Creflo Dollar - How to Win Over Depression
Let's begin this morning in 3 John verse 2. We've been talking about mastering your emotions. We've been talking about overcoming and having authority over your emotions, and how it is the will of God for you to experience emotional stability in your life. How it is God's will for you to understand that you can control how you feel. It's God's will for you to understand that, you know, you can be accountable for how you feel. You can be accountable for your emotions. And when you hear people say, "Well, I just can't help how I feel," that is deception all day long. You can. You can determine how you feel. You can determine that you can master your emotions.
Now, 3 John, verse 2, let's read 3 John, verse 2, out loud together. Verse 2, he says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers". "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper," or that you may be successful, all right? Or that you may be whole. He says, "I want you to be whole". And when you talk about wholeness you're talking about completeness. When you talk about wholeness, you're talking about nothing missing and nothing broken in your life, and that's God's will. God's will is for you to be whole and successful in every area of your life.
Now, you need to know that. You need to know that's God's will for your life so that when it's not so, you can resist it. You need to know what's God's will so you don't tolerate and put up with something that's not God's will for your life, amen? And he says, "And I want you to be in health, even as your soul prospers". So according to this Scripture, as goes your soul, so goes your life. Look at this in the Amplified. "As goes your soul, so goes your life". Now, you are a spirit being. Say out loud, "I am a spirit being". Say this out loud, "I have a soul and I live in a physical body".
Now, you are not your soul and you are not your body. Religion uses the words "spirit" and "soul" interchangeably as if they are the same. They are not the same. You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a physical body. When a man dies, his spirit and soul leaves his body and that body stays in a box and we accept our responsibility to do what we need to do with it. You are a spirit but you have a soul. Now, we talk a lot about spiritual things and we should, and we talk a lot about physical things and how God wants you healthy and healed, and we should. But we kind of bypass the soul area, it's the place where everything happens. Your soul is made up of your mind, your will, and your emotions. Your mind, your will, and your emotions.
Now let's understand what the emotion area's all about. Your emotions, the word "e" in Latin, that word "emotion," that word "e," it means up, out, and away in the Latin. Up, out, and away. Motion, motions up, out, and away. The word literally means, as far as your emotions, they are feelings on the inside that are triggered by pain or pleasure to move you in a direction. Your emotions are feelings that are caused by pain or pleasure to move you in a direction. Now everybody in here has been called by God to accomplish of the will of God for your life. There's a purpose for everybody in the room. You're not just here for no reason at all. There's a reason why you're here. There's a purpose for you to accomplish. There's a will of God for your life.
So now, the enemy gets together and they strategize to come up with some strategy to try to stop you from accomplishing the will of God for your life, to keep you away from that designed purpose and place for your life. And so the area of the emotions is where they're planning to try to move you away from the will of God for your life because if a circumstance can take place that triggers a negative emotion, then those negative emotions that you don't deal with, are designed to move you away from the will of God for your life. And yet, if the Word of God and praise and worship and the presence of God triggers godly emotions and self-control, then it's designed to move you right into that place where God has planned for your life.
So you'll have godly emotions and you can have negative emotions but emotions, that's the place where you're gonna be moved. Emotions, that's the place where you're gonna be moved. You can either be moved closer to the will of God for your life by allowing godly emotions to be triggered or you can allow all of the circumstances and situations in the world to trigger negative emotions and it moves you away from the will of God for your life. So how do you explain all the negative circumstances and situations that happen?
Well, hey, those negative circumstances and situations are designed to trigger some kind of negative emotion so that Satan can now ride your emotions like a surfer rides a wave and move you completely away from the will of God for your life and move you into places where you have to pause and say, "How did I get here? How did I get in jail"? Your emotions, I guarantee you, brought you there. How did you get back into abusing drugs? Your emotions got you there. How did you get to the place where you pulled the trigger, where you stabbed with the knife, where you cussed somebody out, where you yielded to this sin, where you ended up in the wrong bed? How did you get there?
Your emotions took you there. Those negative emotions took you there. And don't come telling me, we don't need to hear about it in church because where you end up, the majority of the time, your emotions took you there. The weakest man on the planet is a man that cannot control his emotions. You're not a strong man 'cause you can cuss and demonstrate how out of control you are. And let me tell all of our single women, if you are dating a man that cannot control his emotions, he will attempt to try to control you later on because when you can't control your emotions, you'll attempt to try to control people. And it's not God's will for you to try to control people.
So before you say, "I do," let's see what triggers when something don't go right. You don't need to marry that joker until y'all can see him in the negative situations to see what come out of him first. You don't wanna marry that joker and wake up the next morning he floating over the bed with his head spinning around, spitting up green stuff, talking about, "Give me some coffee". So this is a vital subject and I hope you're seeing it over these, I don't know how long we've been preaching, to see that this is a vital area of your life: taking charge over your emotions. It is not God's will for life to master you. It is God's will for you to master life. It is God's plan and will for you to experience emotional stability. It is God's plan and will for your life that when circumstances happen and you trigger those negative emotions, for you to take charge of your emotions and not allow your emotions to take charge of you.
