Are you ready for one of the most powerful verses in the entire Holy Bible? Here it is 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57 NKJV “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
PASSION BIBLE “But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.”
There’s something powerful about that word VICTORY it means to WIN and that is the great promises of faith in Jesus Christ WE WIN!
Our victory is assured because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the Cross. Church you need to know deep within your hearts what the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ means to all of us today.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:55-57 NLT
55 O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?
56 For sin is the sting that results in death and the law gives sin its power.
57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The end of SIN is DEATH and DEATH was defeated on the Cross when Jesus rose from dead. This means that He has supremacy over death and sin and everything else in between.
It also means that no Christian should be suffering under the weight of sin, curses and demonic oppression because when we look to the Cross our victory is assured.
This month the Holy Spirit has moved on me to deal with this subject of VICTORY THROUGH THE CROSS and specifically to deal with 4 areas over the next 4 weeks.
Depression, Disease, Demons and Death so are you ready?
Today I want to focus on VICTORY THROUGH THE CROSS OVER DEPRESSION.
I heard a statistic on the news last week that I just couldn’t get out of my spirit and the more I prayed the more the Holy Spirit kept prompting me to deal with it.
It was from the Australian Mental Health Department and it was in relation to Anti-depressant medication. I mean the very mention of anti-depressant pills today is like no big deal because almost everyone knows someone whose on them.
Sadly many Christians are struggling with depression. The statistics were as follows…
1 in 8 Australians are on antidepressant medication.
3 million people in Australia today are on antidepressant pills.
100,000 children are on antidepressant medication.
One in four over the age of 68 are on antidepressants.
This is a serious problem and we as the Church have got to address this for the benefit of those whom we may know that are struggling in this area of depression.
Jesus dealt with DEPRESSION on the Cross of Calvary and everyone needs to hear that. Everything that leads to death which includes depression was defeated on the Cross through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
There are many causes to depression and except for injury to the brain which can cause depression requiring physical healing the Bible gives one very clear explanation to depression, in fact, it’s the only place in the Bible where the word depression is found and that is PROVERBS 12:25 NKJV “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression but a good word makes it glad.”
Well, today I’m going to give everyone the ‘good word’ to make it glad and that word is the CROSS. As Christian’s, we don’t need to look to man for our Victory over depression when the Cross gives us the victory over depression when we look to it it’s power. Now going back to PROVERBS 12:25 NKJV “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression.” In other words, when FEAR begins to dominate a person’s life it turns into anxiety which is a feeling of dread, disappointment, and despair.
When this is left unchecked for an extended period of time is has the potential to turn into DEPRESSION. It’s at this point of mental torment because that is what depression is MENTAL TORMENT the Bible says in 1 JOHN 4:18 NKJV “Because fear involves torment.”
The Greek word for torment is kolas which means to be punished. Fear, anxiety, and depression will punish you if you are not careful to overcome it.
It’s when the human mind is under duress and is feeling the oppression of fear and anxiety that it becomes vulnerable to demonic affliction.
Demons love it when humans are vulnerable this is why it says in 1 PETER 5:8 NKJV “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Listen when you are intoxicated or high you become vulnerable to demonic intrusion into your life but you can add to that confusion, despair and despondency a feeling of being let down.
We have to know how to take authority over our thinking before it’s too late.
We see the first successful strategy of Satan in the Book of GENESIS 3:13 NKJV “And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? The woman said The serpent deceived me and I ate.” Another translations says TRICKED, FOOLED, BEGUILED.
Well, it’s the Hebrew word NASHA 5377. It means to lead astray mentally. To delude morally and to seduce into a trap.
And it’s in this primary area of the MIND that most people get caught up into a STRATEGY OF SATAN. Mental and Emotional sickness is huge in our nation and if attention is not given to spiritual warfare people will be left helpless or drugged. Most strategies of Satan come against our minds. Today I want to deal with the STRATEGY OF DEPRESSION.
Today in almost every nation on the earth the number one ailment that afflicts human beings is DEPRESSION. In fact in Australia alone in 2017 over 17 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were prescribed 17 million can you believe that?
The one thing about DEPRESSION is that unlike a virus or bacteria that the body can be infected with you can’t catch DEPRESSION as it were. DEPRESSION always has a starting point that commences with a THOUGHT.
