Preparing For Zion
Freedom from Depression and the Spirit of Heaviness
I am consistently refining and redefining how I approach my message and how I achieve fulfilling my assignment in helping to prepare the way for the ‘Return of the King.’ I will continue to delve into the valleys, mountains, stones in the road, and crooked places so that we will each be prepared for the return of the king, Jesus. Jesus will return to Zion after he stands on the Mount of Olives. He will establish his one thousand years of peace and rule where all nations will worship Him in Zion, Jerusalem.
The issues we encounter today will not be part of that lifestyle. There will be many born in that age, but those of us who follow Jesus now will be in our glorified body. It is that transition period where Heaven will soon be on earth entirely. Therefore I will continue to explore the valleys, and this blog deals with depression and heaviness.
Depression and Heaviness Defined
First of all, let me define depression. Depression can be defined as a mood disorder that is defined by sadness and loss of interest. Depression keeps you alienated, isolated, and often confined to bed. Medical news today defines it as sadness, a feeling of being down, and loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. Persistence of these moods and identifying with them leads to long-term depression, and we get to the point that we feel heavy all of the time.
Depression is real, and if we do not deal with it early on, it takes root and becomes a significant stronghold. It is often associated with rejection, fear, insecurity and can lead to anger, paranoia, and rebellion. There is a real medical disorder with a chemical imbalance, but that is less common than we think.
Most people today find prescribed or other medicinal agents to help overcome. I am not against these as they have a place, but we often do not apply the scriptures that we read in our devotions. We read it, pray, and then when something comes up, rather than believe and stand on the word, we allow heaviness and depression to overtake our minds to the point after a while, we cannot function in life as we were meant.
This article is not intent on dealing with the whole medical side, but the spiritual and emotional aspects of heaviness. When we deal with trauma, depression, fatigue, and other emotions will generally arise. However, we must not let traumatic events rule our lives. Christ has already given us victory over every valley and mountain so that we can enjoy a kingdom lifestyle now.
I can truly address this disorder as I have faced many days, weeks, months, and years where I succumbed to depression and heaviness. I can speak with sympathy, empathy, and as one who knows that you cannot tolerate or play mildly with these mindsets. I have often identified with the prophets, David or even Job, as each one of these went through various stages of depression, heaviness, rejection, and experienced victory over these areas through the Word of God.
The Prophets, and a King and Depression
Elijah and Jeremiah are two of my favorite characters in the Bible. Perhaps because I have studied them a lot and can identify with some of their issues, I feel like an expert sort of. We are familiar with Elijah’s run from Jezebel to the cave where he hid and came calling, asking, why are You Here? He answered that ‘he alone was left of the prophets and those that did not bow to Baal.’
Then there is Jeremiah, who often asked, “why does the way of the wicked prosper?” In Jeremiah 15, he explains to God that he did what he asked him to do. All he got was persecution and ‘pain.’ I have often thought that his incurable pain was physical. Still, as I studied his life, I see rounds of depression, self-pity, and just feeling sorry for himself, feeling that God was not trustworthy.
God explains to Jeremiah that he needs to repent and find the good in everyone, and by repenting of feeling this way, God will restore him to his place standing before him. He told Elijah that there were at least 7,000 who had not bowed the knee, and God wasn’t through with him. Both of these men continued to minister and be God’s spokesmen. Much of Jeremiah’s sadness came from his lament over the coming destruction of Jerusalem and later what he saw as a lonely city. He gives us five chapters outlining this sad event as the city of the Lord lies in ruins in the Book of Lamentations. In Hebrew, it is actually the book of How? Meaning How did it come to this?
Then there is King David, who spent many years running from Saul as he had been anointed the true king, chosen by God. Later, David has one of his lowest moments at Ziklag. David and his men return home in the town of Ziklag only to find their women and children had been captured by the Amalekites. Now his men want to stone him. His Philistine ally, Achish, had to send him home since the other Lords Philistine refused to let him fight with them.
Now David is devastated. He lost his own family, and his men have turned on him. 1 Sam. 30:6 gives us the answer for all of our Ziklag moments and other traumas.
“And David strengthened himself in the Lord.”
David also had a traumatic moment when his son performed a coup and took his throne. Later, Absalom is slain, and David must mourn. He also mourned the loss of the child conceived from his lustful moment with Bathsheba. For a good study on David’s emotions during these times, read Psalm 18 and find how he trusted God and rest, peace, and joy in God.
The Garment of Praise
The Bible is filled with other stories where people faced difficult seasons and how they found their way to breakthrough, victory, and an overcoming lifestyle. Psalm 54:7 says that “the Lord has delivered me out of all of my troubles.”
Psalm 55:22 “cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.”
The Lord and drawing strength from Him enables us to press through to the next day and the next level.
Isaiah 61 is the chapter Jesus read from in the synagogue where he speaks of Himself as the one fulfilling the acceptable year of the Lord, setting the captives free. In verse three, we read, “to those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. (KJV)
We are supposed to be like oaks, trees planted by the Lord that will not wither in the heat. Depression and heaviness are the enemy’s heat that he sends to cause us to wither and die. Receive the garment of Praise today and walk in a life of continual praise, even when adverse events are occurring all around us.