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September 28, 2022 3:00 am
It may come as a surprise to some . . . it may be welcome confirmation for others . . . but believers can get depressed. Yes, there are numerous Scriptures about joy and contentment, but we’re humans living in mortal bodies, in challenging times. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie focuses on a depressing time in the life of the great prophet Elijah, and highlights a number of practical principles to help us in our times of challenge. You might want to take some notes.
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Learn more and sign firstname.lastname@example.org you will find yourself a sword isolated pruning process just gives worse with each day just as Elijah show deep dark.
Figuratively and literally.
Pastor Greg Laurie says we can want to get out of the mess you really want to get out of the you find yourself you want to get out of the misery you find yourself in Jesus's is welcome.
Confirmation believers can get depressed is there no more Scriptures about joy and contentment are human and mortal body challenging time. Greg Laurie focuses on pressing time in the life of the great prophet Elijah Bibles and turn the first king. Chapter 18 the title of my message is dealing with depression or a part two of the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel and this is the last message of myelitis series. So remember all the profits of bail were gathered there together for the big showdown 850 prophets of bail versus one man of God. Elijah says let's let the real God answer by fire.
Look at first Kings 1827. About noon time allotted to begin blocking that love to shout louder. He's gone for Shirley. He is a God.
Maybe he's away on a trip or he's asleep remains to be waken and so they shouted louder I left out one word one phrase perhaps even daydreaming or is relieving himself with ornaments. I want so shout louder so they shouted letter following their normal custom. They cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. They raped all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice. But still there was no sound, no reply. No response. So like this is your you guys go do your thing to you done okay well what a mess. Blood everywhere seriously. Now it's my turn and he says I want you to repair the altar, which they did. Knowing what you didn't douse it with water want you to do it again do it again three times a douse the altar wife because when God answered this prayer. He wanted everyone to know it was the Lord first Kings 1836 at the time of sacrifice a prophet Elijah step forward and pray Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and I am your servant, that I've done all these things at your command, answer me Lord answered me.
So these people will know that you Lord our God, that you are turning their hearts back again. I love this prayer just confidence in God.
He didn't cut himself. He didn't scream he didn't yell he didn't jump up and down. He just pray what happened first Kings 18 verse 38 then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice of one of the stones in the soil and looked up the water in the trench when all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried the Lord. He is, I've Lord he is God love this. So it goes back to the palace.
He tells his wicked wife Jezebel.
What just happened. She was probably waiting for good news. The profits of bail one Elijah's dead and then we got quite that way.
In all those profits yes 850 amp their dead there gone and Elijah is alive, so will Jezebel was very angry first Kings 19 when Ahab got home he told her everything Elijah had done, including the way he killed all the prophets of bail. Jezebel sent this message to Elijah May the God strike me and even kill me. By this time tomorrow if I got killed you just as you killed them, and now this twist. Elijah was afraid and fled for his life right what fled for his life.
Give the guy the Justin amount Carmel you called fire down from heaven.
You're the guy who stop the rain here. The guy who raise a little boy from the dead. How could you be afraid why because alliances with human just like we are. James reminds us human just like we are given we put spiritual leaders on pedestals, we think, because God is called them to teach or preach from the lead that they don't have the same pressures and emotions that we all have, but their people just like you. Not only was he afraid he got depressed first Kings 19 for he went out alone into the wilderness traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed he might die.
He said it had enough Lord, take my life. I'm no better than my ancestors who have already died. There Elijah was not the first man or woman of God to feel this way. Moses became so blue. He asked God to take his life as well. Jonah after the great revival of Nineveh effectively did the same thing. Even the apostle Paul got so down. He said he despaired of life again.
He was human like us.
Emotions can get the best of us.
So let me just close this message with a few points about dealing with depression. Before I do this, let me say this, there is something called clinical depression that is real. You should talk to your doctor about that. Not talking about clinical depression. I'm talking about the kind of depression that we might face in life in general. We get down in the doldrums. So let me say this is my first point, times of depression and vulnerability. Often, after great victory. Let me say that again times of depression and vulnerability often come after great victories.
Elijah had just had the greatest victory of his life. In fact, everything in his life was effectively building up to this he was being prepared for goes into the court of Ahab. He says it's gonna rain the Lord calls them to a broke that he gets his water from an ravens drop his food by each day and then the roots rise up and then the Lord has them go be dependent on a widow to care for him.
So the Lord's getting them ready and then he emerges me is this amazing event and then the death threat, depression often follows disappointment. Maybe Elijah thought that King Ahab would believe. Maybe even thought that Jezebel would come around with the opposite happening. I went back ratted out Elijah and Jezebel put a contract out on his life. So this can happen in our life as well. Maybe you just took a bold step of faith God use you in a powerful way. All of a sudden all of this spiritual warfare began. He didn't even understand it. All of a sudden your kids are turning from the Lord, your leading people to Christ in your kids are not interested in spiritual things you're having problems in your marriage you're having problems somewhere else. There can be a cause and effect here, you find yourself slumping in the depression you know your I am not a person that deals with depression. In general, but I've had depressing moments.
