And he thought it would be such a disappointment to his children. To him that was the unthinkable that he would lose his home, his kids would lose their room and he thought that that was so unthinkable for him. The pain of it was so great because of the presupposition in his mind, because of his stinking thinking that he was going to kill himself.
And so I said, let me get this straight, you're going to take your life because you're so upset that your kids are gonna be upset that they're gonna lose their home. What do you think their kids are gonna think about losing their dad? I mean, it just made no sense at all of a sudden a light came on, he thought that's the dumbest thing in the world that I could do.
I'm not avoiding the pain of it, I'm inflicting greater pain and that's where depression comes from is where we begin to look at life like the world looks at life instead of like God looks at life in terms of eternity. And that we go through things that are tough yes for a short time but as Christians we have hope because we have a God who can redeem anything that we put into his hands and bring more good out of it than evil and there's coming a day when there will not be recession there will not be an irregular boss there will not be irregular people in your life.
For there will be no sickness, there'll be no more death there'll be no more debt. And that is our hope and we need to begin to think long term as God does rather than short term. Sometimes it's not physical that causes sometimes is not cognitive, sometimes it is spiritual. King David had a tremendous relationship with God but there came a time in his life of comfort and plenty where he committed adultery and then he committed a murder to cover up the adultery and what happened is it caused there to be a gap between Him and his God.
He writes about it many times about how it not only affected him in a pure spiritual sense but how it even affected his emotions and affected his physical well-being. In Psalms 32:3 he said when I kept silent about my sin my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long for night and day your hand was heavy upon me my vitality was drained away as with the fever of the heat of summer.
In Genesis 4, when it talks about Cain who brought an unacceptable gift to God, an unacceptable sacrifice to God. And God said to Cain don't miss this, then the Lord said to Cain, why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well sin is crafting at the door and its desire is for you but you must master it.
Now here here's what's interesting, God said to Cain who was upset about the fact that God rejected his offering, he says why have your countenance fallen and why're you angry? One of the reasons I think that people believe that women are twice as much likely to have depression as men is because men don't express their impression in the same way and they are not as quick to admit it so I don't really think it's twice as much.
I think many times men act out their depression and anger, and I think there's a lot of domestic violence that's going on because men are clinically depressed and they don't go for help and they don't deal with the emotions that they have and fear and depression are not safe emotions for men so they hop over to a secondary emotion called anger, and here we see Cain was dealing with it and the reason that his countenance had fallen is because he didn't have a right relationship with God.
Now 25 years ago when I began to go through the checklist and I said, am I taking care of myself physically? Am I getting enough sleep? Enough rest? Am I eating the right things? I am getting enough exercise? Is there anyway that I am looking at life that's wrong? I looked at relationships, I looked at all kinds of things to see what I might need to fix when that break engine light came on, and I released for me it was this, it was spiritual.
I had unconfessed sin in my life that it had caused a gap and fellowship between me and the father. And I had to repent and confess that sin before God, I had not only to confess that I was wrong, but I had to step away from it. And that was the beginning of healing for me and my depression and for some of you that's where depression is, it's a form of residual guilt because you live in the continual sin that's causing a separation between you and your creator.
A fourth possibility which is kind of a catch-all, is any other kind of true loss in your life. Again that can be abstract loss, loss of respect, a loss of reputation or it could be concrete loss of job. A lot of older men, this is interesting, between the ages of 45 and 55 suffer more than the regular population with depression and one of the main causes is the loss of vitality or the loss of health as the body begins to atrophy and then not being able to deal with that loss of not being as strong and athletic and fast as you used to be.
It can be a loss of a dream, it can be a loss of property, many times it's a loss of what God says is the most important thing in our lives which is a relationship because relationships are the most important things in our live, they've the potential to be the greatest joys in our lives, and they also have the potential to be the greatest heartaches.
And that's why it's important that we forgive quickly, that we reconcile, that we do the hard work of keeping relationships current. And as it says in Romans the 12th chapter, as far as this is possible with you, live at peace with all men. So, the first step and dealing with depression is first of all as much as you can guided by the holy spirit to identify the cause of your depression, is it a physical problem, is it a cognitive or a mental problem? Is it a spiritual problem or is it a natural reaction to loss? And then the second thing we must do as believers is that we must embrace our depression.
There are times when that engine light comes on and we need to go and fix something, if it's physical maybe we need to get rest or maybe we need to get medication, if it's cognitive then we need to change our thinking to have the mind of Christ. If it's spiritual, maybe we need to confess or repent.
But if there's true loss, that we didn't cause, it just happened at our life, then we've got to embrace that loss and we've got to go through the process of that loss. A normal depression looks like this, whereas there's the recognition of the perception of a loss and then there is the period of depression or sadness and then there's a return to normal.
Don't be afraid of that process, that is a natural process. It's just like if you cut your hand, it's gonna bleed and then if you stop the bleeding it's gonna begin to heal but it's not gonna heal overnight. It's gonna look a little bit better, the wound will be closed the next day but then a scab will form and then that scab gets smaller and the body begins to regenerate the cells and then there'll come a day when you will look at your finger and except for a very slight scar that nobody else would notice but you notice because you know the cut was there, you're healed.
That's a natural process. Friends it's no different for us emotionally. When we suffer loss, we go through a period and here's what the Lord has promised that he'll walk with us through that valley, and said we don't have to be afraid. He's with us in it that's what he promises. In this world you'll have tribulation but be a good cheer for I have overcome the world.
He will walk with us, and so many times it's to embrace that. Here's what happens though sometimes. What happens sometimes this normal progression of depression what happens is that we suffer a loss. And then we get to stinking thinking. And we get into a negative triad, stay with me.
And then we begin to think well I lost my my job so I must not be any good. I lost my job so I probably never be able to keep another job. I lost my job so the world is against me. And what happens is we get into spiral from one actual loss to perceived loss or anticipated loss. And we begin to have doubts about ourselves doubts about the world as it is unfair and doubts about the future a negative cognitive triad.
And that's where we get into that depression. Sometimes this happens because we have a loss and we begin to feel depressed and then we feel guilty about being depressed, we get depressed about being depressed. Depression is not sin it's a symptom that you're either physically not right or relationally not right or spiritually not right or that you've suffered loss, and it's the normal natural thing for you to feel sad for a time period.
Let me show another problem another problem is instead of the natural progression is where we suffer a loss and then what we try to do is we try to avoid the sadness. And so we try to build a build a bridge of denial. Say you lose your spouse say your spouse forsakes you or divorces you instead of going and experiencing the natural grief that someone should experience, you go to single bars.
You know a lot of times when somebody's going through a divorce or when somebody has a death of a spouse, the advice that I would give them is give your self time to mourn. Don't even think about dating because at this point right now it would be a medication for your pain, to cover up your pain and you need to fully feel that pain and if you try to go out and medicate it immediately with a new relationship, especially if you've been abandoned, or you've been abused, what would you have a tendency to do if you haven't processed all that is to rebound into the exact same relationship again.
And I can give you names of people who walked back in my office two year later and said Steve, when you told me not to date for at least a year after my wife left me I would give a million dollars if I had taken your advice. because exactly what you have and I didn't properly process my grief.
I didn't properly embrace the fact that if God was with me it was okay for me to be alone, I became co-dependent again with another human being instead of trusting God in my loneliness. Best time to date is after when you don't need to date. God made us for a relationship but we should never need it more than we need our God and what happens when you try to build a bridge of denial when you do not experience your depression what happens is that gets longer and eventually you're gonna have to deal with it.