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If you or someone you know suffers from depression, you can learn to slam the door on this emotional devastation when it comes knocking. What does depression look like? It is typified by inactivity and difficulty in thinking clearly or concentrating.

There can be an increase or decrease in appetite or in time sleeping. It is marked by sorrow and sadness, even dejection and despair, and in its worse cases, suicidal tendencies. It's a terrible devil. Depression is no respecter of persons. Sadly, it's just as common among Christians as among those without Christ.

The secular experts have learned much about depression. And, though they don't recognize the satanic roots of the problem, we shouldn't turn a deaf ear to what they have to say. Some valuable research has been done in identifying the emotional aspects of depression. But what they are blind to is the spiritual component of the problem.

Satan has only one goal in bringing oppression to a believer. He wants to put out your light in this already darkened world. Don't think that you are immune to this kind of attack. Depression occurs in a wide range of intensity from simple unhappiness to the kind of debilitating despair that tempts you to take your very life. Its scope is so broad that it touches everybody at one time or another.

Ultimately, Satan wants to destroy your life but he'll settle for just dimming your light a little and reducing your influence on his kingdom if he can. But he only can if you let him. I want to share with you three doorways through which this kind of demonic activity gains entrance into your life and how you can shut these doors and keep the devil of depression from reducing your light in this world: 


1) Loneliness
One of the most common doors left open for the devil of depression is the door of loneliness. Webster defines loneliness as "a lack of companionship," but we know from the Bible that a lack of companionship has nothing to do with loneliness. God says in His Word that loneliness is a result of broken fellowship with Him. Look at the last half of Hebrews 13:5: "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

There is never a moment in your life when loneliness should open the door to depression. If you feel like you are alone, your feelings are deceiving you because God hasn't left you. You may, however, have left Him. The evidence that you've forsaken God in some way is that manifested sense of loneliness. It should be a warning sign to you that you are not where you need to be with the Lord. It can be an indication that you are not doing those things that please God.

Human companionship doesn't cure loneliness. If you are feeling loneliness in your life, then head back to the Tree of Life (which is an Old Testament type of Jesus) and return to doing those things that please God. Since pleasing God is impossible without faith that means believing and acting on His Word. Come back to God by spending time in His Word and in prayer. Draw near to Him and that sense of loneliness will disappear and you'll close this door to depression.

2) Hope Deferred
The second common door-opener for depression is found in Proverbs 13:12: "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." The word "hope" here refers to "your expectation." This verse speaks of the positive expectations the hopes, dreams, and plans that you have for your life.

The good things you expect to experience. Be they related to health, finances, relationships, or your vocation we all have things that we hope to see manifested in our lives. If those hopeful expectations are deferred, it can be an open door for Satan to bring oppression on you if you don't know how to deal with it.

Why would hope be deferred? Hebrews 11:1 says that, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for." It's your faith that puts substance to whatever you are hoping for. If your hope is deferred or delayed, the most probable reason is that you haven't yet grown to a place where your faith can put substance to your hope.

The answer to deferred hope is to work on your faith. Listen to more of the Word. Bring all of your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Frame your tomorrow with the words you speak today. Your faith will grow and your hope won't be deferred.

In the meantime, while your faith is growing and your due season is passing (Gal. 6:9), be aware that Satan will try to bring oppression on you to hinder your faith before your desire is realized and your hope, your vision, your expectation comes into manifestation and it becomes a tree of life to you.

Depression, discouragement, and eventually despair all come from something not happening the way you wanted it to, and your believing that the situation is not going to change.

Faith, on the other hand, says "it's mine NOW!" Forget about what did or didn't happen yesterday. Expect to receive today. Close the door to Satan by casting down vain imaginations that exalt themselves against God's promises for your life. Think on things that are lovely and pure and of a good report.

Be patient and let faith have its perfect work. Your due season will pass. Your faith will put substance to what you expect and you will have the victory in that area of your life.

Unrepentance

It should be no surprise to you that failure to deal with sin opens you to all kinds of oppression. Second Corinthians 7:10 explains why: "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

Please understand that God is not the source of the sorrow spoken of here. He has no sorrow in heaven to impart to anybody. But He calls the type of sorrow that causes someone to repent and to turn back to Him, "godly." It is godly because of its final effect.

If sorrow doesn't cause someone to repent and turn back to God, it's called the sorrow of the world and that failure to return to God's protection invariably leads to death.

You need to know there is a major difference between merely "confessing" sin and true repentance. If you confess your sin, God will forgive you but if you keep returning to it time and again, you are using the grace of God as an excuse to continue in a destructive behavior.

Sorrow then should be a warning to you. If you sense sorrow, a touch of heaviness, the beginning of oppression in your life, you should examine yourself to look for areas in which repentance is needed. Then, turn it into godly sorrow, make the necessary change in your life and slam the door to the enemy's oppression.

Eyes Off Yourself
Each of the doors we've examined thus far has a common denominator. Whether oppression enters through the door of loneliness, hope deferred, or unrepented sin, the root is the same: self-interest. Oppression is almost always rooted in selfishness, self pity, and self concern.

To be blunt, you can't be depressed without being selfish. It begins when all of your attention is turned inward as you focus on your problems.

The immediate remedy, of course, is to get your eyes off yourself and start serving others. Look around at the rest of the world or even your own city and you'll realize that you don't have it so bad. If you'll get caught up in meeting someone else's needs it will take your attention off of your own problems and they will quickly shrink in size.

Praising God sends depression right out the window. Praise Him for all of His blessings in your life. Praise Him for the blood of Jesus. Praise Him for your salvation. Praise Him for giving you His Word. Praise Him because of His love for you. Do so, and joy will come.

You'll forget about your troubles and start remembering more and more reasons to praise Him. But remember, keep those doors to oppression closed and dig out that root of self pity so you won't have to deal with the same devils all over again tomorrow.

Finally, it is vital that you resist oppression of any kind at its onset. The moment you recognize that any of these doors are open, take steps to close them immediately before the oppression can gain a foothold in your life. Don't let Satan steal the joy from you or someone you love. Instead, let your light shine as a bright beacon in the night drawing others into fellowship with Christ.

Copyright © Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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