Okay! I must admit! When I was a child, every Saturday night, my family and I sat down to watch “Hee Haw” on television. Now, that’s not something I’m proud of, but…there was one song from that show I remember most vividly…and it describes perfectly the nature of some in the ministry today…it goes:
“Gloom, despair and agony on me-e! Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!
If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all! Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!”
My husband and I have been in the ministry for some years, and we use to go to area preacher meetings. It was suppose to be a time of rejoicing and fellowship but it always seemed to end up turning into a complain fest! Dan, my husband, got tired of hearing preacher after preacher stand to tell some horror story about where they were serving. They would complain about “how hard it is to convince people to serve God” or “my people just don’t care about me!” and his favorite, “you just can’t do it anymore.” He said “every time I go to one of those meetings I want to quit everything!” All this complaining and wining caused a dark cloud to hover over the meetings leaving everyone with a feeling of “gloom, despair and agony!” What causes us to get this kind of perspective of life? Especially in the ministry? Is that all God has for us is gloom, despair and agony on me-e? I personally believe God’s plan is much better.
Now, I’m not being critical, and I must admit the ministry can be trying at times! It is difficult and there is a lot of heartache and pain. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve seen it first hand, you open your heart to person after person often to your own detriment! Believe me! I’m no stranger when it comes to heartache…I’ve given myself to the ministry…only to go home and cry myself to sleep. You watch the people you’ve given your life for head down the wrong path and you’re helpless to do anything…accept pray and cry…alone!
Then, here it comes…what my husband calls the “dark monster” better known as depression! It comes like a thick, dark cloud, surrounding every aspect of your life. It’s like falling into a dark room with no door, and as this depression takes control of your life, you fall into a gloomy despair and it brings agony into your heart. Once this “dark monster” attacks it’s so hard to keep yourself from falling into excessive misery!
And once you’ve given into excessive misery, you will begin to say “If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all! Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!”
Now, here’s something to think about…if you choose to allow this “monster” to control you…you are not going alone! Your depression will affect everyone around you. It will upset your relationships, such as but not limited to: your walk with God, your spouse, your kids, your extended family, your church, not to mention your job performance, and on and on! This depression monster is a rabid creature! It will cause you to imagine things that don’t even exist. You’ll begin to do things like: thinking everyone is against you; or blame your problems on others; or you may become hateful and very selfish, because you think you deserve better. And if you’re not careful, you might even begin to think your life is not worth living!
Oh! Depression! It’s a terrible creature and I believe with all my heart, if the Devil can bring you down by throwing the fiery dart of depression, he has won a spiritual battle that will destroy many souls! But the good news is…it can be defeated! You can beat this fiend! God has given you the victory and the arsenal to stop this brutal attack! The problem is, to possess the weapons of defense is not good enough, you must know how to use them too! It’s like buying a piece of exercise equipment…owning the treadmill is not good enough…you must use the treadmill to shed the extra pounds! Having the weapons to defeat depression (i.e. the attacks of Satan) is a wonderful gift from God, but unless you use the weapons they are useless to you and Satan will win.
God says in Ephesians 6 “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” That’s weapon #1! Be Strong in the LORD!!! And in the power of him might! God is able! Don’t listen to those who say “it can’t be done” or “God’s just not working anymore.” God is alive and well! He is with you right now! Be strong in that! Be strong in the Lord! His power is the greatest of all-time, if He is with you, you have nothing to fear!
Weapon # 2, God has given you the things necessary to make it through any attack, it’s call the armour of God! Put it on! It’s not going to work its self, you must ready yourself for battle!
My husband tells us all the time “I can’t change you, but I CAN change me!” I can’t make you strong in the Lord, but I will be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. It doesn’t matter if anyone else is trusting in God, I’m going to trust God. It’s doesn’t matter if anyone else is living in the power of His might, I’m going to live in the power of His might! Victory comes only if I decide to have victory, God told me I can stand if I want too! Therefore, I choose to stand!
But there’s more, the battle is going to be a vicious one. Satan is not going to go down without a fight. Yes, God is on my side but I must fight too! I can’t just stand there and let the fiery darts hit me and tear me apart. God has provided armour for me, He has given me truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, and salvation to protect me and He has placed in my hand the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, to fight with, to stop the enemy where he stands! But if I do not use God’s armour, Satan’s attacks will ruin my life and my usefulness for God will be limited.
Depression will destroy you! You must beat it! But victory can only come through God and the power of his might! And as you fight, you must wear the whole armour of God. You must carry the truth of God in your heart. It is God that has made you righteous, Satan will try to cloud your mind telling you “you are not good enough.” That’s why God gave us the breastplate of righteousness…it’s God that makes you righteous, not you. Always be ready to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Never let your faith down! Keep your mind clear, never forget you are born-again. And most of all, never set your sword down! The Word of God is your greatest protection against any attack Satan may send your way. And after all is said and done…and it comes your time to stand before the Lord, you can say as the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight!”
Ladies, depression is everywhere. So many ladies give into the “dark monster” of depression. Don’t let it destroy you and all the people you influence! Stay strong in the Lord and use the defenses of God. May God bless you as you serve Him!
- Mrs. Dalisa Barnes
Lighthouse Baptist Church 105 Shun Pike Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356