Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Root of Depression

The opposite of “depression” is “joy.”

The Apostle John wrote...

1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

The Apostle John desired his readers “joy be full” through the means of “fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

The “love of God” manifesting within our hearts is the antidote to depression. John understood this in writing...

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Depression is rooted in a fixation upon the things of this world as opposed to a fixation on that which is above. This is why one cannot have an inordinate affection on the things of this world and at the same time have the love of God within, we simply cannot serve two masters. Serving one master casts out the other.

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon

Jesus taught...

Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Depression is the very opposite of the whole body being full of light. The whole body being full of light is the result of having a “single eye” according to Jesus which is why He taught...

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

This is the very same teaching that the Apostle John expressed in writing...

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is all descriptive of an affection for the temporary, the here and now, as opposed to an affection towards to the eternal, an affection towards God, an affection to the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Depression is a body full of darkness as a result of a carnal mind. The opposite is to be spiritually minded wherein exists life and peace.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Often, when treating depression, many will focus on various causes (ie. looking back on the past) and unwittingly provide the depressed individual with an excuse and thus foster a victim mindset. Jesus taught a very different approach.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Jesus never asked anyone how they got there, rather He acknowledged where they were and provided a solution to their problem. Here is one example...

Joh 5:5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
Joh 5:6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Joh 5:7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Joh 5:8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
Joh 5:14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Another example is the woman caught in adultery...

Joh 8:3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
Joh 8:4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
Joh 8:6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

How did Jesus respond?

Joh 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Joh 8:8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Joh 8:10  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
Joh 8:11  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

In neither case did Jesus ask "how" the individual concerned got there. He never went into any detail regarding their past life. Jesus simply offered them mercy and told them to "go and sin no more." In other words, Jesus gave them new life and then told them to go and live that new life.

The “old” must die in order that the “new” be born. One need not focus on “how” one got to a place of a body full of darkness. Rather, one simply needs just turn their eyes upward in laying aside that old man, the darkness, or in other words...

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

The principle is being set free from sin and in order to be established in love. The Apostle Paul described it beautifully...

2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2Co 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In no longer "living for oneself" one is no longer fixated on the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, nor the pride of life. Depression is a result of wrong fixation.

A depressed person is depressed because they lack a correct focus, they are looking the wrong direction, and thus their despair is due to their perception. The antidote is the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

There is also literature that lays the root of depression in some people as being either hormonal, biochemical or genetic. Whilst it is certainly true that our bodies produce chemicals and hormones that effect our mood, these hormones and chemicals are not the root of depression. Paul continues on in Romans...

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Those whom submit themselves wholeheartedly to God are physically quickened by the Spirit of God. This means it is the Spirit of God that is become the driving force both physically and spiritually within. This is why no matter what the infirmity or trial there remains joy in overcoming because we know the things of this world are both temporary and a test which presents us with the opportunity to express our love for God and each other.

In the same way that God rewires the brain of a drug addict through new practiced habits due that their mind is now set upon the spiritual, the joy of the Lord wrought through His Spirit also certainly has an effect on the hormones and chemicals our bodies produce.

It is the Lord that can set us spiritually free from all manner of ill if only we will submit ourselves wholeheartedly to His will.

Be well.

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