Angela's Blog
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Welcome to my personal weblog! I have many areas of interest as a Christian wife and home schooling mother of 6 girls: writing, poetry, website design, digital photography, a home business (sewing); however, this blog will focus more on the wonderful journey the Lord has brought our family through and what the Lord has shown me in His Holy Word.


I know that my devotionals don't often speak of specifics in our lives, but I want my readers to know that what I write comes most often from what the Lord is doing in our lives, or has done. I don't just repeat words by this preacher or that one. My devotionals are often written through a haze of tears, sometimes in grief, sometimes in peace at God's goodness for what He is doing for our good. At other times, after a flood of tears over my lack of faith in His great plan for us, especially after I've seen Heaven's gates open in another miraculous answer to prayer. What I write is what God shows me through those trials which He brings because of His great goodness as He works out His perfect plan. - Angela.


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Comments on “Depression” Lesson

Comments by Others

on Depression: Is It Biblical?

This page joins together various comments that were either e-mailed to me regarding depression and my testimony / Bible study on it, or were brought forth in a Christian Ladies group I am a part of. I hope they will be as great an encouragement to you as they were to me. The texts are used with permission. – Angela

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From Elaine:

I have been depressed every since I can remember. I never had anything to look forward to no goals and no direction in my life. This changed when I came to know Christ as my Saviour. I found direction, but Satan knew my weaknesses and continued to put those things before me that I would allow to bring me down.

I have been through some major emotional battles. I remember a situation happening where I was so upset that I was shaking uncontrollably that I had to lean against a wall just to hold myself up. I was brought up where you don’t show your emotion. My husband always said I wore my emotions on my sleeves. This contradiction was because I was not controlling my emotions they where controlling me. I don’t know if I’m writing this so it makes since to anyone, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. When I laughed, cried or got upset it was all on the inside. So it was building in me (all these emotions) but I was not letting them out (kind of like a bomb ready to exploded). One way or another they emotion was going to come. Other people saw it (the emotion on the sleeve and your react to the emotion). This emotion took a huge toll on my body. I couldn’t sleep, I was having trouble breathing at times, etc, etc. I went in to the doctor not knowing what was wrong (things were going fairly well in my life). So they gave me Allergy medicine, then gas medicine, then asthma medicine, then I was told I had pleurisy (sp). The IB helped some but I was still feeling horrible. I went in again and the doctor talked with me some more and he told me it was more or less an emotional problem and it was effecting my body. He gave me antidepressant medication (like Prozac, but without the side effects). I took it and it did help, but I knew it wasn’t right. I struggled with not taking it because I felt sooooo much better than before. Greg came home from Iraq and we talked about it and he said that he thought I should get off it. He also apologized for cause some of the emotional problems that lead up to why I took the medicine in the first place. Granted I already had the problem but he wasn’t helping it at all. And he has been a really good husband since he got right with the Lord an surrendered to preach.

It wasn’t easy coming off the medicine and I did go through a slight depression. But God helped me through it and blessed me with a husband who helped me. I still have my days but they are nothing like before.

I remember nights when I would beg and plead with God to help me. I really can’t say that it was a lack of relationship with the Lord, but more a learning process on how to deal with my emotions. Learning that I need to laugh out loud and cry when someone gives an amazing testimony instead of worry that others would see me crying (vanity). Learning not to hold everything in to where I make my husband miserable and he doesn’t want to be around me. When my relationship with the Lord was strained was when I had learned these things, but instead of seeking Him and applying what I know, I would give in to the emotions.

Here are verses that I really leaned on to help me.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Philippines 4:13.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Being depressed is like a reality all your own. Nothing you view is really as it seems, but it’s real to you. Greg (DH) often says your reality your perception. Having victory is having God’s reality and His perception.

Elaine

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From Kimberley:

I have been reading with interest these notes on depression. I think it is easy to get our eyes off the LORD. You know so many times over the last 8 or 9 months since we moved here, the LORD has met our needs. Yet it is still easy to forget that HE is God!! Do you think that when we get discontented (been there :( ) we get depressed? Maybe we think that we aren’t getting what we “deserveâ€? so we start feeling sorry for ourselves. We know a couple that live in a trailer with a crooked floor. She homeschools her 3 children. We had supper with them when hubby was preaching at their church. She told me that it wasn’t much but that they were laying up treasures in Heaven instead of on earth. That really stuck with me. I sometimes find myself wishing for a bigger kitchen or a new couch. But her words keep coming back to me. As well as Scripture– Phil 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.â€?

Isn’t God good to help us with all our trials and difficulties?

