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James Merritt - Bridge Over Troubled Waters

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    James Merritt - Bridge Over Troubled Waters
TOPICS: No Hard Feelings, Emotions, Elijah, Depression

Well, a wonderful and a great morning to all of you here at our room, to those of you who are watching online, watching by TV, computer, iPhone, whatever your iPad, thanks for watching today. Winston Churchill called it the black dog, and years ago when I was living in Mississippi, that black dog showed up at my house unannounced, uninvited, unexpected. I went to bed on a Sunday night, I mean, I was feeling great. Life was good, I was happy, the church I was pastoring was growing, my tennis game was in great shape, my marriage was strong, I had two beautiful boys, I'm telling you my life was hitting on all eight cylinders.

And I woke up Monday morning, and when I woke up, and I rolled over, opened my eyes that black dog was staring me right in the face. For the first time in my life, I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't wanna talk to anybody, I didn't wanna do anything, I didn't wanna leave my room. And that black dog slept by my bed every single night for three months, for 90 days. I went through the most difficult, darkest time of my entire life. I still don't know why that dog showed up at my door, but I refer to that day as Black Monday, because that was the day the stock market of my life completely crashed.

And to this day, I don't really understand why. I didn't know the dog's name at the time, but I learned it, you may have heard of this dog, his name is depression. By the way, if you ever meet this dog, you'll know what his name is, he won't leave you in any doubt. Let me tell you about three months of my life, for every day for three months, I deserved an Academy Award for being the best actor in the country, and did I ever put on a show? I faked everything, smiles, laughter, peace, I never let anybody know, it was a battle for me just to get out of bed every morning and to take a shower and put on my clothes. Every day felt like Halloween because I get up in the morning, and the first thing I'd do is I'd put a mask over my face and I would pretend that everything was fine.

If you've ever been depressed, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There is nothing more depressing than being depressed, nothing. And we're in a series that we're calling no hard feelings and today we're gonna deal with one of the most powerful emotions I know of anywhere, and that is the emotion of depression. We think about feelings, high, important feelings are to us, some of the most popular songs we've ever written and sung and heard are about feelings, hooked on a feeling, you've lost that loving feeling, peaceful, easy feelings, but there is one emotion, there's one feeling that's just devastating. It's like a typhoon or a tornado, it just ripped through your heart and leaves it in shattered, and it's called depression.

In February, I want you to listen to this, in February of 2018, the "New York Post" ran an article about Yale University. There was a psychology course that was being offered there and the class had become the most popular class that's ever been offered in the history of Yale University. Nearly one fourth of all the undergraduates at Yale enrolled in that class voluntarily. The course was all about teaching students, how to lead a happier, more satisfying life. The teaching professor, Laurie Santos said "There is a serious mental health crisis among the students". And in 2013, the Yale College Council found out that more than half of the undergraduates in their school had severe mental health problems highlighted by depression.

Now the good news is God's word has a lot to say about feelings and God's word has a lot to say about emotions because the God that created us knows we are a creature of feelings. And one of the things I love about the Bible, we're gonna see this morning when God paints the portraits of biblical characters, they're not photoshopped, there's no plastic surgery. When you see people in the Bible, you see their worst, their wrinkles, their falls, and their flaws, and today we're going to look at one of the most famous man in the Bible. If you know anything about the Old Testament, there was a prophet named Elijah. And if you want to find the passage we're looking at this morning, it's a book called 1 Kings. You don't know where that is, it's easy to find us right before 2 Kings, all right? There's 1 Kings, just go to Genesis, turn right, you'll find it, we're in 1 Kings chapter 19.

Let me tell you about a man named life, you don't know who Elijah is, let me give you a little short biographical sketch. If God had a hall of fame, Elijah would be elected on the first ballot unanimously. He was one of the greatest men in all of the Bible. He was filled with God's power, he was the first man in the Bible ever, to raise somebody from the dead, his ministry was legendary. Everybody, you just mention Elijah, everybody in Israel knew who he was, and yet we're about to see he was so depressed, he wanted to commit suicide.

