GOD’S Answers for Depression | Bayless Conley


If you grapple with depression, my heart goes
out to you. Some people have no idea what it is to have
that dark cloud follow you around. But I’m telling you, there is liberty available
for you in Christ. The answer, my friend, is in God’s Word. If you’ll get the seed into the soil of
your heart and keep it in there and guard it, you may not even understand how it can
work, but it will produce a harvest. There are many questions you are faced with
every day. We are all searching for answers that will
make a real difference in our lives. It’s hard to imagine that these answers
might be right in front of us. Get ready to discover answers in the Bible
with Bayless Conley. Hi friends, great to have you with us today. We’re going to be talking about how God
accomplishes things in people’s lives. What He does is He sends His Word. And wherever that Word is received, wherever
it is accepted, wherever it is believed, it produces a harvest in that person’s life. Be it salvation. Be it freedom. Be it healing. Psalm 107:20, God sent His Word and healed
them and delivered them from their destructions. The Scripture says that we are born again,
not of corruptible seed but incorruptible by the Word of God that lives and abides forever. We are going to be talking about getting those
eternal, imperishable, indestructible seeds of God’s Word into the soil of your heart. Guarding them and seeing how they can produce
a harvest of good things in your life and in my life. If you’ve got a Bible, why don’t you grab
it. Sit down, get a pencil underline some things. Take some notes. I believe this is one of the most essential
messages that a believer can ever hear. When you find out the importance of God’s
Word and what happens when you consistently sow it into the soil of your heart, it will
change you forever and ever. So hey, let’s get into the message today. I believe it’s going to bless you. Woman’s VO: Here’s Bayless Conley with
part two of his continuing message from last week. “If you continue in My Word, if you continue
in My Word, you will know the truth.” You will know it experientially. And the truth will set you free, my friend. There is supernatural liberating power in
God’s Word. Alright, what about those that grapple with
depression and have no peace? It’s amazing if you read the statistics
of how many people in our country are on medication because of depression, how many children are
medicated, you know, because of emotional issues. And I thank God… please don’t get me wrong
in any fashion. I thank God for medical science, for doctors,
for people that are involved in the medical industry. They are fighting the same enemy we’re fighting. They’re just doing it from a natural angle,
so we are grateful for everything they do. But when you take God’s Word, it fights
things from a supernatural angle. Look with me at Proverbs, if you would. Chapter 3. We’re here in Psalms. Look at Proverbs 3 and verse 1 and 2. It says, 1 My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands; 2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you. He said: Keep My commands. Protect My commands. Guard My Word. Keep it in the soil of your heart, and then
peace will be one of the fruits that His Word produces in you once it has been planted. Psalm 119, verse 165 says, “Great peace
have those who love Your law.” There was a lady in our church. She and her husband have since moved out of
state. I loved her so much. She was a walking Bible. And those of you that have been at Cottonwood
any amount of time, you will remember this back in our old building. If I got stumped, I’m trying to think of
a verse in my message, I’d point to her, I’d say, “What’s that verse?” She’d give the reference and quote the verse
verbatim. It happened numerous times. She never missed. She literally was always speaking the Word,
always speaking the Word, and some people thought, “She’s just over the top! You know, this Bible that comes out of her
all the time. Always quoting Scripture!” But you wouldn’t have thought her excessive
if you had known where she came from. She had been severely depressed. She didn’t go out of her house for one year. She never stepped out of her house for a solid
year. She was isolated; she was secluded, dark thoughts
continually assailing her mind, sometimes even suicidal thoughts. She had no peace. She had ceased to be able to function as a
wife to her husband, as a mother to her children, until she began to feed on God’s Word. She read it and she read it and she read it
some more, and she even began to speak the promises aloud. And eventually those dark clouds began to
part. The seed sprouted and grew, and it produced
a harvest. And the reason she was such a champion for
the Word is because she knew what it had done for her, and she knew it could do the same
thing for anyone else that was struggling like she was. “Great peace have those that love Your law.” Let your heart keep His Word. Length of days, long life, and peace it will
add to you. You know what? It is a blessing not to be tormented mentally. It’s a blessing not to have to worry. Now we all have got trials, we all have got
stuff that goes on… all of us. It’s just part of the human experience. But, you know, we can cast our cares on God
and literally live a life of peace. My wife, Janet, shared part of her story a
few Wednesdays ago. You know, I had seen her when we were in Bible
school, and I saw her in a class, and my first thought was, “How come I never saw her before?” So I chased her down in the hallway after