Speaking of being content :) Some of you know I have been hoping to have a baby…well so far it hasn’t happened. I have prayed and left it with the LORD. Maybe He just wants me so be content with the 3 wonderful children I already have. I will be 37 on Mar. 29 …I don’t feel that old…..

I thought I would share this song with you. A lady sang this at our Independent Baptist Church Camp a few years ago. I have shared it with several people. The lady who wrote it was in a very serious car accident and spent months recovering.

Love, Kimberley

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From Becky Calvert

God is Good

When life is a struggle and I feel alone.
When sadness stills my song-God is good.
When surprises come at me-He is not surprised. For He planned it, He
is God and He is good.

If life smiles on me today or if it frowns.
If the sun comes up or doesn’t God is good.
In a million years from now I’ll not remember those.
But I will remember that my God was Good.

Chorus:

God is Good- God is Good.
And He doeth all things well.
All His efforts meet success.
God is good. God is good.
Who am I to question the judgments that He makes!
God is good. This I know. God is good!

Becky Calvert

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From Shelle:

I’ve read all of the posts about depression, and I’ve been helped by all of them immensely. Not because I am currently dealing with any depression myself, but because I know that I will someday.

When I was younger, I used to deal with fear. My family life now is wonderful, but it wasn’t always. My parents used to argue quite often, and it always affected me badly. It was never anything more than arguing though, no abuse at all. I also always knew that my parents loved me and loved each other. They’re just both very passionate people, and they like to be right. The types of arguments they had would have probably just been considered an in depth conversation to anyone else. Voices never really raised, no threats were ever made. Just run of the mill little marital spats. The “counsellorsâ€? said that I was just an overly emotional child, that all children had to hear their parents argue sometimes. I guess this is true, but the crippling fear I felt was by no means normal. At the age of ten, I would ride the school bus home and worry about whether they would have argued that day. I would get sweaty, hot, often I’d actually get sick to my stomach. On the worst days, I would hyperventilate…my bus driver actually kept a paper bag on the bus for me, just in case.

As I got older, I learned to stop being scared of the arguments. I started to realize that they really were normal. The fear didn’t go away though…it just moved to something different. Instead, I started being scared of situations. In high school, I was always sure that I would hear my name called on the intercom, and they were going to tell me something had happened to one of my parents. Then I would start to worry again on the bus. I would wake up in the middle of the night, crying and screaming…and CERTAIN that every one in my house was dead. I refused to spend the night with friends, for fear that something would happen while I was gone. I’d also never really have people over, because I was sure I’d probably scare them with my nightmares.

This went on and affected every part of my life until I was 21. I was always afraid of something…I lost sleep, didn’t eat right, was snappy with people I loved. Now here’s the strange but wonderful part. It all went away, and I basically forgot about that part of my life. I can remember the last time I felt intense, crippling fear. The phone had rang, and I was sure my daddy had died. He hadn’t. I called my mom, and for the first time ever, I told her how I felt inside. She prayed with me, and had me to talk to my dad and then my pastor. I remember being on my knees, and asking God, begging Him, to please take the fear from me. Then, I actually did something about the fear. When I started to feel it, I would read my Bible or pray. Philippians and Romans always helped a lot. I would also sing…wherever I was, whatever I was doing. I’d just stop and sing a little song to God. Often I would sing this little chorus:

� I love You, Lord,
and I lift my voice,
to worship You.
Oh my soul, rejoice,
Take joy my King,
in what you hear,
let it be a sweet sweet song,
in Your ear.�

Just recently, my mom asked me when the last time I felt that way was. Shockingly, I had to really think about it…I almost had forgotten I ever had that feeling. I know that most people don’t deal with this type of thing, and that it doesn’t disappear as quickly as it did for me, but I wanted to share. I KNOW that my wonderful God is the only reason I am able to go through every single day, happy and content. I love to give Him the praise and the glory that He deserves for that!!

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Shelle

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Another lady’s response to above:

Shelle,

Isn’t it strange, that with a secure family you had such fears. A pastor was here once that preached on that very thing. He said that fears come from unconfessed sin. He named a sin that he had as a small child that caused him to have a great fear of the dark. It derived from a movie he watched. He used a lot of scripture (I have the tape if anyone would like me to listen and get his references) He said we need to beg God to show us where the sin was, and then confess it. I have an idea that is what you did. I wouldn’t be surprised if depression does not come from a similar background. Also, bitterness needs to dealt with the same way.