Now if you can dismiss the thought then you can stop DEPRESSION from growing into a debilitating and chronic disease. Sounds easy enough only that initial THOUGHT can be at times overpowering particularly if it has been sent by a demon spirit and has attached with it supernatural power.
This is why some thoughts can be dismissed easily and quickly and others remain like a dead weight where nothing can cause it to move.
Mental health experts at best can only describe mind-altering and chemical changing drugs or medication however you want to term it but the long term effects of these drugs will eventually create new problems as the body’s chemical balance is continually altered.
Depression treated with drugs can lead to addictions.
You must remember that the anti-psychotic drugs can not heal a person of depression they only enable the person struggling with depression to cope with life better if they work effectively enough. The stronger the dose the more tranquillised a person becomes. When it comes to spiritual healing as Christian’s we depend on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. The Bible say’s in PSALM 107:20 NKJV He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions SHECHITH 7825 which literally means ‘the pits’.
So we as Christians always go to the Word of God for our answers.
I remember when I was in high school buying the U2 album ‘Under a Blood Red Sky’ and there was a song on it called 40. I didn’t realise some 15 years later when I became a Christian that the song was based on PSALM 40 NIV and what a powerful Psalm it is.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit (Hebrew depression or despair) out of the mud and mire he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Can I tell you what DEPRESSION is? Depression is a mental or emotional STRONGHOLD that has been created negative thoughts that becomes stuck almost trapped you could say.
The person begins to believe that there is no way out. The thoughts becomes imprisoned in a web which has no exit.
But depression is also a monumental lack of JOY.
I heard an expression recently that really struck a chord with me as a practitioner of spirt/soul/body health and it’s this.
‘Stay in your head and you’re dead’ In other words if you get trapped in your own thinking long enough it becomes a stronghold of problems. This is why the Bible say’s in…
2 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5 NKJV
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Depression always begins with a THOUGHT.
You can not control the first thought that comes into your mind but you the second thought. In fact, as Christians, we have to judge thoughts that enter our minds quickly and determine whether or not they are useful, positive, and faith-building.
If not they must be dismissed immediately and with practice, it will become very easy to do this without thinking because you will be able to identify what’s good and useful and what is bad and harmful.
Thoughts compound when you dwell on a specific thing. It’s usually things in life that you can not control that will often produce the most anxiety if you allow them.
Depression as with FEAR can also be a demon spirit. A demon spirit of FEAR brings with it a sense of torment and terror but with DEPRESSION it feels more like a heaviness and being constricted almost like a vice around your head.
You become weak, unmotivated, and generally very negative about everything including God. You begin to view life through the lenses of despairing, lethargic, and despondent images.
Depression is the state of being depressed – a feeling of letdown, of hopelessness. It can affect the body. It can cause an overwhelming sense of fatigue to come upon a person. In fact, there are studies that indicate that many psychological neuroses as well as some fatigue diseases are the results of living with depression.
The Hebrew word is DEAGAH 1674 David called it ‘being cast down’. Depression is a state of mourning in your life, a state of heaviness over circumstances. You are under the circumstances of your life.
We see this spirit afflicting King Saul.
1 SAMUEL 16:15 NKJV “And Saul’s servants said to him, Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you.”
Now notice what 1 SAMUEL 16:23 NKJV says about eliminating this distressing spirit…
1 SAMUEL 16:23 NKJV “And so it was whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”
In this scripture, we see that a ‘spirit of death/heaviness/stress left when there was PRAISE & WORSHIP.
It is clear that a spiritual focus helped to lift depression.
Medical science does not believe in the existence of demons causing depression but rather focuses on the chemical imbalances of the brain. I don’t pretend to be an expert in psychiatry I will leave that to them but equally, they should not pretend to be experts in Christian Biblical theology.
If the depressed person feels better after focusing on the Lord through praise and worship then it would seem to me that the problem is spiritual and not simply medical.
On the other hand, if the person does not feel better after prayer, praise and deliverance then they may be suffering from a purely medical condition but from my experience the later is in a very small minority.
2 CORINTHIANS 7:5-6 NKJV
5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
6 Nevertheless God who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.
The Greek word for COMFORT here means to ‘call to one’s side’ or ‘summon’. When someone is feeling downcast and depressed it’s a call to God.