And the amazing thing you're gonna study today, we're gonna find today, he has every reason not to be depressed because just before we read what happened to him, he was at the top of his game. He'd achieved one of the greatest single-handed victories in any battle or contest in history. He had just gone toe-to-toe, face-to-face with 450 false prophets of the pagan God Baal, he had defeated every one of them in a spiritual context where everybody's life was on the line. Just before what we're about to read happened, he was right and tight with God, just before his depression, he had predicted there would be a nationwide drought and it became true, and you know why? Because he prayed for God to stop the rain and God stopped the rain. And then when things got really desperate, he was so powerful, he prayed for God to start the rain and the rain began to fall, and yet he was depressed.

So why was he depressed? Well, if you're a man, you can appreciate this, he faced the one thing that will make the biggest, strongest man in the world depressed, he was facing the wrath of an angry woman, he was depressed. Ahab was a wicked king of the nation of Israel, his wife was one of the most, I say infamous women in history. Her name was, anybody know her name? Yeah, Jezebel. You ever met a woman named Jezebel? No, and you won't. Nobody names her little girls Jezebel. She was a piece of work, she was wicked this own steroids. And when word got back to them of what Elijah had done to their prophets, that Elijah was trying to turn the nation back to God, Jezebel hit the roof.

So we read the story down 1 Kings 19, "Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he'd killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, may the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow, I do not make your life like that of one of them". Jezebel puts out a contract on Elijah's life and she says, "If nothing else happens in my life, boy, I'm going to kill you, I am going to take you out, you have messed with the wrong woman". And I mean, in the snap of a finger, Elijah just goes from the mountain top of delight to the valley of depression. But here's the good news, he got out of that valley, he got back on top of the mountain and the beautiful thing is the way he did it, you can do it.

Elijah got out of that valley with God's help and so can you, and he found in God, a bridge over troubled waters of depression, still available to us today. So maybe some of you walked in here today and you're wearing your mask. You're putting on that Academy Award winning performance, nobody would ever know that it was a fight and a battle just for you to get out of bed and be in church this morning. Or right now you're sitting at home watching me and you're not even sure, you don't even wanna stay on the computer right now, you are so depressed. Let me give you three keys, three steps on how to cross that bridge. First thing you've gotta do is this, you've gotta admit the reality of your depression. That's one thing a lot of people don't want to do, but that's the first thing you've gotta do, you've got to admit the reality of your depression.

Now before I get started, let me just say one thing, there's a difference between sadness and depression. I mean, it's natural for everyone to be sad at some times in life. We all have those days when we're down in the dumps and we have the blues. Let me just tell you something, you may already know this, every time Georgia loses on Saturday, I'm sad on Sunday, you just need to know that, I'm not depressed, but I'm sad. But here's the good thing sadness for me doesn't last very long. Even at times, if it lingers, even when you're sad, you're still able to laugh, you're still able to live, you're still able to just go about your business, but depression is different. Sadness eventually goes away, depression sticks like glue. Somebody put it this way, they said sadness is like a sprinter who eventually stops to rest, but depression is an endurance runner, it just keeps going. And when your sadness gets into that quicksand of depression, you can't get out of and it blinds you, you're so blinded, you can't even see the sunshine on its brightest day, then you know, you are in a major depression.

Now depression is a big problem, a huge problem, both nationally and globally. Let me just give you some examples. Depression is now the leading cause of disability in the United States and worldwide. I didn't know that, the leading cause of disability, antidepressant use has soared nearly 400% in the last 30 years. Antidepressants are now the most common medication for young adults. I know of somebody, I'm not gonna call names, I know some of you, I've got people in my family, they're on antidepressants. Depressive disorders affect a staggering 19 million adults in the United States. Depression ranks among the top three workplace issues in the United States, along with family crisis and stress.

Now listen to this, it cost us 210 and a half billion dollars a year in lost earnings. If you're 30 years old, you are 10 times more likely to be depressed than your father and 20 times more likely to be depressed than your grandfather. Man, no wonder that depression has been called the common cold of mental illness. Now I learned in my research, there are basically four degrees or four stages of depression and they go in descending order. Sometimes it's just dejection, is just this temporary feeling of sadness, it will go away, but you're dejected. But if it doesn't go away, that leads to discouragement, and that gives you this temporary feeling that it's all hopeless, I'll never climb out of this thing.

