Beware of Depression
Everyone will have periods of depression. For example, after hearing bad news, not achieving the desired result at work, contracting a serious ailment, being maligned by rumours, losing a most precious person or thing, receiving disastrous results after expending much effort etc. will all cause a person to be depressed.
When depressed, there is an awful feeling as though everything has reached a dead end. There is no will to work or to struggle; the whole world has seemingly turned upside down. At this time, the capacity for judgment is at its weakest. It is very easy to make a mountain out of a molehill, thereby generating the thought to give up, to retreat, to resign your job, to commit suicide, to destroy everything. These frightening conclusions fall right into the devil’s trap.
Even prayers at this time may turn into accusations of God. Why allow such a thing to happen to my person? Yet, there is often only one answer, and that is, “every event has the permission of God!” If you fear and submit to God, you will console yourself thereby, and your depression will only last for a short while and then dissipate with a return to normalcy. But if you neither revere nor honour God, you will feel unable to accept such an answer, and in the end start to doubt God and fall into a vicious cycle. You will spiral downwards to a point where you no longer believe in or love God, and would rather go to hell than willingly accept such an answer.
But calmly reconsider: how could I be the only unfortunate person in all the world? Why would Satan, the enemy, attack me alone? Be careful, you will lose interest in everything when depressed. Spiritual matters will especially be vulnerable, because in depression you will have little enthusiasm even for direct, practical matters, not to mention spiritual things. Take for example Sunday Worship. If there happens to be a rainstorm on the Sunday morning, some people will be affected and lose “interest” in returning to church to worship God. Note that returning or not returning will be dictated by “interest”. Don’t you see how dangerous that is? As for those willing to come back to the service, when they observe the especially low attendance at that worship, they will feel “shunned”. They will feel as though the Lord is not present at the worship assembly. If you happen to be downcast, the enemy will secretly say to you, “The worship services at the Peace Evangelical Church have become so sparsely attended recently, it is really cheerless. May as well not go today.” Brothers and sisters, if you lose interest when there are fewer people, do you think that is reasonable? Of course not. But the despondent will think it is reasonable, and will further accept even more unreasonable things, such as “not doing devotion because of disinterest“; “loosening up moral principles because of dejection”; “easily finding fault with others because of melancholy”, “doubting God’s existence because emotions are askew“; “serving carelessly because of lack of enthusiasm“ etc.
What is a “spiritual person”? A “spiritual person” is one who is not affected by the flesh or by emotions, and can continue to serve according to will of God. What is a “person belonging to the flesh”? That is one whose mind and thoughts follow the influence of the flesh and circumstances, so that his life and service both veer away from the correct path and everything becomes centered on the flesh. So brothers and sisters, if you want to be a spiritual person, you should overcome your emotions through prayer, and not allow yourself to weaken. Joseph was such a man. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave to Egypt. Then he was falsely accused by the wife of his master and put into prison to suffer. Although he later interpreted the dreams of the chief cupbearer and chief baker, he was forgotten by them for over 2 years. Even so, we did not see Joseph fail his testimony because of depression. On the contrary, he kept close to God, and gained strength from the Lord. He was able to influence those who came into contact with him. His character was admired by all, whether it was prisoners or the warden. Only such a person will be greatly used by God.
By: David Ng