Causes: Reason For
Depression 1 Kings 19:1-4
Depression is one of the great
problems in the world today. It has been called the "common
cold" of emotional illness. Everybody gets depressed at times, but
some people are depressed nearly all the time. Even great saints get
depressed and Elijah was such an example.
After one particularly great miracle
performed by Elijah, Jezebel's husband, King Ahab, told Jezebel
everything Elijah had done. This made her so angry she responded in
verse 1 and 2. She was saying, "if I don't kill you within
twenty-four hours, I'll be ready to kill myself."
Here's Elijah, who had been fearless
for three years, and now, when one woman threatens his life, he becomes
frightened, runs out to the desert and becomes depressed. Read verses 3
Elijah was a prime candidate for
depression. He was:
- Physically tired
- Emotionally exhausted
- Someone had threatened his
He was an emotional fruit basket at this point, with all sorts of
problems: fear, resentment, guilt, anger, loneliness and worry. But God
says that "Elijah was a man just like us" (James 5:17).
He had the same problems we do and in this case he had a problem with depression.
Elijah was so depressed that he was ready to die. Why do we get
ourselves in such emotional messes? Because of faulty thinking.
The fact is that our emotions are caused by our thoughts.
If you think in a negative way, you're going to feel depressed. Your
emotions are caused by how you interpret life. If you look at
life from a negative viewpoint you're going to get down. If you want to
get rid of negative emotions you have to change the way you think.
The only way you can change your mind and emotions is by
changing the way you think.
The Bible says that you can be "transformed by the renewing
of your mind" (Romans 12:2).
Why did Elijah get depressed? Because he played four mental games
that all of us play when we get depressed.
I. Focus On The Facts, and Not On Your Feelings
This is called emotional
reasoning, and it's destructive. It's the idea, "I feel
A. Elijah was afraid and ran for his
life (verse 3).
1. He came
to a broom tree, sat under it and prayed
that he might
B. What was his first mistake?
1. The same
mistake we make when we get depressed. We focus
on our feelings rather than on the facts.
ALWAYS when we get depressed. We focus on
how w feel rather than on reality.
C. Elijah felt like a failure because
of ONE incident that
thought to himself, "I'm such a coward. What am I
because he "felt" like a failure, he assumed he was a
so it must be true.What you "feel" is
not always real! Feelings are NOT facts.
II. Don't Compare
Yourself With Others
When you start comparing
yourself to other people, you're asking for trouble.
A. The second mistake Elijah made
is shown in the second
thing he said, "I've had
enough Lord. Take
because I am no better than my ancestors."
1. Most of us
have fallen into that trap of thinking, "If I could
just be like
so-and-so I'd be happy."
The Bible says it is unwise and harmful (2 Cor. 10:12).
compare yourself with somebody else, because
everyone is unique.
only one person you can be and that's YOU.
tend to compare our weaknesses with other
also try to motivate ourselves through criticism and
condemnation. We do
it by "I should have" ourselves.
C. Another trap we fall into when we get
depressed is that
we label ourselves.
III. Don't Take False
If we assume a responsibility
that God never intended us to have, it is too heavy a burden.
A. The third mistake Elijah made
was that he blamed himself
for events that weren't his fault.
1. See 1
2. In his
depression, Elijah blamed himself for failing to
change the nation.
B. A third mistake that causes depression
is that we take
1. When you
do that, you will always get depressed.
God has given each of us a free will. When you assume
Don't be depressed by
something you CAN'T control.
for other people's
you accept a burden that will only depress you.
can't assume responsibility for other people's
can sometimes influence people, but you can't
IV. Don't Exaggerate
A. The fourth mistake Elijah
made is that he exaggerated the
1. He said,
"I am the only one left, and now they are trying
to kill me
Elijah had a pity party.
fact was that everybody was not against him. Only
was, and her
threat wasn't for real.
