A Message From Fr. Chris – May 25

Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:7-8

This morning, one of my clergy friends commented that a lot had happened in his life over the past few weeks and that he feared he was falling into a state of depression. We, of course, prayed over him, but it also caused me to think about how easy it is, in a fast moving society, for depression to sink its teeth into us.

Depression is not just a 21st century problem. Even in the days of King David, depression could slip in and disrupt lives and health. Not only did David allude to being being a victim of depression, but his predecessor, King Saul, also displayed many symptoms of this debilitating and, potentially, fatal disease.

In Psalm 143, David pleads to the LORD to show him the way he should go as he lifts up his soul to Him. That begs a question, what should we do when depression strikes?

  • Go and talk to your doctor. Depression comes in many forms and only a doctor can diagnose depression, and rule out other issues.
  • If prescribed, take your medication and keep in contact with your doctor, mental health care professional, or clergy until you are feeling stronger.
  • Avoid making any important decisions until you no longer feel depressed.
  • Do not keep your depression a secret. Tell your best Christian friends and ask for prayers. Let your clergy know.Â
  • Avail yourself to prayer teams. Think of this as spiritual warfare and do not stop fighting until the enemy flees.
  • Force yourself to go to church, and attend, or start, a Bible study. You may not feel like it, but withdrawing from your brothers and sisters in Christ simply adds to the problems and makes you more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Again, do not isolate!
  • As Isaiah 61 states, clothe yourself in a “garment of praise.” This literally means to wrap yourself up in praise to God. Don’t focus on your illness. Instead, focus on the healer of your soul. The more you praise, the less the enemy can attack you. Biblical forms of praise include singing, raising your hands or clapping them, prostrating yourself before the LORD and giving God thanks.
  • Read Holy Scripture and pray regularly.
  • Trust the LORD!

Beginning next week, look here for a series on Biblical words and actions of praise. Not only does praise help us with our depression, praise also helps prevent it. Let’s be more bold with our praise and thanksgiving!

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