Now, please don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about becoming emotionless. That's another problem we have in the church. We go too far to the left, too far to the right. I'm not teaching you now to be emotionless and create another level of phoniness. You got issues. Turn to your neighbor and say, "You have an issue". Okay, so don't get offended 'cause everybody in the house got a issue. Don't get offended. E'bod', e'bod', 'scuse my English. E'body in the house got a issue.
See, you wanna be judgmental of the person that fell in adultery but you don't wanna judge yourself on how mean and rude you are to the waitress that came to serve you at the restaurant. And what happens? You don't take serious about the fact that I can control my emotion, I can have authority over my emotions. I am responsible for how I feel and my feelings do not have to govern my life, amen? And let's go look at one more Scripture and we'll start. Romans chapter 8 and 6. One more Scripture and I'll tell you what we're gonna talk about.
Romans chapter 8 and 6 'cause this is vital. This is so important that as Christian people we know how to take charge of our emotions because let me tell you something. As Christian people, if you don't know how to take charge of your emotions, it demonstrates that you are immature as a Christian. I don't care how long you've been saved. The authenticity of your spiritual maturity is based on whether or not you can control your emotions. And when you cannot control your emotions, you give us evidence that you are not spiritually mature.
A lot of people like to go around and talk about how long they've been saved and how spiritually mature they are. And if you can't control your emotions, you're not spiritually mature at all. You're a baby that needs to grow up 'cause you can't even control your emotions. And Satan knows exactly what to do to get you out of the will of God, just trigger your negative emotions with a negative situation. And I don't know why people think it strange for you to have trouble when the Bible says: "They that live godly shall suffer," what? "Persecution". And every time something bad happen to you, "Why, Lord? Why"? That's not what's supposed to, "Why me"? Because you're here in this world. In this world you will have tribulation. But he said, "Be of good cheer. It's handled".
Now you have an opportunity to grow 'cause it triggered a negative emotion and let's see who you're gonna go off on. And instead of you going off on 'em, you control that emotion, you make it submit to the Word of God and all of a sudden, man, you're like, "I'm growing". Some of y'all remember that when anything crazy happen, you just flout the mouth, give somebody a piece of your mind, cuss 'em out, and then later on regret it. But lately, you've not been doing that. Lately, you pause, selah. And you think down the road and you realize there's a better way of handling this, and you respond like a Christian that you say you are, amen?
Now look at this, Romans chapter 8 and 6: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace". So what is a carnal mind? A carnal mind is a mind that's dominated by your senses. It is a mind that's dominated by your senses. Carnality is, the word "carnal" literally means of the senses. Of the five senses. So now, how does that work? If you see something that's negative and it dominates your thinking, okay, and now it begins to govern your emotions, you are carnally minded and it's gonna eventually lead to death.
If you hear something or in this day and time if you go to Facebook and read something... God gave you the senses to help you enjoy life but not to be governed by what you see and hear and feel. He didn't give you feelings so you can feel pain and then let it govern your life all the way down to your mouth and you start saying, "I'm gonna die 'cause I feel this". No, so don't be carnal minded or don't allow your life to be governed and led by your sensory mechanisms because he said, eventually it'll lead to death. He said, "But to be spiritually minded is," what? "Life and peace". Well, what's it mean to be spiritually minded?
Well, John 6:63 says: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit". So spiritual mindedness cannot be achieved away from the Word of God. So I love that you enjoy being inspired but you need to get some Word. I love that you like shouting and doing cartwheels, but you need to understand some Word because I can inspire you and get you excited and I can work on your emotional realm but if you don't have some Word that will give you a spiritual mind, your emotions change. You can't live by your emotions, you'll go to bed feeling like God loves you tonight and wake up wondering if he loves you the next day.
You're not supposed to, you know, live by your feelings. You're supposed to know God loves you because that's what his Word says and you can take me to several Scriptures to show me what his Word said. That's becoming spiritually minded, and when you're spiritually minded, it'll govern your emotions and it will lead you to life and it will lead you to peace. But there's no scenario that exists that is going to allow you to be spiritually minded without the Word. All right, now today, we're gonna start dealing with the specific emotions that have been ruining and ruling people's lives.
And today we're gonna start with the emotion of depression. How to win over depression. First of all, what it is because, man, I've met people who are depressed. I've met Christians who are depressed, don't even know it. They just keep trying to hide behind Scriptures and they won't deal with the emotion. I really can't stand that, a Christian that tries to hide around Scripture and tries to live like he doesn't have emotions. That makes a very awful, terrible friend because, you know, "Hey, how you doing"? "This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it".
See, I can't have nothing to do with you 'cause I don't know what this is. I mean, you're attempting to try to be spiritual but that's not spiritual, that's phony. "Well, but, no, but that's speaking faith". Yeah, I understand you're speaking faith so let me show you how to do it. So you're having a bad day and you're going through some rough times, here's how you do it. "Well, how are you doing today"? "Well, you know what? I'm going through some situations right now and I believe God's Word and I'm gonna make it through but all is well".