I can tell you that and I you might be surprised to know that I have found that there's a little slump of depression that will come right after we do some big thing we do a big crusade. It's all exciting.
A bunch of people come to the Lord and I just know Monday morning to be down. It hits me and here's how I learned how to deal with. I observed Billy Graham up close and personal, because for the end of his ministry.
I have the privilege of spending a lot of time with him helping them with the sermons hanging out with him and I remember one event in particular were in Portland Oregon and Johnny Cash saying and Billy Graham preached the place was packed. Think about this. This is Portland, Oregon. This is Portlandia right okay this is their very it's probably one of the most unchurched cities in America and so here is Billy Graham preaching that site revival like amazing all these people come to the Lord were on the platform and were coming down and Billy Graham is now walking out to his car there people on each side and we have a church or a hole in the back and I'm right behind me just walking along is had this kind of down people like Billy Billy we love you Billy he just keeps walking. He gets into the car and were driving and something can you not want to compliment him and encourage him so I'm riding shotgun next to TW Wilson has long time associate inabilities in the backseat next to Mrs. on Franklin turnaround over the seat as a Billy. That was a great message tonight. Billy looks at me with those steely blue eyes and he says it was just gospel come back around will then at your back when I love that one point when you said Christ can re-sensitize your conscience, Billy shot back while he can. Okay, I'm not talking him anymore.
Clearly the man does not want to be complemented. Then we drove to the hotel.
He invited us up to his room.
Someone given us some roast beef sandwiches before the Crusades started.
That was a long time ago there were coal so we bargain all now eat these sandwiches and Billy disappeared for a moment comes back into the room in his pajamas and dress shoes. I guess he left his slippers at all. So there is Billy Graham just freaked of thousands of people in this pajamas and dress shoes eating a cold roast beef sandwich.
What was a lesson I learned.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Okay this is something God did. You didn't do it return to normal as quickly as possible, and I observed that in his character in the way he function so don't focus on your emotions focus on God, you're not as good as people say you are. You're not as bad as people say you are. Some of you may be, but I don't know your God's servant just doing what God called you to do give him the glory and move on. Get over yourself. Don't live in the past. Instead, prepare for the future read about a sign that posted on an airport runway at the end of the row. The sign says is keep moving. If you stop you are in danger and a danger to those who are fine." This keep moving, and that's all we need to know.
I feel down in a really close keep moving forward, and if you don't the process about it.
Keep moving Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We love hearing from our listeners, whether it's a short word or they take some time to tell us what's going on.
We read every word pastor. Granted I'm thankful for your devotions and tweets each day. They only seem to have a direct impact on what I'm going through and that is indeed the case today.
Thank you for staying chew to the word to all these years I can trust her teachings and that's Golden to me. Thank you Greg, how have these studies in God's word touched your life.
If you have a story to share. Why not call us and tell us about: 866-871-1144. That's 866-871-1144 will today. Pastor Greg is presenting some helpful principles that could get us through times of challenge and depression. Point number two when you're depressed, do not isolate but surround yourself with friends when you're depressed. Don't isolate from others first Kings 19 for Elijah went on alone in the wilderness traveling all day. It was a long, he needed a trusted friend who could've encouraged them often one more down. We separate from people what we should do the opposite. Even Jesus asked Peter, James and John to simply sit with him in the garden of Gethsemane right and why because the Scripture says he was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.
Research reveals that 3/5 Americans feel lonely. Experts have long known that loneliness and isolation is long-range enough rugs on the mind and body, ranging from anxiety and depression to vulnerability and even illness. Having just one or two friendships can dramatically decrease loneliness.
Get some friends around people that can encourage you.
Don't isolate yourself from everyone in social media is not filled with Fred get real, living, breathing human people around you right point number three. Don't ignore the practical when you're feeling down. Don't ignore the practical. I love this part first Kings 19 for he sat down under a solitary broom tree and he prayed that he might die. I've had enough Lord, take my life and he lay down and slept under the broom tree as it was sleeping, an angel touched him and said get up and eat. Sounds like a mother get up and eats. He looked around and there was some baked bread on hot stones and a jar of water. So we ate and drank and sat down again. Sometimes you don't need a sermon you need a sandwich I'm serious. Sometimes it's a practical one.
Did you eat last. What did you eat last, have you gotten some exercise. Have you gone outside of you put your phone down and just looked at God's creation or had a conversation with somebody using sometimes it's as simple things final point when you're feeling down. You need perspective from God's word when you're feeling down and depressed. You need perspective from God's word first Kings 1980.
He got up and ate and drank and the food gave him enough strength in trouble 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God became to a cave where he spent the night. The Lord said what are you doing here, Elijah.
When we are feeling down, we need to look up and listen for the voice of God.
There's a lot of voices coming out us. We need her God's voice and where we can hear God's voice.
You can hear God's voice and cots work to open the book and listen.