Depression is the call for God to arrive on the scene. He is close. You are not alone. God is right here to help but you’ve got to let Him. You’ve got to resist the SELF-PITY syndrome.
MATTHEW 2:18 NKJV A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted because they are no more.
It’s possible for a person to refuse to be comforted. You may feel sorry for yourself that you are convinced there is no help available for you. You tell yourself that nobody cares about you. Do you know what you are doing? You have become stubborn and are refusing to be comforted. Eventually, you will spiral down into a pit of depression.
So here’s the Biblical remedy for Victory over DEPRESSION.
1. LOOK TO THE CROSS AND BE HEALED.
ISAIAH 53:4 NKJV
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
ISAIAH 53:4 VOICE
Yet it was our suffering he carried our pain and distress, our sick to the soulness.
The power of the Message of the Cross is that through DEATH comes LIFE. If you can put the death the issue by releasing it to Jesus and let it die then victory comes – LUKE 9:23-24 NKJV
2. BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PRAY IN TONGUES.
Why? Because the Bible says in ACTS 1:8 NKJV “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
For 30 years I have been praying in the Spirit. I attend all the prayer meetings, I fast regularly. It requires discipline but guess what? I’m not battling depression.
3. RESIST AND CAST OUT THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS.
JAMES 4:7 NKJV “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Once you have been delivered of any demonic spirits of heaviness you have also got to be able to identify when they try to come back and they will so you’ve got to resist immediately and give Satan no foothold into your life.
4. USE GOD’S WORD TO RENEW AND PROTECT YOUR MIND.
Put simply if you’re not feeding your spirit with God’s Word daily then your soul will not have any diet for renewing. Meditation, Confession and Application of God’s Word is essential EPHESIANS 4:23 NKJV “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
5. ENTER INTO THE POWER OF PRAISE.
ISAIAH 61:3 NKJV “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
THREE SIMPLE CAUSES TO DEPRESSION (S.A.D)
1. SIN We see this perfectly illustrated with Cain’s depression in GENESIS 4:3-7 NKJV “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you but you should rule over it.”
We may discover that often the reason for our depression is the fact that we went against our consciences and sinned. The solution is obvious: We need to repent.
In cases like this where there is or has been deliberate rebellion towards God’s Word no amount of medication, therapy or alternative medicine is going to be able to relieve you if sin is the underlying cause on repentance and the blood of Jesus will work. There is no point seeking spiritual deliverance if repentance is not the first step.
2. ATTITUDE Horrible circumstances can get anyone down. A death in the family, divorce, loss of income or deteriorating health can all lead to depression. But there is always hope in Christ and your attitude will determine the outcome and it’s all based on how you look at things.
As a non-christian I always looked at things through the prism of my own inadequacies but now I have Christ in me the hope of glory. I have the Holy Spirit in me to aid me in whatever I face. The Bible says in PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NKJV “I can do all things through Chits who strengthens me.” The difference between the defeated person and the victorious person is not their circumstances but their attitude.
Once you eliminate the first two reason SIN and ATTITUDE then you are ready to deal with any D for DEMONS that may be causing your depression.
3. DEMONS ISAIAH 61:3 NKJV says the ‘spirit of heaviness’ or ‘depression’. Notice it say’s ‘spirit’ so there is an evil spirit of heaviness and depression.
This type of depression causes you to become overwhelmingly pessimistic. You lose any sense of excitement or optimism about the future. You feel everything is about to go wrong with your life all the time.
ACTS 10:28 NKJV “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for God was with Him.”
Jesus dealt with spirits of depression, heaviness, fear, and sickness by resisting them and casting them out of people. There is no question, debate or doubt Jesus did this. He specifically commands His disciples and Church to continue the practice and for good reason because evil spirits are diabolical against humanity.
There are many OPEN DOORS to depression and here are some.
CIRCUMSTANCES around your life just seem to be all negative and bad. You begin to feel disappointed because life is not turning out the way you would like it to. Many people are living with a ‘spirit of heaviness’ because of negative circumstances in their lives.