Ain't nothing wrong with that. You think you're gonna go to hell by just letting people... I don't even know how to minister to you. You know, you look down and depressed. What's wrong? And then you turn around with a fake smile. "I have the joy of the Lord". Yeah, right. You ain't even got to be a prophet to figure out, "You lying, you're lying to yourself". In other words, you won't deal with your emotions. And if you don't deal with your emotions, eventually they will deal with you and your phony wall. So you can deal with 'em. You know, somebody came to me when I was diagnosed with cancer and, you know, said, "What's going on"? I said, "Well, the doctor diagnosed me with cancer but I believe that by his stripes I'm healed". So I'm still in faith. I'm still in faith, amen.
Now, let's define depression. I wanna define it from three different perspectives so you'll know what it is. Now, you need to get excited about this because I'm getting ready to unmask the demonic spirit of depression. Not as a therapist would, because that's the issue. You've been trusting the therapist and the psychologist who only deal with the emotions and the mind and you've not understood that God has supplied you with spiritual resources that can show you how to be delivered from depression while they're just showing you how to manage it.
All right, so let's look at it from three perspectives. Number one, depression is a result of external pressures, external stuff that's happening in your life, outside. External pressures getting inside of our heart and weighing us down. So it's an external pressure getting inside of your heart, weighing you down. Something from the outside, some issue, some circumstance: baby need a pair of shoes, got a light bill due, I ain't got no money right now, I just lost my job. Some external pressure coming from the outside and it's internalized and it wants to get into your heart and weigh you down.
What does he say in 1 Peter chapter... well, let me go through these and then I'll go through the Scriptures. The second perspective: depression is stress and pressure internalized. Stress and pressure internalized. Now, it's still external, it's still coming from the outside, but now, it's in your heart and it's weighing your heart down. You're now internalizing it and it's weighing you down. Have you ever had something on the outside and you just can't let it go and it just... you're trying to, you know, distract yourself from it but now once it gets on the inside, it's just there. You're constantly thinking about it, you're constantly rolling it over in your mind, it's weighing you down.
Life feels heavy, it just feels like just, you know, I just need to get rid of this. It's just, you know, and you're walking with it and in some cases you're walking with it for days. Okay, let's look at this last one, and I think this is the one that's gonna help us the most. Depression is the feelings that come from thinking thoughts that weigh you down. It's feelings that come from thinking thoughts that weigh you down. Now, we got it down to a place where it's workable. Feelings that come from thinking the thoughts that weigh you down.
All right, so now we understand from the anatomy of life that I've been teaching you that if depression is a feeling that comes from thoughts that weigh you down, now we're gonna be able to diagnose it spiritually a lot better, why? Because whatever you expose yourself to is gonna produce the way you think. Whatever you think about is gonna produce how you feel. So however you feel came as a result of what you've been thinking about, came as a result of what you've been exposing yourself to. So ultimately, if I wanna deal with how I feel, I gotta deal with what I'm exposing myself to because whatever I'm exposing myself to is producing the way I think and whatever I think is producing the way I feel.
Now, somebody says, "Well, why do I need to talk about depression and deal with that"? 'Cause you gotta deal with how you feel. Because if you don't deal with how you feel, your exposure produces your thinking, your thinking produces how you feel. How you feel now will now determine your decisions. And you don't wanna make decisions from negative feelings. Your negative decisions is now gonna produce the actions that you take. Now you gonna be doing things from negative decisions that came from negative emotions that came from negative thinking that came from negative exposure. You are now acting out on those negative decisions. Those decisions produce your actions, your actions produce your habits.
You know, we create habits and then those habits turn right around and create us. We create habits, then those habits create what? Character, and the character brings you to the destination. So where you are this morning is not a mistake. Where you are this morning happened all the way back. It started with what have I been exposing myself to. What are you exposing yourself to? What are you looking at every day? What are you listening to all the time? What are you talking about all, what's the exposure of your life?
If you were to invite me into your life and, you know, and I'm just like a fly on the wall, what would I see that you're exposing yourself to? And people don't even wanna pay attention to that. You got this jacked-up, raggedy, negative friend that you hang around 'cause you ain't got nobody else to hang around with and they're exposing you to all of their drama and you wonder why you think the way you think. We really need to rethink our definition of friendship. A friend sticketh closer than a brother. What have you done for me lately to call yourself my friend?
Some of y'all looking at me... What do you expose yourself to? That's creating my thinking. You've got to value yourself enough to dismiss some people from your life because if it costs you your peace, what? It's too expensive and you cannot, you cannot, you cannot spend your peace on other people's drama. 'Cause you scared that's the only friend you'll ever have. You're an awesome person. God's got somebody that's gonna be awesome in your life. You don't have to put up with somebody who don't wanna change, who just wanna dump drama in your life.
When you look on the phone and you see 'em calling, only reason you answer 'cause you bored. These are practical things you can do and you won't do it and you keep putting up with that stuff. And so what's happening? It's governing your thinking. What are you watching? It's governing your thinking. What are you engaged in, in the booth in the back, in the corner, in the dark when it's private, where nobody's around, secretly, shielding yourself so what are you doing? Because however you think will determine how you feel.