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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-01-10 "Jeremiah the Depressed Prophet"

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January 10, 2010

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

 

Jeremiah the depressed prophet

Lamentations 3:1-20, Esp. 14-20

 “We are in the middle of the S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) season. We suffer from restricted sunlight, cabin-fever, lack of exercise and eating too much holiday food. Depression is a spiritual infection of the soul.”                                                                                                                    Pastor Phil Roland

BACKGROUND

Jeremiah is the last Southern Kingdom prophet before the Fall

He sometimes called the, “weeping prophet”

586/5 B.C - The fall and brutal destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians

Famine and the sword consumed the fallen city.

Jeremiah sits on a hill weeping over the devastation of his beloved city

He was deeply depressed

 

Jeremiah the Depressed Prophet shows us:

I.  DEPRESSION IS AN OUT-OF-CONTROL EXPERIENCE

            A. Feelings of DEFEAT – vs. 4,5

               “He has aged my flesh and my skin, And broken my bones.

                He has besieged me And surrounded me with bitterness and woe.”

                        1. Mad at God who has let him down

                        2. Somehow God has defeated him

                        3. Wrongly taken responsibility for the sins of others

            B. Feelings of DEFECTIVENESS – vs. 14,15

              “I have become the ridicule of all my people; Their taunting song all the                      day. He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood.”

                        1. “Laughingstock” KJV

                        2.  Object of public ridicule

            C. Feelings of Desertedness – vs. 16,17

                “He has also broken my teeth with gravel, And covered me with ashes.

                  You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.”

                        1. Abandonment – God has abandoned him

                        2. Alone, Isolated, Cut off

            D. Feelings of Deprivation – v. 18

                “And I said, "My strength and my hope have perished from the LORD."

                        1. No Hope, Hopelessness

                        2. Loss of Confidence

                        3. Fell out of favor with the Lord

 

II. DEPRESSION FILLS THE MIND WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

          A. Jeremiah’s mind was negative about HIS PERSON

                        1. Mocked and Bitter

                        2. Unworthy object of God’s Wrath

           

Jeremiah the Depressed Prophet, cont., p.2

                       

            B. Jeremiah’s mind was negative about HIS PRESENT SITUATION

                        1. Saw his circumstances horrible

                        2. Saw no peace nor happiness

            C. Jeremiah’s mind was negative about HIS FUTURE

                        1. He could nee no future, he was locked in the present

                        2. Trapped in the dungeon of his mind – v. 20

                            “My soul still remembers And sinks within me.”

                       

III. CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

          A. Biological Factors: Physical/Circumstantial Causes of Depression

                        1. Sleep Deprivation

                        2. Lack of Exercise

                        3. Side effects from prescription drugs

                        4. Physical Illness / Chronic Pain

                        5. Women’s Monthly Cycles

                        6. Thyroid Problems

                        7. Poor Nutrition

                        8. Genetic Influences

                        9. Brain or Organ Tumors

            B. Mental cognitive and emotional Causes of Depression

                        1. Parental or Marital Rejection

                        2. Physical, emotional or sexual abuse

                        3. Ancient scripts from the distant past

                             “Look how worthless you are!”

                             “Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?”

                        4. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ – Self-Depreciating slogans

            C. Situational Causes of Depression

                        1. Consequences of Poor Choices: Sowing and Reaping

                        2. Accidents, personal injury

                        3. Unemployment or under-employment

                        4. Financial Distress

                        5. Substance abuse: Alcohol and Drugs

 

IV. JEREMIAH’S RESOLUTION FOR DEPRESSION

          A. Change how you THINK – v. 21

                 “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.”

                        1. Focus: When his focus is on himself, he is depressed

                        2. When his focus is on the Lord, he’s at peace – vs. 22,23

                           “Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His

                               compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is

                               Your faithfulness.”

                        3. Jeremiah begins to have HOPE – Isaiah 40:31

                           “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They

                             will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,

                             they will walk and not be faint.” NIV

           

Jeremiah the Depressed Prophet, cont., p.3

 

            B. Jeremiah begins thinking about God’s Goodness, Wisdom, Power

                 “Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His

                   compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your

                   faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I

                   hope in Him!" The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul

                   who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For

                   the salvation of the LORD.” Lam. 3:22-26

            C. Jeremiah reminds himself that God’s in Control – Lam. 3:37,38

                “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, When the Lord has not                          commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That woe and                         well-being proceed?”