ILLNESS in addition to physical or mental sickness can make you depressed. If you are physically sick for a prolonged period of time sometimes that can bring a spirit of depression but not all mental problems are the result of a demon.
THOUGHT PATTERNS sometimes wrong thinking just takes over your life. It becomes hard to look at life through the clear lenses of reality. You look through glasses of your own circumstances and everyone and everything seems tainted by your own experiences.
CHAINS OF HABIT that you just can’t escape and then become demonically empowered.
REJECTION may have you in deep depression. Jesus came to tell you that God has not rejected you.
DEATH AND LOSS because you have lost someone or something very special. Understand that there is nothing wrong with legitimate mourning. If you have had death in the family you are not being demonised because you are sad or grieving. It is a normal human response to feel sadness and sorrow.
NO DIRECTION because you believe there is no place, meaning or significance for you in this life. That’s a lie. You were created by God for a divine purpose. When you find Christ you will discover that purpose and it’s up to you to go out and fulfil it.
FAILURE is something that everyone is going to experience but it’s what you do with that failure that will determine your future. God is waiting for you to give Him your failure so he can turn it around and make a success out of your life.
LOSS OF PASSION FOR GOD because you feel like you have lost touch with God or you are not ON FIRE like you once were. Well you have the power to change that all right now by making a decision to pick up from where you left off and forge ahead in Jesus name. Get back to Church, Worship, Prayer, Bible Study and watch how fast you will return to your first love of God’s Presence.
All of these are entry points for depression. The key for us is that now that we know what they are we can be more aware of the beginning of a Satanic strategy.
I know the trigger point of what could potentially make me depressed so I have mechanism’s in place to quickly dissolve any Satanic strategy from forming. The key is stopping it in it’s tracks quickly.
RUNNING IN A PANIC Depression sometimes feels as if you are being chased by something. You are so tired of running from what you are afraid of that you don’t know where to go.
DISSATISFACTION You may be thirsty and unsatisfied in your soul. Depression will put a thirst in you. It will cause you to say ‘Lord I have to get out of this. I can’t stand this. I don’t care what it takes. I’m thirsty for you and I’m going after You’.
UNSTABLE EMOTIONS You find yourself as if you are riding a roller coaster. One day up the next day down. You go from laughing to crying in a blink of an eye. You become very moody and grumpy most of the time.
FEELING FORGOTTEN Have you ever felt like crying out ‘God I don’t know where You are I’m looking but I can’t find You?’ Even Jesus cried out ‘My God My God why have You forsaken Me’. Of course God had not abandoned Him as Jesus took the cup of sin and drank our cup of sin and because of this for the first time in His life He felt the separation that sin brings.
FEELING OVERWHELMED Do you ever feel like it’s just too much. When circumstance become so erratic that the pressure feels like you are caving in? This is a very common feeling that people experience and will usually distance themselves from God when God is Who they should be running to. Don’t quit under pressure or make inner vows that you’re going to quit.
For most people these feelings tend to lift quickly or can be dismissed quickly but when they become chronic meaning you just can’t seem to shake them off then something is wrong and it could very well be the early stages of depression.
Satan always attacks when you are the most vulnerable.
OK so what’s the answer? What is the Biblical answer to DEPRESSION?
Well firstly in order to be healed from depression you must experience a fresh work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in JOHN 7:38 NKJV He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
LUKE 4:18-19 NKJV is the great depression buster scripture that Jesus used to announce His ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
What a VISION STATEMENT that is but notice that everything that Jesus will do is because ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME’.
1. HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM If you are not FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT then you need to be tonight. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit then it’s time for you to speak and pray in tongues like never before
2. DELIVERANCE If there is a demon spirit of heaviness or depression at work in your life then it must be cast out immediately in Jesus name. The demons of depression must be rooted out or it’s impact will be devastating.
3. MENTAL RENEWAL If it is a demonic mental stronghold that has been created in your mind because you have dwelt on certain thought patterns for too long then it’s time to be renewed in Jesus Name.
God’s Word is alive and has the power the Bible says in HEBREWS 4:12 NKJV For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Satan can not take away the Blood of Jesus. Satan can not take away the Cross of Jesus or the Holy Spirit or Salvation. These are all certainties now for every living human being to call upon.
The Bible says in ROMANS 10:13 NKJV “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”