TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, May 26, 2020:
Sadness; gloom; an unwarranted and prolonged condition of emotional dejection; a low state of functional activity.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
For the Word of God is living and active.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Just hearing the word depression probably brings to mind some time or times of depression that you have gone through. It may perhaps surprise you to know that great men of God have struggled with depression. One of them that we read about in the scriptures was so depressed that he prayed that he would die. Can you guess who that was?
This man was totally committed to God. He lived during the reign of Israel’s most wicked King and Queen, Ahab and Jezebel. Under their rule, they led many of the Israelites to forsake God and to worship Baal. God chose this man to confront the King and Queen concerning their terrible sin and tell them that the judgment of God was coming on them. Perhaps you have guessed that the man was Elijah, God’s great prophet.
There was great famine in the land and Ahab blamed God’s prophet Elijah for the lack of rain. It was in this setting that Jezebel, who was very wicked and anti-God was committed to kill Elijah. She sent a messenger to Elijah telling him that by the same time the next day his life would be over.
Elijah ran away because he had great fear and was in deep depression. Elijah tried to run away from his emotions but running away left him outside of the will of God. He reacted to his feelings and concern and seemingly lost his focus on God who had been with him in the victories in the past.
Being depressed in life always seems to bring isolation. This is what happened to Elijah. He took what the scripture tells us was a day’s journey into the wilderness. He felt alone, rejected and abandoned. He felt life wasn’t worth living. He was at such a low point in his life that he prayed, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life” (I Kings 19:4). Per our definition above, depression brings about a low state of functional activity.
We need to remember that Elijah was a man of God and a prophet. Through these hours and days of depression God never left Elijah but Elijah seemed to think that He had. He had lost all desire to carry on. It was at Elijah’s lowest point that God appeared on the scene. He sent an angel to where Elijah was sleeping in the wilderness who told Elijah to get up and get going. This is how God works. When we think our lives are the most hopeless and God has forgotten us, God shows up.
God still had work for Elijah to do. God saw that Elijah was down and out and didn’t have the strength to carry on. In times of need God provides just what we need. The angel brought Elijah food and water for two days to strengthen him for his journey.
In life today we as believers are going to have moments when we feel that everything is going wrong and we cannot carry on. We will have to make a choice. Elijah chose to run but that was not the will of God. We can’t run away from ourselves. Our choice must be to run to God and let Him strengthen us and put us back into action. The verse we have put above reminds us that when anxiety drives us into depression, we need to remember to turn to the Word of God.
The Word of God is not just a collection of words. It is living and life changing. It enables us to discern truth from false teaching, and good from evil. The Word of God will make your heart glad!
Our memory verse for this week is found in Proverbs 4:6.
“He taught me and said, let your heart hold fast thy words; keep My commandments and live”.
It is my prayer today that when I feel depressed and alone that I will remember You are always with me. When the events of my life seem to be faltering help me not to run away from You but instead run quickly to You, casting all my cares upon You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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