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Jimmy Evans - Overcoming Discouragement and Depression




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Jimmy Evans - Overcoming Discouragement and Depression
Jimmy Evans - Overcoming Discouragement and Depression

Welcome to "The Overcoming Life". I want to talk to you today about freedom, and I want to talk you specifically about overcoming discouragement and depression. And some of you may be a little bit discouraged. And I think all of us get maybe discouraged every now and then, but some people are very depressed. And by depressed, I mean not just having a bad day. Under deep depression. And this can be a bondage in our lives. Some people kill themselves because of this. Many people who are depressed, they just don't live their lives the way that they should.

Jesus said, "Whom the son sets free is free indeed". And what that means is you're totally free. Jesus came so that we could live our lives free to love God, free to love other people, and free to accomplish his destiny for our lives. But discouragement and depression, they come into our lives, and they oppose that. They oppose us living by faith. They oppose us being, you know, risk takers in the right way. In other words, living our lives to do what God tells us to do by faith even though the circumstances might not always be what we wish they were. But as people of faith, we walk by faith and not by sight. We walk by faith and not by feelings, but discouragement becomes this massive emotion, and even, you know, over our minds, keeping us from seeing the future, being hopeless, just being under a blanket where we just feel like maybe there's not even a future for us at all.

So I want to talk about how to be set free, how to understand this issue of discouragement/depression, and how to be set free in every single area of your life. And so some people right now, you may be addicted to food or alcohol or something. And what you're trying to do is you're trying to deal with maybe your depression. And so I'm saying the physical addiction is really not the issue. The issue is you need to be set free from this depression. So that's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to begin by reading a very important scripture concerning this issue, and this is a Messianic prophecy. What this means is, this is in the Old Testament, but it's talking about the ministry of Jesus and why Jesus came, why he lived and died and rose again.

And here's what it says in Isaiah 61 about Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me", speaking of Jesus, "Because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives... The opening of the prison to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness", there it is right there. That's discouragement and depression, "That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified".

This is a Messianic prophecy about the ministry of Jesus, and the promise there is total freedom. When it says that Jesus came to proclaim "The favorable year of the Lord", that's the year of jubilee, and that's the year where all slaves went free. In other words, it was a year of total freedom.

So Jesus came to declare total freedom. It also says he came to declare "The vengeance of God". Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and he did destroy the works of the devil. And it says that he came to give us beauty for ashes. Beauty means literally a headdress of celebration, to take the ashes, when people in the Old Testament, many times when they were grieving, they would throw ashes on their head, and so he came to take the ashes off of us and to give us a celebration hat. You know, a crown. To give us "The oil of joy for mourning". The oil represents the Holy Spirit in the scriptures. And Galatians 5 says, "The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy". He came to give us joy for mourning. And that sometimes can mean just a perpetual grief. Just, you know, a sense of loss that just doesn't go away, but it also says he came to give us a "Garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness".

Now, I want to talk about that in a little bit more detail here in just a minute. But understand this: God is going to completely remove our grief, discouragement, and depression and get us ready for a life of freedom. This is what "Isaiah" 61 says. Jesus came to set us totally free, 100% free. So I want to talk about some of the causes and cures of depression. I want to end with the scripture that we just read. But let me talk for just a minute about biochemical depression, like postpartum depression. When a woman is pregnant and when she has a child, it's obviously a massive event in her life physically and chemically. Well, some women will experience postpartum depression. And it's typically a temporary thing, very real. It can be because of chemicals and hormones or whatever, but here's the issue: if you have a biochemical type of depression, you need to go to the doctor. And doctors are wonderful people. God sometimes heals us through doctors, and go to them and say, "I'm depressed".

Now, let me say this, they can give you chemicals and hormones that will help you to help pull your body back to level ground, where you can live normally. And, again, I want to say, I'm all for medicine that heals and helps us. But these powerful, you know, psychotic drugs that doctors are giving out, they're overprescribing them. Many people can't function unless they have their, you know, antidepressant medications or whatever. I'm not telling you to get off your medication. I'm saying, be careful with those things because they really don't help. In many cases, all they do is mask the symptoms, but they don't heal anything.