But then there's despondency, there's this intense feeling of sadness that can last for weeks or months, which affects eating habits and sleeping patterns, we'll see that in a moment. But then that leads to despair, and this is the dangerous stage. This is emotional instability that could lead to thoughts of if not actual suicide. So if you're in any of these four stages, but particularly if you are in the last one, let me tell you the most important thing, I beg you to do this, tell somebody, admit it to somebody, take off the mask and let somebody know you are really struggling, don't hold it in, 'cause that's what Elijah did, look what he did, while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, he came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. I had enough Lord, he said, take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Now Elijah would have been a terrible poker player 'cause he was this honest enough to look the Lord in the eye and let the Lord know, and anybody within earshot, I am depressed and there's no shame in admitting it. Let me tell you why, look, good people get depressed, Godly people get depressed, great people get depressed, kings and prophets and prime ministers and CEOs and yes, pastors get depressed. Abraham Lincoln, one of the two greatest presidents in the history of our country got so depressed at one time, he said this, "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. To remain as I am is impossible, I must die or get better".

Be courageous enough to go to somebody and admit the reality of your depression. Now, once you do that, then you take the second step, you assess the reason for your depression, you assess the reason of your... You admit the reality of it, but then you say, okay, why am I depressed? Now, I'm a case in point, it's not always possible to pinpoint why you're depressed. If you put a gun to my head and then say, "Hey pastor, why did you go through that three months in depression, why did you wake up depressed on Monday morning"?

I couldn't tell you, I don't know. But sometimes there are obvious reasons why people are depressed, so you need to stop and consider your situation. In fact, one of the most amazing things about depression is often it will attack you, not because things are going poorly, but when things are going well, 'cause let me remind you, Elijah, just come off the Superbowl of winning a battle. He had had this great victory, face-to-face, toe-to-toe, 450 false prophets, he defeats them, he destroys their ministry. And then in the snap of a finger, he goes from his highest high to his lowest low. It happens a lot, let me give you an example. If you're a football fan, you know this, a football team will play a very highly ranked difficult opponent and they'll beat them, How many times the next week Jack, you've seen this, the next time they play, they come out flat, men what happened? We just played Florida and killed them last week, I wanted to get that in Jack, we just played Florida and killed them last week.

Now I'm playing the mothers of the poor and we barely beat them. Why? How can you go from a high, high to a low, low? Here's another example, my favorite week of the year is Christmas week. Guess what my least favorite week of the year is? The week after Christmas. Why is that? Easter, the highest high a pastor gets on every year is Easter, why? It is the most highly attended Sunday of the year. Guess what? Monday after Easter, Black Monday high, high, low, low, but let me give you a warning, there's one thing when you get depressed, you will want to do, and it's the worst thing you can do, it is to hibernate in isolation. This is what he did listen to what happens.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life, when he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, so now he's by himself, while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, he came to a broom bush, sat down on it and prayed that he might die. I've had enough take my life, I am no better than my ancestors, then he lay down under the bush and he fell asleep. Elijah commits the cardinal error, he did the one thing you cannot do when you know you are depressed, he totally isolated himself. He got away from everybody and he thought maybe that could help him, but it couldn't, 'cause see here's what happens when you're depressed, this is what I wanted do everyday, here's what you wanna do when you're depressed, you wanna withdraw, you wanna be alone, you wanna go to bed, you wanna pull the covers over yourself and you wanna wallow in your own self pity.

That's why the vast majority of people who commit suicide, they always do it alone, nobody ever invites people to a suicide party, they do it alone, because they're that deep in depression. Now, when I did a little about my research on depression, I discovered there are at least three identical triggers for depression. You may be having one of these, so you might want to write these down 'cause you may say, "Hey, that may be my problem". Sometimes depression can be physically triggered. Sometimes it can be a physical call. Say Elijah had just run the equivalent of 12 marathons because we read in this passage, he's run the length of Israel all the way from Dan in the North to Beersheba in the South, that's where the board of Israel ended. He had just come off a run of about 300 miles, he hadn't had anything to eat. His strength was gone, he was hungry, he was thirsty, he was physically exhausted.