The story goes on to say that while he was in the cave there was a mighty earthquake but then it says what the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then there was a fire with the Lord was not in the fire and there was a win but the Lord was not in the wind and then he heard a still small voice sometimes are looking for God in the big events in life and we should. But sometimes he speaking to us quietly so you know Johnny Cash had a similar event in his life when he was at the peak of his fame, he found himself addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates used amphetamines to keep going on the road than he is. Barbiturates to get to sleep at night, and he began to isolate himself from friends and family and he said I never wanted to see another Don so he went to a place on the Tennessee River known as the Nick and Jackie was a series of caves somewhere larger than two or three football stadiums that just what went on and on and on and people were known to go on those caves never come out again because they get lost. Disoriented, they would die.
Johnny was kind of hoping that would happen to him.
So he went deep in the back cave where it was pitch darkness and then he said that lack of light was appropriate for at that moment I was as far from God is at ever been. Johnny said when he was in the darkness of that cave not even wanting to live another day the Lord spoke to him and said what are you doing here just like Elijah. Right. It was there that Johnny Cash made a recommitment to Christ and he said of the experience. God save me from killing myself.
Maybe you find yourself in a cave of sorts. Right now, not a literal cave but a cave nonetheless your despondent your isolated your hurting your deeply depressed. It just gets worse with each day the Lord might save you. What are you doing here you don't have to be here you can get out of this place that herein right now like turning to me. Listen for that still small voice.
You know Jesus could have said that to Peter when he was warming up supper the enemy's fire about to betray the Lord for the third time and deny his name like what are you doing here, dude. Why, you know, we get ourselves in crazy places. We don't know why things are going so badly. What are you doing there. Did you have to go there. You know you struggle. I struggle with drinking. I'm an alcoholic. And when I was at the bar the other night. Wait, what, what are you doing there, why don't know why I make these bad decisions.
I hang around with all these people were party away when what are you doing there, why weren't you at church. See, we make bad decisions and we reap the consequences of them and we wonder why things are going the way that they're going cots is what you doing here come out of that cave of God can help you but you need to get up that I don't want to be here anymore. You know there was a man that Jesus healed and he said you want to be made whole sawdust. Did you want to get out of the mess you're ready want to get out of the cave you find yourself in. You want to get out of the misery you find yourself then turned to Jesus Christ is the answer is unwanted can save you and forgive.
Listen if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin, you want to know that you go to heaven when you die, I want you to pray this prayer after me. You could even pray it out loud if you like to spray these words Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior I turned from my sin. Now I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Father, I know that there are some of us that maybe find ourselves in a cave. We placed herself into and we need to come out of that place. We need to recommit ourselves to you again and I want to pray a prayer for anyone that needs to make that recommitment to Jesus for you to pray as well.
You could just pray Lord Jesus, I need to repair my altar. I need to get back to those things you called me to. I need to return to my first love. So Lord here. My I recommit myself to Jesus name I pray, amen. Pastor Greg Lord, praying with those were making a change in their relationship with the Lord today and if you're coming to the Lord for the first time and asking him to forgive your sins. And if you met those words today as you prayed with Pastor Greg we want you to know your sins have been forgiven and you're now a new child of God at Pastor Greg would like to send you something called our new believers growth packet that will help you get started in walking with the Lord. Day by day is free of charge. Just ask for the new believers growth packet as you call 1-800-821-3300.
That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click the words know God and then we want to mention Pastor Greg's enlightening book called Revelation, a book of promises you are great. Some people have a rather cloudy understanding of prophecy.
You know they're not sure of the terms and some prophecy is just so rich in symbolism.
They wonder where they can get the key that unlocks all the meaning I is your book short of a passkey that helps us access that insight today.
Yeah yeah I think that's good description. You know, my objective as a pastor is a Bible teacher as an evangelist is make things understandable to people I don't see any value in speaking over someone's head and using theological terminology that people don't understand the Bible says of Jesus, the common people heard him gladly. Which simply means regular rank-and-file people understood what Jesus was talking about. So the book of Revelation. This is a book. Many people are fascinated by, but it's also a book. Many people are mystified by and there is a password password or an encryption key that will help you understand the book of Revelation, and it's found right in the first chapter, I think you're going to be surprised by how understandable this great book of the Bible is, I write in a way. Well, it's as though were just sitting down over a cup of coffee and were just reading the verses together and were talking about them together and I'm trying to explain to you was simple analogies, and other scriptures commentating on Scripture and showing you how these great truths apply to you.
So it's in a book called Revelation subtitled a book of promises and will send it to you for your gift of any size. Now, some can only give a little will send one to you. Some can give more. Of course, will send one to you, but whatever your gift is large or small, we will use it to continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel so get your copy of Revelation, a book of promises I will rush it to you this right and would like to send a copy of this book to your right away. Hey Dave, let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this book. Revelation about the promises, but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times events so you probably wondered okay I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation. In the antichrist and the second coming. What happens when will this very beautiful little visual bookmark shortly set out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now. Yeah that's right so we hope to get in touch today and ask for Revelation, a book of promises and will only be able to mention this resource.
A short time longer just address a letter to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org everybody what are you doing this weekend. I like to hang out with you at harvest and home service at home.
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