class, and I asked her to go to lunch with me. She said, “Well, I’ve got to pray about
that.” A few days later she got back to me, and she
said, “No.” Eight months later at the end of the school
year I tried again. She said, “Yes,” and then we were married
what, eight months later? Yeah. We got married eight months later. Now we’ve been married 35 years. Going strong. I think I’ll keep her! But the reason she said “no” and what
went on during that whole interim period, she was grappling with dark, depressing thoughts
every day. Her life seemed to be falling apart, and she
couldn’t find an answer. It even got to the point where suicidal thoughts
began to batter her mind and assail her mind over and over. And she was just in this deep, dark well that
she couldn’t seem to get out of. And the thing that liberated her, it was God’s
Word; specifically, Scriptures that dealt with the fact that God loved her as much as
anyone else, how God’s love is unchanging and it wasn’t based on our character, but
it’s based on who He is. And it completely set her free. And I, frankly, am personally very grateful
for that because if she hadn’t discovered the Word, she probably would have said “no”
again, and I would have started looking somewhere else. And I just want to tell you: wherever you
are in your life, if you grapple with depression, my heart goes out to you. Some people have no idea what it is to have
that dark cloud follow you around. But I’m telling you, there is liberty available
for you in Christ. The answer, my friend, is in God’s Word. If you’ll get the seed into the soil of
your heart and keep it in there and guard it, you may not even understand how it can
work, but it will produce a harvest. All right, finally, let’s talk about salvation
for a few minutes. First Peter, chapter 1, and verse 23. First Peter 1 and 23, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible
seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, Born again through the seed of God’s Word. You see, we can’t have a harvest where no
seed is planted. We must tell people about Jesus, about His
virgin birth, about His miracles, about His sinless life, about His crucifixion, about
His resurrection. And just because we may not have the experience
of praying with someone to get saved after we share with them doesn’t mean we failed. No, we’ve done our part. God may send someone else to water the seed
and someone else to thrust in the sickle, but we’re planting seeds. Someone has to plant the seeds or there cannot
be a harvest. You know, after I got saved I went to a friend’s
house one day, and there was a bunch of people… I knew them all. I had done drugs with every one of them there. And they were all sitting around on the floor,
and they had this bag full of sticks. And they’d shake them up and they’d throw
the sticks on the floor. It was something like Chinese fortune sticks,
but they believed that angels would determine how they fell. And they would actually order their life according
to how the sticks landed on the floor… sort of like a poor man’s Ouija board. And I was standing there; you know, I didn’t
want to interrupt them. I’d seen them do that stuff a lot before. And I was just watching. And this girl named Breeze… that wasn’t
her real name, but that’s what she went by. Breeze looks up at me, says, “You don’t
like this, do you, Bayless.” I said, “Actually, no, I don’t.” She said, “Why?” And so I preached the gospel to her. It didn’t go over well at all. They treated me with disdain; they treated
me with pity, and they mocked me, and I left feeling totally defeated. Thought I should have done a better job at
that. They literally laughed me out of the house. But I ran into Breeze maybe a month, maybe
two months later. She said, “Bayless, I have to talk to you.” She said, “I’m a Christian.” I said, “Really?” She said, “Yep, and I’ve renounced the
occult.” I said, “What happened?” She said, “Well, that day that you were
at the house and I said, ‘You don’t like this?’” She said, “What you told us about Jesus
that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” She said, “I know we treated you really
badly, but I just kept thinking about it over and over, and I became convinced that Jesus
is real. And I went to a church and I gave my life
to Christ, and I’m a Christian now because of what you shared that day.” Now I thought I had been a total failure,
thought I’d muffed it up and done a terrible job. But God used the seed. I remember hearing the story of a guy. He gets a call from a woman he knew and said,
“Look, my daddy’s a businessman. He’s going to be in the town where you are. Would you mind visiting him and just sharing
with him? Sharing your story with him.” He said, “No, I’d be happy to.” And so she gave her daddy a call, said, “Daddy,
there’s a good friend of mine, I want him to come by your hotel and just… I’d like you to meet him.” Now she didn’t tell her dad that it was
an ambush, but that’s what she was doing. She’s setting up an ambush for Daddy. And so he meets him at the appointed time
in the hotel lobby, and the guy is just, you know, by nature, by personality, is one of
these “in-your-face” type of people. That doesn’t fit most of us. But that was his way. And this is how he started the conversation:
“Hi. You know, I’m so-and-so. Your daughter asked me to come. You know, the Bible says if you believe in
your heart God raised Jesus from the dead and you confess Him with your mouth as Lord…” And the dad said, “Stop! I thought it was going to be one of these
