Dear Brethren,

Are God's people exempt from discouragement and depression?  The people of the Church of God are facing more and more trials in this evil age and are prone to becoming discouraged and, yes, at times even depressed.  Many among the true saints are going through serious problems related to age, accident or illness.  For many, these afflictions may last the rest of their natural lives.  Other brethren are facing financial difficulties or family problems.  These kinds of pressures continue to be a source of constant struggle which bring about discouragement and depression.

The Children of God are living in a world that is increasingly full of unlawful behavior and wickedness.  For us, that environment is a source of constant strain just as the conditions in Sodom and Gomorrah pressured righteous Lot with mental anguish and turmoil.  "Lot [was] vexed with the filthy conduct of the wicked."  (2Peter 2:7)

God’s people are expected to stand up against the immorality of today’s society.  Christians must labor under the general lack of business ethics that have become prevalent.  Brethren must suffer the growing disrespect and abuse of people whether within or outside of the church.  These conditions, coupled with emerging diseases, moral deterioration, wars and calamities are signs of the times.  Even the strong of mind and heart can sometimes become discouraged and depressed.  It is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Many of the prophets and great men of God were mentally tormented with discouragement and depression.  Moses, Elijah, Jonah, and many other leaders among God's people fell prey to emotional stress and strain.   Discouragement and depression are not the malady of a weak mind.  Brilliant intellectuals and statesmen have been brought to their knees.   Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale and Meriwether Lewis suffered horribly from discouragement and depression.

As God’s people, we know that trials are necessary for the development of our character.  And we can understand that, as the world grows farther away from God, these trials will increase.  But sometimes knowing that is not enough.  We can still find ourselves getting discouraged, depressed and feeling alone.  Let’s remember that God is working closely with us.  "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

God has honored us with the most precious gift that a person can have - His calling.  We have been selected to have a place at the wedding feast with Jesus Christ as His bride.  If we remain faithful to our calling, by accepting our trials with faith and dealing with them with perseverance, we will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with these words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21,23)

Brethren, let's keep our eye on the big picture and take heart that the end of this present evil age is near.  God has promised us that He will see us through every trial.  He makes sure that our load does not become too heavy or our trials too great.  "There hath no temptation [trial] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation [trial] also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  (1Corinthians 10:13)

It is certain that Christ will have to return soon.  This is a source of great encouragement to us.  We will experience the most joyous event of our lives being changed from mortal into immortal - and rising in the air to meet Christ.  We will fully know, at that time, that we have triumphed over all the trials and pulls which seem so difficult in our Christian lives.  Take heart, and remember what a tremendous privilege it is to have been chosen at this time, as first fruits.  All our efforts to overcome this world will be rewarded by our gracious Father.  The magnificence of the Kingdom of God will cause all of our present-day trials to pale into insignificance.


Sermon: Depression - Part 1”  
Sermon: Depression - Part 2”