As long as you continue to deal with your sin, your likelihood of  having a serious problem with it is probably pretty remote. If it comes, it won’t stay, as long as you deal with it right away. You have been through enough in the last several months to bring major problems. Your sickness may have come from that, but when the Lord sent you home, He gave you a chance to “Be still and know that I am God!â€?

Bless you,
Your are a real encouragement to me. I know the Lord is using you in a great way, and He is not finished!

Nita Re

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From Nita Re again:

Good study, Angela.

Chemical imbalance is something that can cause great distress. It is often used as an excuse for depression. No matter what the cause, I do believe it is a fact we have to deal with. Most of the time, it comes from sins we have not dealt with. I wish I could say that all sins are confessed, but I notice some great men of God in scriptures that were on top of it one day and down under the next.

One thing that I have found is that depression does not just go away by saying it is a sin. Sometimes it takes soul searching to identify the sin that so easily besets us. Fears are something else that does not easily go away. When we finally ask God to reveal to us the basis of the fear and confess it to Him, (I did not say to a counselor), then we are able to give it to the Lord, and it is gone, gone, gone. That is unless we revisit it and go back and let it affect us again.

Wrong choices put us in positions where it is sometimes a conflict to do the Lord’s bidding or the bidding of the one who is our authority. Knowing what the Lord’s will is, is sometimes difficult. Watching and listening to wrong things can fall under this category, too. Sometimes it is hard to know what to accept and what to confess.

Another thing that I fight is depression when my scoliosis puts my spine out of line. Everything is fine one day, and the next day I cannot shake it. A quick alignment puts me back on the up and up.

One of my favorite passages is Psalm 3. I look at this as the temptations instead of people.

Psalms 3:1 <<A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.>>LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set
themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

In the depth of despair, once, I memorized this. What a blessing it has been to me.

One time my pastor asked me how many chapters I read a day. He then told me to increase it to ten. It was amazing what a help that was in putting my mind on the Lord.

May we not be trapped in the depths of depression. The JOY of the Lord does not always come by willing it to, nor does it come by filling our lives with things, worldly activities, etc. Sometimes we have to spend time and dig in the Word of God to find release from the horrible clutches of sin.

Many times we need counsel to do this.

God bless you every one. May we all have genuine Joy of the Lord!

Nita Re

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Hi, Ladies. As I have read these posts from those of you so closely associated with depression, I felt that maybe I should clarify my previous post in case some of you read it and got a wrong impression.

First of all, as I stated, I am a licensed counsellor. However, I am NOT in any way associated with secular psychiatry. I do have a knowledge of secular psychiatry for the sole purpose of being able to refute their ideals when someone comes to me who has already been that route. I agree with each of you that has posted stating that depression is a sin, and it will always be a sin, and must always be dealt with as a sin. There are no two ways about this.

My basic position as a Christian Biblical counsellor is to first of all assure my client’s salvation. Without salvation as a foundation, there can never be a real turning from the sin that has caused the depressive symptoms. After this, my “jobâ€? is to help the client grow in their walk with the Lord, take their eyes off of themselves (it can always be worse and things are not generally as bad as we make them seem), as well as repent of the sin they have fallen into which caused the depression. I agree that this repentance is not for my benefit, but it is to the Lord they should repent and to anyone that has been hurt because of their sin. Forgiveness comes from the Lord and those who have been hurt. I can never forgive one of my clients for something they have done to someone else.

My reasoning behind determining the exact type of depression (there are three main types) is that some depression occurs because of a sense of being overwhelmed with everything in one’s life, and they are not good organizers. These people need help in learning how to schedule, organize, and design their lives so that they are able to function smoothly from day to day. Manic depression must be dealt with when the patient is in the depressed state, but first deal with the manic problem. Mania is ALWAYS a cover-up for some failure and needs to be dealt with first and repented of so that you can get on to getting over the depression. Otherwise, when something gets too difficult, the client turns back to acting wild and frenzied rather than doing the work required of getting into the Word of God.

There are also various personality types, and knowing which one your client is can be helpful in helping a patient overcome their depression. There are specific verses in the Scripture for every type of depression (or any problem for that matter) which will be helpful to the different personality types. Just as you know what types of rewards/punishments work best for each of your children based on their temperament, there are different methods which will work best for approaching each individual client.

I know some Christian psychologists who do think meds are okay and such, but on the whole, I am not in agreement with this, especially for the long-term. All this does is make the person feel better without actually tackling the real underlying issues.