B. Elijah didn't stop to evaluate the
threat. He just ran away.
Everything looks bad.
Elijah exaggerated the problem and that made his
When we are depressed we
always exaggerate the negative!
Cure: God's Remedy For
Depression 1 Kings 19:5-10
What was God's remedy for
Elijah's depression? It was a remedy YOU can use for your
I. God Refreshed Him
- Physical needs.
Physical restoration is
essential for EMOTIONAL
A. God's initial remedy for Elijah's
depression was rest,
verses 5 - 8
Sometimes a good night's sleep does wonders for
3. When you
are physically tired and mentally drained,
you are prone to depression.
B. If you are depressed, the first step
toward recovery is to
of your physical needs.
health has a profound influence on moods.
2. Rest is
important to the "renewal" of your mind.
C. Notice how tenderly God dealt with
1. God did
not scold him or condemn him.
2. God gave
him food and rest. He restored him physically.
3. When you are physically tired and mentally drained,
are prone to depression.
II. God Renewed
Him - Emotional needs.
God allowed him to let off
steam. He let Elijah vent his pent-up emotions without criticizing
him or condemning him.
A. The second remedy for your depression
is to give your
went into a cave and spent the night there. In the
morning the Lord asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?
2. Notice the
reply in verses 9 and 10.
3. Elijah just
poured out all of his inner feelings.
|Often it helps to
share your feelings with a Christian friend. It's a catharsis -
a cleansing out of all the things that have been pushed down
inside you and are causing your depression.
the six emotions Elijah felt:
When you combine resentment, fear,
guilt, anger, loneliness and worry, your asking for depression.
1. First, he was afraid
2. Second, he
felt resentment (v.4).
3. Third, he had low
self esteem and felt guilty (v.10).
4. Fourth, he
5. Fifth, he
was lonely (v.10).
6. Finally, he
So God just let him spill all of this
out. When you are depressed that's exactly what you need to do. Tell
it to the Lord.
Even today, God usually speaks to
us in stillness and quietness.
A. The third
remedy for your depression is to get a fresh
awareness of God's
presence in your life.
God's response to Elijah, see verse 11.
B. God had put on a real show with the
wind, earthquake, and
but he wasn't speaking to Elijah in any of those.
really got Elijah's attention was the still small voice,
the gently whisper.
God reminded Elijah that He was
Still right there beside him.
C. If you are
depressed take your Bible and get alone with
There is NO greater antidepressant
than communication and fellowship with God.
1. Let God
love you and speak to you.
God's Fourth Remedy:
IV. God Recommissioned Him
The quickest way to defeat
depression is to stop sitting around in self pity.
A. The fourth remedy for
overcoming depression is to let God
give you a new
2. God gave
Elijah a new assignment. He put him back to
|Get your eyes off yourself
and start looking at the needs of other people. Get
involved in their lives, in a ministry where you are
giving out and God is giving through you.
3. See Matt. 16:25.
Get involved in helping other
When we're depressed we tend to think:
You can never disappoint
God, because disappointment can only happen when somebody expects
you to do something different from what you really do.
"How can God use me I'm such a failure. I keep
mistakes. I disappoint myself, so surely I must be
disappointing to God."
fact is that God knows everything about you. He knows how you'll
act in the future. God made you and He knows you.
C. Let God
give you a new purpose and direction.
NOT through with you!
2. If you
let Him, God will pick you up and start you over.
D. Jesus Christ wants to lift you out of your
1. He can
help you. He can change you
2. You don't have
to go through life manipulated by your
E. You can choose to change
1. Let God
change those harmful misconceptions, such as:
"If somebody criticizes me it means I'm worthless."
"I must be loved and accepted by everybody to be
fulfilled in life."
"I cannot admit any area of weakness; I have to be
perfect or else I'm a failure."
Jesus knew the importance of correct thinking when He
said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free
Conclusion: The more you know
Jesus, the freer you'll be.