So here's an example, if you are a workaholic, you go to work early, you work late at night, you eat on the run, you get very little exercise, you're not home very much, you are a prime candidate for depression. If you are a stay-at-home mother, and you've got small children with unending household duties, crying babies, you are a prime candidate for depression, because we now know that depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, I didn't know this, but the brain has chemical messengers, they're called neurotransmitters. And when those transmitters are healthy and normal, you are healthy and normal. When the brain has the chemical balance and all that happens, you're gonna be chemically balanced. But when those transmitters are absent, while they're off-kilter, it can trigger major depression, which is why some people need medication to handle their depression. But then sometimes it can be emotionally triggered, sometimes there's an emotional reason.

Let me give you an example, a lot of people experience what I call 4D depression, here's the four Ds, death, disease, divorce, disaster. The majority of people I've dealt with, who come to me who are depressed, you can almost always trace it to one of four things. Either the death of a loved one, the news that they got a life-threatening disease, the divorce, or the death of a spouse or the loss of a job. I'd say 90% of the people I've dealt with, they had these emotional causes, any of those things or all of those things can cause your emotion to come crashing down like an avalanche. So it can be physically triggered, it can be emotionally triggered, but what you cannot discount is sometimes it can be spiritually triggered.

Sometimes there's a spiritual cause. See, God doesn't want you to be depressed, but there are other forces at work. I'm gonna give you an example, I believe in a literal devil, I do, you may not, I do, Jesus did, I do, just like I believe a literal God that I can tell you right now, Satan wants you depressed. He is the ultimate joy killer, but I got news for you, sometimes depression comes from God. You say, "Why would God send depression"? If you are living right now in unconfessed, unrepented sin, you've turned your back on the God you say you know and you love, if you truly are a believer, you oughta be depressed, it will be a depression straight from heaven. God will not let you be joyful, God will not let you be happy the way you ought to be happy if you're living in that sin, if that sin's always knocking at your door, depression will be right there every time you open it.

And I know that for this reason, psychologists say they've discovered probably the number one cause of depression. You know what it is? You won't believe this, the number one cause of depression is bitterness, repressed anger. The unwillingness, and we'll deal with this one later, the unwillingness to forgive, 'cause see here's what happens when people get bitter at other people or they get bitter at God, they internalize it. And what happens is the milk of bitterness curdles into depression.

Now you may say, well, pastor, none of those are my problem, I really can't pinpoint my depression. Don't let that depress you, 'cause here's what you're gonna find, I found it, you can still activate a potential cure for depression, even if you don't know the actual cause of depression, which leads to the third step and that is apply the remedy to your depression. Once you admit the reality of it, once you assess the reason for it, then it's okay.

What is the remedy? So let me just say this very clearly, please hear me, there is nothing wrong with getting depressed, it's not a sin. There's nothing wrong with being depressed, it's not a sin, but the God who loves you and created you does not want you to stay depressed. There is a way out and there is a way up, matter of fact, this is amazing, I did a little research. There are indications that in the Bible that every single person that was depressed successfully managed their depression and they overcame it. And when I went back and looked at even just the life of Elijah, I said, you know what? There are three steps that people can take to deal with depression.

Now let me just stop right here, you may need professional help. You may need to go to a Christian therapist or a Christian counselor, I do not want to discount that at all. You may need to see a healthcare professional to see if you've got a medical imbalance, but with that aside, there are three steps, you can take on your own to deal with depression, and all three are right here in our text. Listen to what Elijah did, what God led Elijah to do to get him out of his depression. First of all, physically recharge, physically recharge.

Now notice what Elijah does first, then he laid down under the bush and he fell asleep, Great move, all at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat". He looked around and thereby his head was some bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time at time, said get up and eat for the journey's too much for you. So he got up and ate and drank strengthened by that food, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. Elijah did two things and it immediately lifted his mood, it immediately helped him with his depression.

First of all, he took a nap, got some sleep, must eat and rest and then he ate a good meal. And they say, why is that so important? When you think about it, if you've ever been depressed you know this, if you really get depressed, you'll find two things hard to do, sleep peacefully and eat. I've never met a depressed person that says, "I feel like eating". Matter of fact, they don't, but you know what? Here's what happens when you say, I just don't feel like eating and I just don't feel like sleeping, you're just making matters worse. Your plane is going like this and you're just pushing the throttle full-bore. Listen, this is gonna sound funny to you, one of the most spiritual things you can do sometimes in your life is just take a nap, take a break, get some rest, relax, eat a good meal.