Another reason for depression and discouragement sometimes is emotional exhaustion. This is something many times we don't understand. See, chronic stress and anxiety wear out our emotions. Let me give you an example of this. We all know that we can only run a certain distance. You know, some people can run further than others. Let's say that somebody can run 30 miles, ok? They're really in shape, ok? Some of us can't run 30 feet. But you can only run so far. And we all understand that our bodies are limited in the amount of energy that we have. But sometimes we don't understand that about our emotions. Did you know that people after they win the Olympics, they're depressed? People after they, like, win the lottery, that they're depressed?

You say, "Why, Jimmy, that's crazy! Why would someone who just has something so great happen to them get depressed"? Because in the celebration of what happened, their emotions just wear out. In the next day or the next week or something, they wake up one day, and their emotions are saying, "We're tired". This is why God gave us the sabbath, so our emotions and our bodies could rest. And sometimes what depression is saying to us, our emotions are saying, "We can't take this much activity. We can't take this much stress". And so it's the old saying, if the devil can't get in front of you and stop you, he'll just get behind you and push you too fast. And sometimes when we're discouraged or even depressed, our emotions are talking to us and just telling us, "You need to slow down. You need to cut your life back", because sometimes less is more.

You know, when sometimes you're just going and going and your family's going and going and you can't stop, it's not worth it, because you're depressed. You can't enjoy the benefits that you're getting from all your hard work and your labor because your emotions are worn out. Another thing that causes depression is anger turned inward. In fact, this is one of the clinical definitions of depression. And so anger, again, let's go back to our bodies for just a minute. Imagine that I put you on a treadmill and I turned it on on high speed. Well, again, all of us are limited in how long we can stay on that treadmill, ok? Anger is the highest emotional consumer in your entire life. When you have anger inside of you, it puts your emotions on a treadmill just like this.

So that's why... The Bible says in Ephesians 4 that we need to be angry, there's nothing wrong with anger. "Don't sin. Don't let the sun go down on", that anger or we'll give an open door to the devil to come into our lives, to deceive us, number one, but the other thing is to hold us in bondage and to depress us. So if there's someone that you're angry toward, maybe you've been mad at your ex-spouse or your parents or a stepparent or a sibling or a friend or something: maybe you've been angry for a long time and you find yourself now depressed. You got to get that treadmill out from in here, and you need to forgive from your heart. Bless that person: forgive them. If there's any vengeance, leave it up to God. That's what God says. "Vengeance is mine. I will repay, said the Lord".

So you have to trust God, and the most self-loving thing you can do is forgive, ok? Forgive other people. Whoever it is, bless them. Jesus said, "Bless those who curse you" in Luke 6. And that's one of the keys now to freedom from anger, unresolved anger, is not just forgiving but blessing that person. You say, "Jimmy, how could I possibly bless the person that abused me as a child"? Can I say this to you? If Jesus could hang on the cross and forgive the people that put him there, we can also forgive.

Can I just tell you one other thing? You'll never be free until you do. See, forgiveness doesn't make them right. It just makes us free. And Jesus says, "Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who spitefully use you". I can just tell you in my own life, I'm not a hater, but there's been a couple people I hated real good. And it changed my personality. And when I was in the state of being unforgiving toward them, I was angry and I felt emotionally not depressed as much, just kind of overwhelmed and dark because of that. The instant I forgave them, it all left. It all completely left, and I was set free through the forgiveness. So some of you, you have anger on the inside of you, and it's wearing you out.

Another reason for depression is just chronic grief and regret. It's just, you know, when the Bible says that mourning, "The oil of joy for mourning". Maybe you lost a parent. Maybe you lost a spouse or a child. I think the most overwhelming thing that can ever happen to a person is to lose a child, but you just have a sense of grief: you just have a sense of loss. You're waiting for the next shoe to drop. And I've done a lot of funerals as a pastor, and I've seen how different people grieve at funerals. And the worst people as it relates to the results of grieving, grieving is important.

