Participants: Alanzo Smith, June Smith
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000048
00:30 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hands.
00:33 I am Alanzo Smith.
00:35 And I'm June Smith.
00:37 And we have been married for 31 years.
00:42 Today, we are going to talk with you
00:45 on the topic, Too blessed to be stressed.
00:49 Won't you bow your heads with us as we pray before we do so.
00:56 Father, we thank You for Your mercies and for Your grace.
01:00 We thank You for Your love.
01:02 We thank You for being the great problem solver.
01:06 And for the assurance that whatever our cares are,
01:10 You will take it away.
01:13 We now place them in Your hands.
01:15 In Jesus' name, amen. Amen.
01:21 I'm going to share with you a story.
01:23 It's a well known story.
01:25 It's about King Ahab and Elijah.
01:33 Ahab was king of Israel.
01:36 And the record says that he did more harm and more evil
01:42 than all of his predecessors.
01:46 But there was a consequence for that.
01:48 As a result, there was neither rain nor dew for 31/2 years.
01:55 Well, one day he saw the prophet Elijah.
01:59 And Ahab said to Elijah, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?"
02:05 And I like Elijah's response.
02:08 I'm going to put it up for you to read with me
02:11 Elijah's response in 1 Kings 18:18.
02:34 Out of that episode, Elijah asked a simple request.
02:39 Let's prove who's god is the true God.
02:42 Let's have a meeting on top of Mount Carmel.
02:45 Ahab agreed and they had the meeting.
02:48 And the alters were built.
02:50 And they were to pray now to see whose god would bring fire down.
02:55 Well, you know what happened?
02:57 Ahab prayed to Baal, no fire.
03:01 But when Elijah prayed to his God, fire came down.
03:06 Elijah started out with a power prayer.
03:08 He said, "Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
03:12 Let it be known this day that Thou art a God in Israel. "
03:18 Friends, there is a God in Israel.
03:20 No matter what's happening to you, there is a God in Israel.
03:24 You're listening to this program right now
03:27 and you might be frustrated or discouraged;
03:30 There is a God in Israel.
03:32 Elijah said, "Let it be known this day
03:35 that there is a God in Israel. "
03:43 Ahab saw all that transpired.
03:50 Fire came down and consumed Elijah's alter.
03:55 That must have been quite a miracle.
03:59 Ahab went home and he shared this with his wife.
04:03 Now you may have read the story.
04:06 His wife, Jezebel, was not a very good character.
04:12 But when she heard what had happened,
04:16 she decided that she was going to kill the prophet.
04:23 So she threatened his life.
04:25 And the news of that threat reached Elijah.
04:29 And what did Elijah do?
04:33 1 Kings 19:1-6, gives us an insight
04:40 into the behavior and the action of Elijah.
04:44 We're talking about, Too blessed to be stressed.
04:48 Here was a prophet that was so blessed by God.
04:52 Here was a prophet that just saw
04:54 the awesome power of God on Mount Carmel.
04:57 And the mere threat of Jezebel now throws him into depression.
05:05 We're going to read the first 6 verses,
05:08 or we're going to take out sections of the first 6 verses
05:11 and show you Elijah's depressive behavior
05:15 as a result of that threat.
05:19 In verse 3 of the passage, it says, after the threat
05:25 he ran for his life.
05:27 That is so consistent with people who get depressed.
05:33 When a challenge or a problem confronts them,
05:36 they are usually running away.
05:40 The idea is, "If I can get away, then the problem will go away
05:44 or the depression will leave. "
05:46 But that doesn't usually happen.
05:48 But it is what usually happens when people get depressed.
05:52 In verses 3 and 4 it says, he left his servant at Beersheba
05:59 and went into the wilderness alone.
06:04 Again, when an individual gets depressed,
06:07 they tend to want to go it alone.
06:10 It's not unusual for them to cut off their family.
06:13 Or to cut off their friends, and to isolate themselves.
06:18 The last part of verse 4 says, he requested that he might die.
06:23 And he even prayed, "Oh Lord, take away my life
06:28 for I am no better than my forefathers. "
06:33 It seems Elijah was irrational.
06:35 And that is sometimes what happens when we get overwhelmed.
06:38 And we get stressed or depressed.