I hope I have not offended anyone by this–if so, I apologize. It was not my intention to do so. However, I do know that I have counseled many people who often felt they had nowhere else to turn, and those that chose to listen to what I had to say regarding the Scriptures and applied those verses and organizational skills to their every day lives were benefited and have been able to help themselves when they feel they are slipping back into the old sinful ways again. So, I do believe that there is a place for counselors who are counseling people the correct way.

PLEASE NOTE: I would NEVER, under any circumstances counsel any teenage boy or adult man. By the same token, I have often found that ladies prefer to talk to another lady than to a man (other than their husbands) about their problems when they are truly looking for help and not a pill or some sort of supportive psychotherapy. I do believe God tells us to seek out wise counsel if there are problems as well as for the mature Christian ladies to teach the younger ones how to be proper ladies in church and in their own lives (by example, word, and deed). Maybe if more of us did that (especially moms to their own daughters), there would be less ladies out there floundering in this state of mind.

Rhonda

(Comment by Angela: Notice she does not say the sin must be confessed to the counsellor. Sin must be confessed to the Lord God.)

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From Raylene:

I struggled with depression for many years. I saw psychologists and psychiatrists and tried almost everything they told me to do to try to overcome my depression. One of them wanted to just prescribe medications indefinitely, another used hypnosis to help me remember ’suppressed memories’ from the past, another tried to get me to believe that everything was to blame on my mother. Nothing helped.

I kept sinking further and further into depression. My marriage was really suffering. I was saved, but was still a baby Christian and didn’t have (or know how to develop) a close relationship with God.

One day my husband said, You are starting to get depressed, again, aren’t you? I realized that I had come out of my depression and yes, I was starting to drift back toward it. I know it sounds weird that I didn’t even know that I was no longer depressed, but once I explain what I discovered brought me out of it, you will understand.

My husband and I started talking through it and we came to the conclusion that one of the main reasons I was no longer depressed was that I just didn’t have the time to focus on myself and wallow in my self-pity any longer. You see, I had gotten busy taking care of and serving other people (my own new family and in my local church). I never considered my self a self-centered person, but when I realized how much time I had focused on my past and how my past made me feel I had to accept the fact that there was at least part of me that was self-centered. And since I was starting to slip back into depression I had to make a conscious effort to stop thinking of myself and start thinking of others and what I could do for them. And I did do this, but it wasn’t always enough.

At a Christian Ladies Conference I attended a class on depression. I learned two things at that conference that I still remember to this day. The first is that there is only one person that can be everything that I need and who will never fail me of course that is God. I had been trying to make my husband be everything that I needed and of course, no matter how hard he tried he just could not fill every need I had. The other thing I learned was how to apply Scripture to my life and my particular circumstance.

Whenever I feel myself starting to get depressed, I turn to Philippians Chapter 4. I have read this chapter many, many times and it helps me every time. I have committed Philippians 4:8 and 4:13 to memory. I made myself a pretty Scripture plaque of Philippians 4:8 and hung it in place in my home where I will see it often.

I agree with Angela that depression is a sin. If you are a Christian struggling with depression, you need to get things right with God. You need to be living your life the way that He would have you to live it and I guarantee you that focusing on yourself and whatever it is that is causing your depression (no matter how bad that something is) is not how God wants you to be living your life.

Raylene

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Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. <<To the Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus for Paul.>>

Note: The book of Philippians was written while Paul was in prison and the Philippian Christians were enduring bitter persecution.

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From: Shelle:

Thank you for sending in these words! Today has been a hard day, I’ve spent most of it helping my mom and her best friend handle funeral arrangements for her son. I opened my e mail and saw these and it really lifted me up. I printed it out and let Sue (the lady who’s son went to Heaven today) read them, and she just smiled and said “these words were from God.â€?

It reminded me of the night my pastors son died…we were all standing in the rain waiting for the police to let us go look for him again, and suddenly one of us started singing “God is so Goodâ€?. Before long, there were about 40 people standing there, holding onto each other and singing. The lady across the street said that in everything that happened that night, that was what she remembered the most.

I’m feeling very thankful tonight…for my health, my family, my church, my salvation, and mostly for my God. He’s always faithful, He’s always just, He’s always there…He knows things about me that even I don’t understand, and yet He still loves me. What a wonderful truth…

Love to you all,
Shelle

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The common factor in all these responses is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Without Him, we are nothing. I quote a comment I made near the top: “Isn’t our Lord wonderful! He really is all we need….. The solution to depression is definitely a choice, yes, and it all boils down to this: Establishing and maintaining the proper relationship with the Lord God, Creator of all!

If you cannot claim this special relationship, please view our page on God’s Simple Plan of Salvation or contact us.

Angela Trenholm