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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - This Is How I Overcame Depression

Derek Prince - This Is How I Overcame Depression

Derek Prince - This Is How I Overcame Depression
TOPICS: Depression



All right, we'll go on to some other effects of God's word quite briefly. The next one is victory over sin. And in Psalm 119:11 David says to the Lord: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Now when David says hidden, another modern translation says treasured or stored up as treasure. So David says I have stored up your word as treasure in my heart in the very center of my being. You notice again how important the heart is? If you store God's word in your heart it's going to direct the course of your life. And so he says I don't want to sin. My protection against sin is storing your word in my heart. Somebody said: either sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin. Sooner or later one or other will win. If the Bible wins out it'll keep you from sin.

In Psalm 17:4 we have another testimony of David. David was a man who was very honest. You can read his psalms and see he had a lot of struggles with sin in his own life. But thank God that through his struggles he's able to give us direction and help us. Psalm 17:4: Concerning the works of men by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer. The destroyer is a title of Satan. So Satan has paths that he would like to entice you down because they lead to destruction. And some of them have got very misleading signposts. They say success, happiness, popularity. And you think I'm going to follow that path. But, it's a path that doesn't lead to what it claims because the devil put the signpost there. And in order to keep from following these paths that will lead you astray and bring you to destruction you have to heed the word of God. That's the thing that warns you, that alerts you, that directs you that points out the snares and dangers.

In Psalm 119, going back there for a moment verse 9, just two verses earlier the psalmist says: How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word. That is a real problem for young people. It's not only for young people but specifically for a certain age in life. Again, I think of being in Africa. Basically the attitude of Africans was: it isn't possible for a young man or a young woman to lead a pure life. It's not natural. And we had to fight that with the word of God. And David asks the question how can a young person lead a pure life? It's a very real question, isn't it? Nobody would pretend it's altogether easy but David said by taking heed to it according to your word. Again, either God's word will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from God's word. If you find that you're beginning to be less interested in the Bible you better check on what's taking the place of the Bible in your life because it could be something disastrous. Then the Bible not only gives victory over sin but it gives victory over Satan.

That's very, very important. Satan is the enemy of all believers. He's continually opposing us, seeking to lead us astray take us into temptation. But he doesn't have to win. We can defeat him. We have a weapon and it's the word of God. In Ephesians 6 Paul is talking about a Christian's honor and he points out we are all in a war, a spiritual war not a physical war. We're not fighting flesh and blood. The Living Bible says we're not fighting persons with bodies but we're fighting spiritual beings and spiritual forces. Because it's a spiritual war we have to have spiritual weapons. And Paul lists our spiritual weapons in Ephesians 6 but I only want to focus on the last one in verse 17. It says: Take the helmet of salvation [That's what protects your head.] And let me just interject that. That is hope. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says the helmet of hope. I didn't intend to speak on this but I think God wants me to because so many people have a problem with depression. I'm not doing it, but if I were to ask how many of you here this evening have struggled with depression, with dark moods, with pessimism many of you would raise your hands. I'd be the first.

I had a tremendous struggle with depression in the early years of my ministry. I was saved, baptized in the Spirit and was winning people for the Lord. But, this dark cloud would settle over me shut me in and press me down. And I struggled with it, I fought with it. I did everything I knew and nothing worked. In fact, the harder I tried the worse it got. And I was at the point of real despair when I happened to read in the prophet Isaiah 61:3 that God said He would give us the garment of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness. That's the old King James Version. And when I read those words the Holy Spirit said to me that's your problem. It's a spirit, an evil spirit that's tormenting you. It's not you, it's not your mind. It's another person at work in your mind. Well, I then needed only one other Scripture which was Joel 2:32: It shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.

So I prayed and I said to God: God, deliver me from this evil spirit of heaviness, of depression in the name of Jesus. And God delivered me. Then God showed me that I had to have something to protect my mind with. And I thought about the armor and I said it must be the helmet. Well, Ephesians 6:17 calls it the helmet of salvation. I thought to myself I'm saved, do I have the helmet of salvation? But Paul says to saved Christians take the helmet of salvation. And I didn't know what that was but I looked in a parallel passage in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 which says: For a helmet the hope of salvation. So I said to myself, My helmet is hope. That's what will protect my mind. And then I studied and I saw that in the Bible hope is a confident expectation of good. And God showed me I had to change my whole pattern of thinking.

I was by nature a pessimist. In fact, apart from being born a pessimist I was brought up to be a pessimist. In my family if you weren't worrying you ought to be worrying about the fact you weren't worrying! So I realized I had a whole background to change. I had to put on a helmet of hope, an expectation of good. The way I did it was every time I got a dark, negative thought I deliberately replaced it with something from Scripture that was positive. And gradually it became automatic. So today, thank God I don't have that problem. I mean all of us can be attacked sometimes with negative thoughts but as a whole, depression is not my problem. It's a thing of the past. So I had to be delivered from the spirit, then I had to learn to protect my mind. I didn't intend to say this but probably it's for the sake of people here. There is a helmet. It's hope. If you study the Bible as a Christian there is no reason ever not to have hope. There's always a scriptural reason to have hope but you have to find the reasons and apply them.
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