06:41 And what we are saying is that people sometimes
06:45 who get stressed and depressed have suicidal ideations.
06:49 They sometimes think for a moment,
06:51 "If I could just escape, maybe I wouldn't have to face
06:55 the consequences of this crisis or of this state. "
06:59 And they wish to die.
07:03 And irrational ideas too.
07:05 Here was Elijah saying, "Well, I am no better than my father. "
07:10 How can someone who is alive say to themselves,
07:16 "I am no better than a dead person. "
07:19 And sometimes we behave, we call it "the Elijah syndrome. "
07:23 Sometimes you behave like that.
07:25 You are met with a crisis, you're met with a challenge.
07:28 You're faced with some difficult situation and you're saying,
07:31 "I wish to God I were dead. " Or, "It would have been better
07:34 if I were dead. "
07:35 You can never be better off dead when you have life
07:39 and you have a Savior.
07:40 You can never be better off dead when you have Jesus Christ
07:44 who has already gone to Calvary and He died there for your sins.
07:49 So we're saying, you must remember you're too blessed
07:53 to be so stressed out, to stress your life out
07:56 that you now have irrational ideas, "I would prefer to die. "
07:59 Not at all, Jesus Christ is there to help you.
08:04 Well, let's look in verse 5.
08:07 It says "as he lay and slept. "
08:14 Again, that seems to be what frequently happens
08:16 when an individual gets depressed.
08:20 They want to sleep.
08:21 They would just lay in bed for long hours
08:23 and pull the comforter over.
08:25 And again isolate themselves from everything and everyone.
08:30 Why do you thing that people resort to sleeping?
08:34 Is it an effort to escape from their reality?
08:38 Is it that the pain is too severe?
08:40 Why do we resort to sleep sometimes?
08:44 I think it's a state of helplessness.
08:46 And for all those things that you listed.
08:49 When you are overwhelmed emotionally, you get lethargic.
08:53 And you just don't have the energy to get up and
08:56 do the things that are demanding on your cognitive process
09:00 and on your emotional system. And so your escape is
09:03 "Let me just sleep it out and hope that when I wake up
09:07 it won't be there. "
09:08 The reality is when you get up, the problem will be there.
09:12 So what we do need to do is face our issues and get help
09:16 to solve them if we get overwhelmed.
09:18 But not deny the opportunity to solve them.
09:21 So we are saying, depressed people like to sleep a lot.
09:26 The last part of verse 5 says, "An angel said unto him,
09:31 'Arise and eat. '"
09:34 It's evident that Elijah had not been eating and this happens.
09:39 Now it happens in both ways, though.
09:41 People who get depressed sometimes starve themselves.
09:44 They lose their appetite and food has absolutely no appeal.
09:49 But for some people when they get depressed, they overeat.
09:53 They eat everything in sight.
09:55 So that happens frequently.
09:58 And in this case, the angel was saying, "Come on, get up.
10:02 You need to get some strength here. "
10:04 But look what he did in verse 6.
10:05 In verse 6, he did eat and drink.
10:08 But then he went back and he lay himself down again.
10:13 So here he was, making an effort.
10:15 But then he regressed to the original state.
10:19 And that tends to happen with depressed people.
10:22 They try to lift themselves up. They try to problem solve.
10:25 And then they resort to the state that they were in.
10:29 So it's a very chronic behavior.
10:32 And what we are saying is when we consider us
10:36 children of God, that we have the entire angelic hosts
10:40 to assist us with the Holy Spirit.
10:42 And Jesus Himself to assist us in solving our problems.
10:45 We have no need to be stressed.
10:48 Don't allow situations to get us bogged down so badly.
10:52 The Bible tells us that
10:55 the angel came back and woke him up again.
11:00 And this time the angel gave him the message, he said
11:03 "Go to the mount of Horeb. Go to the mount of God.
11:08 And stay there, get out, get from where you are.
11:12 Go to Horeb, the mount of God. "
11:15 And the record tells us that Elijah
11:18 went and lodged in a cave.
11:21 Verse 9 says, "And he came thither
11:23 and lodged himself in a cave.
11:26 What was Elijah doing in a cave when God specifically told him
11:32 that he should go on the mountain, on Mount Horeb.
11:35 What was he doing in a cave?