You know, we love people. We say good-bye to them, and we trust God. We don't know why they died. We don't know all the answers. We can't know all the answers. It's the worst thing on earth is to try to get those answers, ok? But, ultimately, to get over grief, you have to trust God. It all comes down to letting God be God and just saying, "I don't understand it, but one day I will, but in the meantime, I trust them", to you, "And I trust myself to you", and that's the only thing, now, that'll get you out of that chronic grief.

Another thing that causes depression is toxic thinking, our thoughts. Sometimes, thoughts can bring overwhelming bondage in our lives. A friend of mine, Jennifer Crow, she wrote a book called "Perfect Lies". She was deeply, deeply, deeply depressed and very severely sick. So she had physical problems, emotional problems because of her depression, deep depression. And she discovered in the process of being set free, and, I mean, she's completely free from depression today, she had lies in her mind that had been there since she was a child, and those lies, once she replaced, she took her thoughts captive, 2 Corinthians 10, that were taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. She discovered these hidden lies that were in her mind, and she replaced them with the truth of God's word.

Let me read these lies to you. This is the contents page of her book. And 9 lies that she talks about in her book that when she took authority over them, it set her free: the perfect, the first lie was, "I'm unlovable". This, again, sometimes we don't understand in our lives growing up, we go through things. And, again, the devil is evil, and he has access to our thoughts, and he comes, and he's the hurt whisperer. Every time we're hurt, every time we're going through trauma, at a funeral, he'll come and he'll implant a thought within our minds. And she said she came out of childhood into adulthood with this lie that said, "I'm unlovable". You're not unlovable. God loves you more than you comprehend, ok?

"I'm worthless" - This is another lie that she believed. "I'm unacceptable. I'm unable". I'm not able. I'm weak. "I'm a target. I have to protect myself against other people because they're, out to get me", because it's like a paranoia. "I am not angry". She says this was a lie, that she was trying to avoid conflict. And so she kept telling herself, "I'm not angry". Anger turned inward. Remember, it's one of the reasons that we get depressed. "I am bad. I'm a bad person". See, we're all saved by grace. We're all perfected by the blood of Jesus. None of us are good enough, but she believed that she was defective. Number 8, "I am in danger. I have to always be on guard. God's not protecting me. I'm in danger". And number 9, "I am deprived".

And I really would encourage you to get this book and to read it, those of you who are depressed. And maybe you're dealing with some of those same thoughts. Jennifer's a great example of how Jesus sets people free. I want to talk about one more thing, reasons for depression, because we've talked about the physical, the emotional, unforgiveness, our thoughts, all of those things which are important. But the biggest one is a demonic issue. The Bible in Isaiah 61:3 says, he gives us "The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness". This is the ministry of Jesus. Imagine for just a minute that you're deeply discouraged or depressed and that you're saying, "Jesus, heal me". And Jesus says, "Ok, take this garment of praise".

You say, "Well, why would you give me a garment of praise to heal me from depression or discouragement"? One of the things that happens when we're depressed is we think about ourselves all the time. In fact, we think dark thoughts is part of the issue of depression. "I'm hopeless. There's no reason for me to live". Many people kill themselves when they're depressed. It's a very dangerous thing. And that's the devil's end game. You're precious to God. You have an important purpose for your life, and the devil's end game is to take you out, to take me out, to take all of us out. He hates us. And so you're precious: you have a Promised Land and a destiny. And freedom means you're free to be the person that God created you to be, but a wet blanket is, depression's like a wet, dark blanket.

A "Spirit of heaviness". How could anything describe depression more than that? Just a spirit of heaviness, a darkness that's over our lives that keeps us from seeing things, from doing things that we would normally do. Now we are disabled by this. And so Jesus says, "Here. Let me give you a garment of praise for the demonic spirit of heaviness". Isaiah 61 uncovers this depression and discouragement and calls it "A spirit". And it is a spirit.