I love this, the great reformer Martin Luther, you know what he said one time? He got up one morning and he looked at his to-do list, here's what he said, he said, I have so much I've got to get done today, I must go to bed. Great advice, he knew what he missed. Sometimes that's exactly what the doctor orders, get some rest, eat, make sure your body is physically replenished, don't ever, ever estimate just some good old fashioned RNR to recover your emotional equilibrium. So number one, physically recharge, number two, spiritually refresh, physically recharge, eat, drink, rest, then spiritually refresh.

So here's one thing, let me tell you something, there's one thing that almost always happens to everybody that gets depressed and that is you begin to focus more and more on you. You begin to focus more and more on whatever it is or whatever you think it is that is causing you to be depressed. That's one of the biggest mistakes Elijah made. See when Elijah started looking down and looking around, he got depressed. What he should have been doing is looking up and looking above, but he was so overwhelmed, he said, "I have had enough". You don't have to raise your hand, how many times have you ever said that in your life? I can't take any more, I've had all I can take, I've had enough Lord. He said, "Take my life, I am no better than my ancestors".

Elijah had completely lost his focus on God, Elijah had completely forgotten who he was before God, and he was attending the one party, you should never go to, pity party. Can I just be honest? It's gonna sound hard, but it's true, God does it do pity parties, sorry. You have a pity party, God's not showing up, God does not do pity parties. God will have compassion on you, He'll love you, but He will not get to that pity party with you. And besides that, when Elijah said, "I am no better than my ancestors". Who told him that? God didn't tell him that, Satan told him that because the truth of the matter is nobody had really said to him, you're no better than your ancestors, that's just depression.

So what does God do? God steps in and He changes his entire focus. Look what the Lord does, the Lord said, go out and get up. Get out of your bed, go out of your house, go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord for the Lord is about to pass by, then a great, I like this is so cool, then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Now just draw real close, when Elijah started looking up, instead of looking down and looking above, sort of looking around when Elijah looked up and he changed his focus and he quit thinking about himself and he started thinking about God, everything changed. Now, what specifically did Isaiah do? He did one simple thing, and it was the number one thing that got me out of my depression as I look back on it, he listened for God to speak. I want you to hear me carefully, I'm talking to some of you right now, you say I'm so depressed, don't even know what to do. I'm with you, I've been there. I'm gonna make two promises to you, and I guarantee them, if you give God your ear, He will speak to you, if you will give God your heart, He will minister to you. I cannot overemphasize enough that when you're depressed, you will never do anything more important than to get into God's word and listen to God's voice.

Let me tell you what happened to me that first day I was so depressed, I didn't wanna get out of bed, I never will forget it. Theresa came in because I'm an early riser, it was 8:30 and Theresa had gotten the boys off to school and she came in, "Are you sick"? I said, no, I'm not sick, she said, "Do you have a fever"? I don't have a fever, do you feel bad? I don't feel bad, well, why aren't you up? I don't wanna get up. Why don't you want to get up? I don't know. Well, what can I do for you? Nothing, just leave me alone, I mean, that's just where I was. But then I got up and I did something I do everyday of my life and it was a battle, but I said, I'm gonna win this battle. I read this book every single day for 90 days. I said, Lord, if you've never spoken to me before and you'll never speak to me since, I need you to speak to me now. And I'm telling you, I learned this, everyday I'd get into God's word, I'd calm my spirit and I'd listen for God's voice.

Now let me tell you what happened, God never spoke out loud, never, I wish He did. We all wanna hear that deep bassed James Earl Jones voice, you know, "Hey, I'm talking to you". God never does that, if He does something like that, you probably had too much Mexican food. God never spoke to me out loud, He spoke louder than that. He spoke in this gentle, soft, whisper, because that's the only the way God speaks. I cannot tell you how many times in those 90 days, I'd sit there and my Bible, sometimes I came out and talked about it without crying, I can't tell you the number of times I was reading, my tears would hit the page, I felt like God was a million miles away. I'd be reading, I did even wanna read, but I just forced myself to read and then I'd read a verse, it says this, I know God is for me. I'd read another verse that says He will never leave me or forsake me and there would be that little whisper in his word.