11:38 How is it that a prophet so blessed
11:41 could become so stressed?
11:43 The champion of the morning
11:45 became the coward of the evening.
11:50 It is not unusual that people get irrational and do
11:53 silly things when they get depressed.
11:55 Ellen White says:
12:27 What a powerful revelation.
12:30 Dear friends, no matter what you're going through,
12:33 no matter what the challenge is,
12:35 remember that you're too blessed to be stressed.
12:38 That's what we are talking about.
12:40 Life will hit you with some hard blows.
12:44 But you have a Savior.
12:45 Life will come at you and they'll be challenges.
12:48 Look at Elijah.
12:50 Elijah knew God for himself.
12:54 Elijah saw God's power.
12:57 Look at what happened on Mount Carmel.
12:59 Think of the fear that went through the heart of Ahab
13:03 when he saw all of that manifestation of God's power.
13:07 And yet, Elijah having been threatened, forgot all of that.
13:12 And that's the tendency among us.
13:14 To forget God's goodness, to forget God's grace,
13:18 when we are hit with trials and problems.
13:22 And so it is with Elijah.
13:26 Well, there's a lot of stuff to talk about.
13:29 But we have to take a break.
13:30 So listen, you stay right there.
13:32 Hold your seat, because when we come back,
13:35 we're going to continue this discussion.
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14:23 Welcome back to Marriage in God's Hands.
14:27 We have been talking on the topic,
14:30 Too blessed to be stressed.
14:32 And we have used the Elijah story to demonstrate
14:36 how sometimes Christians can be blessed by God,
14:41 yet in the mist of tragedy or difficult experiences
14:46 they somehow forget God's blessing.
14:49 We talked about how Elijah, having witnessed God's
14:52 awesome power on Mt. Carmel, the very moment Jezebel
14:58 threatened his life, he ran into depression.
15:02 And so, here we are now.
15:04 We need to talk about, how can someone know
15:09 how can you know, if you are suffering from depression?
15:14 One thing that is helpful, is to explore or to examine
15:18 your circumstance and your situation.
15:21 So you might ask yourself some questions.
15:23 For example, do you think usually pessimistic?
15:28 Are you seeing the glass half empty, rather than half full?
15:36 Are you discouraged, or do you feel discouraged regularly?
15:39 And are you a pessimistic person?
15:42 If I get discouraged easily and if I'm always seeing the glass
15:46 half empty, then it could be signs of depression.
15:52 Frequently, people who get overwhelmed and who get
15:56 depressed, tend to have problems sleeping
15:59 or even waking up.
16:01 Now, many people have problems sleeping,
16:03 especially as they get older.
16:05 It doesn't mean that they're depressed.
16:06 But depressed people frequently have problems falling asleep
16:10 or getting out of bed.
16:12 So if that's happening to you and you know you're
16:14 overwhelmed with a particular concern, then you might be
16:18 heading for depression.
16:20 Are you over eating or under eating?
16:24 You know, you're eating habit, you're eating pattern.
16:27 Do you find yourself all of a sudden not eating at all,
16:31 not wanting to eat, losing your appetite?
16:34 Or are you eating too much?
16:36 This is not how you use to eat, but you just started eating.
16:40 Maybe feeding on junk food, maybe drinking a lot of soda.
16:44 Or whatever it is.
16:45 It could be that you're trying to make up for something else.
16:49 We're not saying you're depressed, but we're
16:51 saying it could be signs leading to depression.
16:54 The question we're trying to answer for you is;
16:57 How can you know if you are suffering from depression?
17:01 And sometimes individuals use the food as a medication
17:04 for the hope that the problem or the feeling will go away.
17:08 Another indicator is, do you feel troubled in your spirit?
17:14 You have almost lost pleasure and you are not sure
17:19 what is going on.
17:20 You just don't have the interest in the things that
17:24 were of interest before.
17:26 And you're just overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness.
17:32 Or maybe you're just nervous for no apparent reason at all.
17:38 You're just not restful as you should be.
17:43 You get quite anxious and agitated and the
17:48 least little thing sets you off.
17:50 Are you finding yourself very nervous for no apparent reason?
17:57 Some people who are depressed feel like they're a failure.
18:00 They attempt certain tasks and for some reason
18:07 if they didn't achieve it,
18:09 the average person would keep trying.