When we go through trauma in our lives, death of a loved one, divorce, financial loss, terminal sickness, whatever it might be, the devil uses every opportunity he can, and he comes by stealth. That's what makes him so dangerous. He doesn't announce that it's him. He just comes and he uses that as an opportunity to tell us, "You'll never succeed. You're not good enough. You'll always lose whatever's important to you". You know? "People will always take advantage of you. You're weak. You're no good". He is so evil, and he takes an opportunity to come, and before you know it, we're overwhelmed with discouragement and depression. And all these thoughts, now, demonic, are telling us there's no hope. "Don't even try. There's no hope". And all these messages are coming into our minds and into our lives, and we're just overwhelmed by it. Jesus wants to give you a garment of praise.

Well, what does that mean? That means that take your eyes off yourself and put your eyes on God. The devil keeps us in this bondage. And the Bible says that God inhabits the praises of his people. What that means is when you begin to praise God, he begins, his presence, he's always in you if you're a believer, but his manifested presence becomes powerful in your presence when you begin to praise him, and Satan cannot minister in an atmosphere of the presence of God. The other thing is, you take authority over it. As a child of God, if you've been saved for 10 minutes or 10 years, you have total authority over Satan. Jesus said in Luke 10, "I give you authority over serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm you".

What that means is if we use the authority that God has given us, we're free. You have to get militant. You have to get mad. And so if you're depressed right now, stop being sad and start getting mad at the devil, and rise up against him and say, "Devil, I'm not staying in this situation for one more day". Some of you are in a generational kind of a depression. Some people say, "It runs in my family". Well, great, because sometimes when something runs in your family, it just means you have a predisposition to it because the spirit's already there in your home. And it's on your mother: it's on your father: and now it takes opportunity and it's on you, and you don't know any different because it's something that happened generationally. I'm saying, why don't you be the first person in your family to rise up and declare victory over a spirit of depression?

And, again, if you have a physical problem, go to the doctor. If you're angry, you need to forgive. If you're worn out, you need to slow down. Whatever your... I'm trying to deal with this in a multidimensional way. But I'm saying, even if you do have a chemical problem, even if you have had unforgiveness or you have been worn out or whatever, the devil will still use any means he can to put that spirit on top of us. And I'm saying you have the Spirit of God in you. You're a child of God. You have the authority of God.

See depression as a separate entity. Stop seeing it as your emotion. Stop seeing the discouragement as your emotion. It's not you. You're not an evil person. You're not a bad person. You're a child of God. You're the apple of God's eye. God loves you more than you can possibly comprehend. That's why Jesus died is God loves you so much. You're so valuable to God, he gave the life of his only son to save you. You rise up and you take authority over a demon spirit of depression, and you put the praise of God in your mouth. You rise up and you begin to praise God, and you say this to yourself: "I'm not living one more day sitting around, thinking about things that are negative and things that are about myself because that's against the Word of God. I am going to stand up. I'm going to put on a garment of praise every single day, and I'm going to be free from depression, and I'm going to take my Promised Land. I'm going to live my life the way that God intended".

So I know that some of you may be going through discouragement or depression right now, and I'm saying to you, it's real. It's real. But Jesus came to set you free from that, to proclaim the year of jubilee. I'm saying this is your year of jubilee, this is your day of freedom right now, where he takes vengeance over the devil and sets you free from discouragement and depression. I want to pray with you, and I just want to declare freedom over your life right now.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for my friend who's watching right now, every person watching. And we take authority over discouragement and depression. And your word says that you give us the oil of joy for mourning. You have not given us mourning. You've given us joy, that you've given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We declare your praise right now. We open our mouths, and we declare you're bigger than our mountains: you're bigger than our giants: you're bigger than our problems: and you're bigger than this depression. And we take authority over a spirit of depression.

You, demon, spirit of depression, all of your lies, all of your darkness, all of your hopelessness, we take authority over you, and we cast you out of our lives right now. And we declare that we have a future and a hope because of our God. We're forgiven. We're forgiven by the blood of Jesus. We don't have to be good enough. Jesus was good for us. We are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, and we forgive every person that has harmed us. We open the prison door free and we walk out, and we let everybody walk out with us. And we declare from this day forward that we are free and that we are every day going to fight for our freedom and put on the garment of praise. I bless every brother and sister watching right now. In Jesus' name, amen.

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