, it might be a necessity for those battling with severe depression.
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I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!