18:11 But when a person gets depressed, they get
18:13 overwhelmed that they have failed
18:15 at whatever it is that they attempt.
18:17 And that sometimes pushes them further
18:19 into a state of depression.
18:22 Are you easily annoyed or irritated?
18:26 Sometimes people get annoyed over any little thing
18:31 and every little thing.
18:32 And before, you weren't like that.
18:34 It's like one would describe you as being an edgy person.
18:37 Irritability is a sign that you're now demonstrating
18:44 that you never use to demonstrate before.
18:46 Take a conscious look at yourself, you know who you are.
18:51 A child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.
18:54 You're created in the image of God.
18:56 And if you find yourself responding in these ways,
19:00 then you need to say to yourself, "What's wrong?"
19:03 And ask yourself those questions as you self examine.
19:07 Another sign is that depressed people blame themselves.
19:10 And they're critical of themselves.
19:12 And sometimes they attempt self-destructive behavior.
19:16 So if that is happening, again you want to
19:18 pay attention and get help.
19:20 I think a critical sign, though, is when then begin to withdraw
19:24 from a spiritual experience.
19:26 They refuse to go to church.
19:28 Or to reach out to their spiritual network,
19:32 Their friends and family who could pray with them
19:35 and assist them in working through.
19:37 So, when you find these things happening, or a series of
19:40 these things happening, and you know that there's a concern
19:44 that overwhelms you, you could be heading for depression.
19:49 Depression is not something to take lightly.
19:53 It generally starts out with a mild form of depression.
19:59 And often times individuals go into denial.
20:02 "Well, it's nothing. I'm just a little tired
20:07 or sleepy. " Or "I'm, just restless. "
20:10 Sometime is happening but you're not facing it.
20:14 You're trying to deny it.
20:15 And so, whatever the issue is, if you don't confront it
20:19 and try to work through it or get help,
20:21 then what might happen is that it escalates and it moves from
20:27 mild depression to moderate depression.
20:30 And again, it can move from moderate depression
20:33 to now a more serious form of depression.
20:36 So what we're saying is, depression is not something
20:38 to take lightly.
20:39 And certainly, if there's anyone there feeling depressed,
20:42 we're not trying to trivialize your experience,
20:45 we're not trying to lessen the affect
20:48 of what you're going through.
20:50 We know that depression is serious and we know it is real.
20:53 And all we're trying to do here now is to see
20:55 how might you get help.
20:57 Because, in truth and in fact, people who are depressed
21:00 can do different things and strange things and
21:04 things that they're not suppose to do.
21:07 We want to make a distinction between feeling sad
21:10 and feeling depressed.
21:12 Sadness is an occurrence, or phenomena that occurs,
21:15 when you have sad experiences, when difficult encounters
21:20 happen, when you fail at something you try.
21:24 Or you hear some news that is not so pleasant.
21:26 You experience sad emotions.
21:29 But that's a normal response to news that is adverse
21:33 or that is problematic.
21:34 But when you stay in that sad state,
21:38 and all of the things that we've talked about;
21:41 you don't want to eat, you are lethargic.
21:43 You are not functioning at the levels at which you're
21:46 capable of and need to function.
21:48 So, if you're a student and you have stopped doing your
21:50 assignments, you're cutting classes,
21:52 and you're not going to school.
21:53 If you are an adult who should be working and employed,
21:56 and you just don't want to go to work.
21:58 Then that is moving from sadness into a dysfunctional state
22:03 which is heading for some level of depression.
22:06 So, an individual who is getting depressed can tell themselves,
22:11 "This is a point at which this is getting serious.
22:14 and I need to go get help. "
22:18 Are you listening?
22:19 It's important for you to take note,
22:21 because we want you to get well.
22:23 If you're suffering from depression,
22:24 we want you to get help.
22:26 And of course, there are steps to take.
22:29 You know what I have noticed?
22:31 Just about everything that we talk to you about,
22:36 is that, as we talk about steps to take for help,
22:41 the first thing we mention, or if it's not the first,
22:45 we are going to mention it or we have mentioned it,
22:47 is that, no denial.
22:50 Because, as long as you're still in your denial,
22:54 you're not going to be able to get help.
