4/27/2013 – “The Cure For Fear, Anxiety, And Depression” – Pastor Shane Idleman

“Suicide has surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of injury death for Americans. Even more disturbing, in the world’s greatest military, more U.S. soldiers died last year by suicide than in combat,“ wrote David Kupelian, in his article entitled: Americans ‘snapping’ by the millions.

Kupelian continues, “Fully one-third of the nation’s employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all ‘millennials’ (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder. Shocking new research from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that one in five of all high-school-aged children in the United States has been diagnosed with ADHD, and likewise a large new study of New York City residents shows, sadly, that one in five preteens–children aged six to 12–have been medically diagnosed with either ADHD, anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder.”

“New research concludes that stress renders people susceptible to serious illness, and a growing number of studies now confirm that chronic stress plays a major role in the progression of cancer, the nation’s second-biggest killer. The biggest killer of all, heart disease, which causes one in four deaths in the U.S., is also known to have a huge stress component. Incredibly, 11 percent of all Americans aged 12 and older are currently taking SSRI antidepressants – those highly controversial, mood-altering psychiatric drugs with the FDA’s ‘suicidality’ warning label and alarming correlation with school shooters. Women are especially prone to depression, with a stunning 23 percent of all American women in their 40s and 50s–almost one in four–now taking antidepressants, according to a major study by the CDC.”

These statistics reveal that we are a nation adrift. We have lost our moral compass and we have rejected the fear of God. This departure has left our nation in a moral, as well as an emotional crisis. We’ve become a society focused on prosperity instead of provision, we value wealth instead of wisdom, and we are drawn to charisma instead of character. Our foundation as a nation, and as individuals, has slowly deteriorated. We are reaping what was sown years ago.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not discounting the deep emotional and psychological pain associated with depression and anxiety, and I respect and cherish our military, but I do want to remind you that God makes provision for all of our needs. There may be a time and a place for medication, but it should be the last resort, not the first. The first step must be toward God…toward genuine worship.

Worship breaks addiction and depression; anxiety and fear must flee in the presence of heartfelt worship. Although not always, the symptoms listed earlier are often by-products of a misaligned heart.

We consume food everyday to live, why then, do we think that we can avoid worshiping the one true and living God and not die spiritually? This article is a serious and urgent call toward heart examination. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Are you worshiping Him in spirit and in truth? He is not an exalted man, a doting grandfather, or the “man upstairs”…He is Creator of heaven and earth. He dwells in approachable light. He must be magnified, worshiped, and feared (in a healthy way).

Worship must be a priority. Truth cannot be truly understood or explained without God as the source of all truth. True worship is a reflection of a heart set toward God…toward truth. “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God…” (John MacArthur).

We cannot live like hell all week and expect heaven to fall during worship. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and expect the light of Christ to shine during worship. We cannot worship ourselves and things all week and expect to turn our affections toward God on one designated day. Worship is a lifestyle!

Worship and holiness are interwoven: “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 96:9). 1 Peter 1:16 declares, “Be holy, because I am holy,” and 1 Timothy 2:8 adds, “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands…” Holiness is not a strange, outdated word. Holiness is being set apart or separated from anything that causes us to sin, whether mentally (in what we think) or physically (in what we do). Holiness encourages a heart of worship.

A consistent theme from Genesis to Revelation is, “‘Return to Me and worship Me,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will return to you. I will heal and restore. I will bind up the broken and strengthen the sick’.” The Lord is our only hope…our only cure.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). Do you have this peace? It all starts with worshiping the one true and living God.