Now you may say, "Pastor, why do you think God speaks in whispers"? If you think about it, we'll tell you why He's God, why He's so wise. You know what you've got to do to hear whisper? You got to get your ear close to that person's mouth. And the reason why God speaks to us in whispers is He says, I want you to come close, in fact, get in my lap, let me put my arm around you. You put your ear to my mouth and I will speak to you, and I'm telling you, I learned, if you lean into God, you will hear His whisper, and that's exactly what He wants. Nothing will spiritually refresh you like getting into the word of God. And then the last thing is you got to socially re-engage.

Now this is a hard part, 'cause remember, what do you wanna do when you're depressed? Go by yourself, get under the bush, get out the desert, go to the woods, get in the back of your house, get under the bed, get on the bed, pull the cover over you, I get it. But God is the master psychologist. Here's what He says to Elijah, the Lord said to him, go back to why you came and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram, also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel and anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as a prophet. You know what he said to him? Get out of your house, get out of that pity party and go find somebody to serve and something to do because isolation is a shovel that just digs the hole of your depression, deeper and deeper and deeper. And He says, Elijah, get out of your isolation cage, open door door, and walk out, go find somebody that you can spend time with and minister to and see what happens.

One of the greatest psychiatrists of the 20th century was Dr. Karl Menninger, a depressed person came to him one time and he said, "I've tried everything, I'm so depressed, I'm still depressed, do you have any piece of advice that you can give me"? I want you to listen to what Dr. Menninger said, he said, yes, sir, I do. Go home, get out of your house, lock the door behind you, go across the street, find somebody that has a need and do something to help them. So the good thing about my depression, that was my job, that was my paycheck, I had to go serve other people, I had to go preach to other people, had to visit other people in the hospital. I had to counsel other people, I didn't have a choice. I had to get out of my house and I had to go help somebody else. So I get it, depression can be difficult.

Now let me just close with this, you talk about depressed, you talk about despair, you talk about going about as low as you can go. I've been to a garden many times called Gethsemane, and there's a tree in there somewhere where Jesus was so depressed, so broken, so at the bottom of His life, He sweat blood out of his forehead. But at the bottom of His own valley, you know what Jesus did when He was at His lowest? He got up, He put a cross on His back, He climbed up a hill and He died for you and He died for me. And God raised Him from the valley of death to the mountain of resurrection. And I'm telling you today by the authority of the word of God, that knows you better than you know yourself, if God can raise His son from the dead, He can raise your soul from the deep. If God can raise His son from the dead, He can raise your soul from the deep. If Jesus can turn water into wine, He can turn your depression into joy for He is the bridge over troubled waters.

Would you pray with me right now with heads bowed with eyes closed? I wanna pray for those of you who are watching right now, and those of you in this room, you're listening to me. I wanna pray for those of you who are dealing with depression. But before I do that, can I just say one quick word? Can I tell you the most depressing thing a pastor does in his ministry? There's nothing more depressing than this, you know what it is? Is when I'm asked to preside over the funeral of someone who we're pretty sure did not know Jesus, it's not just hard for me to do it, it is depressing.

So I'm gonna be blunt if you were to die today, and you're not sure that you'd spend eternity with God, if you were to die today, or you even know you would spend eternity with God, you oughta be depressed, I'd be depressed. 'Cause what can be more depressing than to die and go into a crisis eternity? But you don't have to live that kind of depression. And you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, by the way, that may be a major cause of your depression.

Depression may be God's way of getting your attention, and so if you've never trusted in this Jesus, who loved us so much, He went to a valley so deep in depression, nobody's ever been there, but Him, but He came out of it, dying for us, and then He came out of a tomb raised from the dead, if you've never given your life to that Jesus, I'm gonna invite you to do that right now. This may very well be your first step in not just coming out of your depression, but knowing the one that will always be a bridge over your troubled waters, and you can do it right now just by praying this prayer with me.

Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner, as I think about how much of a sinner I am, it's depressing, but you came to deliver me from that sin. You died for me, God raised you from the dead, you're alive right now, and I believe it. So this moment I ask you to come into my heart, I ask you to save me, I ask you to become my Lord, I repent of all of my sin, turn away from it. I give everything that I am, to everything that you are. Thank you for hearing my prayer, thank you for saving me, thank you for forgiving me. And now Lord help me the rest of my life, whether I'm on the mountain top of the valley to live for you.

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