22:56 And it's the same thing with depression.
22:59 Agree that the depression exists.
23:01 That's the first step of working your way out of it.
23:06 So what we are saying is you must own the problem.
23:09 before you can fix the problem. Yes.
23:13 Another thing you can do to get out of depression is that
23:16 you can set small achievable goals.
23:20 And when I say small achievable, the reason is
23:23 if you set yourself large goals, the chances are you might not
23:26 accomplish those goals, and then it might plunge you into
23:29 a deeper depression.
23:31 For example, if your house is a mess and you have not
23:34 cleaned it for a while because of how you're feeling,
23:38 Don't get up one morning and say, "Ok, I need to work myself
23:40 out of this depression, so I'm going to
23:42 clean the entire house. "
23:43 The chances are, by the time you get to midday,
23:46 you're going to be so tired and lethargic
23:49 that you will go back to bed.
23:53 And then you feel bad that you didn't accomplish your goal.
23:57 And it drives you into deeper depression.
23:59 Set small goals so you can accomplish it.
24:01 Just start with one room, clean the room up.
24:04 When you get that done, you feel so good that the next day
24:06 you want to attempt something else.
24:09 Now you also want to think optimistically.
24:12 You want to believe that there is hope
24:14 regardless of what has happened and how chronic is appears.
24:18 That there is help at the end of the tunnel,
24:21 or the light at the end of the tunnel.
24:23 And hopefully it's not a train coming.
24:25 So that you want to think, there has to be some solution.
24:29 And by God's grace, you are going to seek help
24:32 and work towards a resolution.
24:34 So depressed people, in order to get help, must first think
24:38 it is possible to overcome this tragedy,
24:41 or this crisis, or this problem.
24:44 Any kind of exercise.
24:46 Exercise makes people feel better.
24:50 And any form of exercise you do will help you
24:53 in trying to get out of your lethargic state.
24:57 When you exercise your limbs and your body,
24:59 you feel stronger and it starts acting on your mind.
25:02 You start feeling better. So exercise, exercise, exercise.
25:08 Now one good thing is to talk to somebody that you trust.
25:10 Find a confident friend or family member
25:13 or whoever is in your network that you think will be somebody
25:17 who will listen to you and give you objective advice.
25:20 Because sometimes when you're sad and depressed
25:22 you sometimes, in sharing that with somebody
25:25 they themselves could get sad and depressed and even worse.
25:28 So you want to find somebody who is able and capable
25:30 to receive your problems.
25:32 However, never resist going to a professional counselor
25:36 or somebody who is trained to assist you in working through
25:40 the problem and looking at what your options are,
25:42 and helping you decide on what best to do.
25:48 We want to offer a word of caution, however.
25:50 There are counselors and there are counselors.
25:52 There are some who embrace humanistic theories
25:56 that are not in line with spirituality.
26:01 And you need to avoid those counselors.
26:02 It is your responsibility to check out your counselor
26:05 and to see where they are coming from.
26:06 But professional counseling is ok.
26:09 But you want to have a spiritual counselor
26:12 who can integrate spirituality into counseling.
26:17 That's important.
26:19 and not just spirituality but Christian.
26:21 And for those of you who are Seventh Day Adventist,
26:23 clearly, values that you share.
26:28 Most of all, we want you to go back to the word of God.
26:33 No matter how you're feeling,
26:35 No matter what you're going through,
26:37 go back to the word of God.
26:41 This book is power.
26:43 This book has strength in it to help you and to guide you.
26:48 We're going to look at a few text to give you
26:51 the strength and the power.
26:52 For example, Psalm 46:1 says, God is your refuge and strength.
27:00 No matter what, God is your refuge and strength.
27:03 I like Isaiah 43:2.
27:06 "When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee. "
27:13 I like the one in Hebrews 13:5.
27:14 He says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. "
27:19 You know something?
27:21 When Elijah came out of the cave and
27:23 went on the mountain following God,
27:25 he stood on the mountain and there was a wind.
27:27 But God was not in the wind.
27:28 There was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake.
27:31 And a fire. Then a still small voice.
27:34 It was after he heard that still small voice,
27:36 he came out of the depression.
27:38 That still small voice is yours saying,
27:40 "Be still and know that I am God. "
27:43 Be faithful.