                        1. God’s in control of your life and all of human history

                        2. Cease your criticism of how God does things – vs. 39,40

                            “Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of                                           his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn

                              back to the LORD;”

                        3. God infinitely loves and cares for His people

                        4. Remember Thomas Chisholm’s hymn,

                                    “Great is Thy Faithfulness”?

            D. Jeremiah and God’s Solution to Depression: Faith in Him

            E. Practical Suggestions for getting through Depression

                        1. Avoid being alone. Force yourself to be with people.

                        2. Seek help from others.

                        3. Sing. Music can uplift your spirit as it did for King Saul

                            See 1 Samuel 16:14-23

                        4. Praise and give thanks. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

         “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

                        5. Lean heavily on the power of God's Word.

                        6. Rest confidently in the presence of God's Spirit

                           “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His                                             countenance” Psalm 42:5

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah the depressed prophet, Text:

Lamentations 3:1-20, Esp. 14-20

3:1  I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

2  He has led me and made me walk In darkness and not in light.

3  Surely He has turned His hand against me Time and time again throughout the day.

4  He has aged my flesh and my skin, And broken my bones.

5  He has besieged me And surrounded me with bitterness and woe.

6  He has set me in dark places Like the dead of long ago.

7  He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.

8  Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer.

9  He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.

10  He has been to me a bear lying in wait, Like a lion in ambush.

11  He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate.

12  He has bent His bow And set me up as a target for the arrow.

13  He has caused the arrows of His quiver To pierce my loins.

14  I have become the ridicule of all my people; Their taunting song all the day.

15  He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood.

16  He has also broken my teeth with gravel, And covered me with ashes.

17  You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.

18  And I said, "My strength and my hope Have perished from the LORD."

19  Remember my affliction and roaming, The wormwood and the gall.

20  My soul still remembers And sinks within me.

 

Jeremiah the depressed prophet

SERMON STARTER

          We are in the middle of the S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) season. We suffer from restricted sunlight, cabin-fever, lack of exercise and eating too much holiday food. Depression is a spiritual and emotional infection of the soul.

The people closest to us can get the infection. Depression is contagious to those we love.

          My family physician told me years ago that he feels our greatest health threat is undiagnosed and untreated clinical depression. He explained that depression places an incredible burden on the sufferer’s entire physiological as well as psychological system. The weakest link in a person’s body will carry the stress until it breaks down. With a depression sufferer’s immune system weakened, they can become susceptible to infection or disease.

          Depression is sometimes called the “common cold” of psychological problems. If left untreated it can lead to disease or occasionally suicide. When I was confronted with depression for the first time, I was 29 years old and was suffering from chronic pain. I know now I had a work-related injury that resulted in a herniated disc. It was the sixth disc from the bottom of my backbone.

          Pain had become my constant companion. It gave me no peace day and night. Spasms in the muscles in my back would sometimes last up to 30 seconds. It was difficult breathing when the spasms struck. I refused pain killers which I knew were addictive. I tried every kind of alternate therapy that was available at the time. There was no relief.

          I became angry with God and yelled at Him because He sent this unbelievable burden to me. I was angry He created me and sent me here to endure such a trail. I was angry with my body for betraying me. I felt my youth was over, and I felt like I was 75 years old. I was angry with people I met who could walk with no discomfort.

          As a last resort I made the decision to seek a spiritual healing. If the Bible was true and Jesus was real, then I needed a touch from the real Jesus to heal my body. I started on the journey of healing and became surprised that Jesus chose to heal my wounded soul instead of the physical healing I demanded.

          I was almost three years on my journey when Jesus healed my wounded spirit in a single night. I had many glimpses of Him along my way, but I never had found him as real as on that night of nights. Interestingly, religion and its practitioners offered me no solace. Only the Jesus I read about in the Bible actually helped me.

          In today’s text Jeremiah has been brutalized by the harsh realities of what had happened to his homeland. Jeremiah’s solution to his depression is a mirror of how I was able to walk out of my own depression. I hope you will be challenged to find some non-traditional ways to walk out of your own depression.

I have much more to say on this subject.

 

Pastor Phil  <><<