things! Look, I’m not interested. You know, just… just… you can leave.” And so he dismissed himself, excused himself,
and the girl’s father went over to the elevator and went upstairs and to his room. And he was angry. And maybe rightly so. I don’t… frankly, I don’t think that’s necessarily
the best form of evangelism. God may lead you to be very in-your-face;
and some people, they need that. But most people, maybe a little more tact. But, anyway, he calls his daughter later on
that night, and he said, “What happened to me?” She said, “What do you mean?” He says, “Well, that guy you sent to ambush
me, you know, down in the hotel lobby, he said, “If you believe in your heart God
raised Jesus from the dead, confess Him with your mouth as Lord,” said, “and I cut
him off. I was so mad! I knew you’d do something like this to me. But then I got to thinking, I didn’t let
him finish. It sounded like that he was about to say something
will happen if you do that.” He says, “And it was really bothering me. And I began to think, well, you know, I think
I do believe Jesus is the Son of God, and I think I do believe He was raised from the
dead. But I’ve never called Him “Lord”.” He said, “So I got down on my knees next
to my bed, and I prayed a prayer, and I called Jesus “Lord”,” and he said, “Something
happened to me! I want you to tell me what happened to me. Something happened inside of me, and I feel
different. What was it?!?” And he’s still kind of mad. She said, “Daddy, you got born again.” So even if you feel like, “Man, I’ll just
do a bad job!” That’s okay. You know, I think God actually kind of digs
that, anyway. The Bible says that God uses the foolish things
to confound the wise. And, you know, it will work on an individual
basis; it will also work on a city-wide scale, on a large scale. And I want to look at one last place as I
close. Acts, chapter 19. Look there with me, if you would. The Book of Acts and the nineteenth chapter. Paul has come to Ephesus. It is a city filled with witchcraft and idolatry. There is no church, there is no Christian
witness, just spiritual oppression and the occult. Acts 19, verse 8. It says, 8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke
boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not
believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew
the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that
all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. All right, he spent two years and three months
daily sowing seeds. Now from this point, if you read the story,
some miracles happen; some other notable things take place, and then a revival breaks out
in the city of Ephesus and people get saved by the score. We read in verse 18, it says, 18 And many who had believed came confessing
and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic
brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and
it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. And it sums the whole thing up like this,
verse 20: 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and
prevailed. It grew mightily because it was planted. It prevailed over witchcraft; it prevailed
over unbelief; it prevailed over idol worship. You know, I watched a video once of a Wycliffe
Bible translator that had spent 20 years of his life working among an indigenous group
in a mountainous region in the Philippines. And he succeeded in translating the New Testament
for them. It was the first time they’d ever had God’s
Word. And when he left, there was just a handful
of believers. And he left them with God’s Word. And this video showed him coming back years
later in this old dilapidated helicopter. He lands on the top of this grassy knoll in
this mountainous region, and it is covered… all the hills are covered as far as the eyes
can see with people that were there to greet him. When he came back years later, there were
200 churches and 20,000 believers among that indigenous group. In fact, I searched high and low to try and
find a copy of the video, and I couldn’t find one. But to this day I remember it vividly. It was the impact that the Word of God had
among those indigenous people. My friend, it will prevail in your life over
sickness, over fear, over depression if you will just get it in the soil of your heart. I want to invite you in a moment to pray with
me. And before I do, I just want to share a story
with you. You know, Harrison was in Colorado at a deal
this last week with some other young preachers and young men that are involved in gospel
work, and they hung out and sort of cross-pollenated for a few days and did a lot of hiking. And he showed me this precipice. There was two ways to get down to it. You could kind of scramble down slowly on
your backside or you could come around another way. But there was a sheer drop off hundreds and
hundreds of feet straight down. If you tipped over the edge, you were a dead
man. And a friend of his, Nick, who we know, came
scrambling down, but was scrambling down too fast and had too much momentum. Harrison suddenly realized he’s got too
much momentum, and in a split second he tackled him just before he went over the edge. And then they both sort of stood there and
just nervously laughed, not knowing what to do, realizing that Harrison just saved the
guy’s life. And I don’t share that story to scare anyone;
but, you know, all of us are going in to an eternity. Your momentum in life right now is carrying
you somewhere. Will it carry you into a Christ-less eternity? Will it carry you into an eternity with God? You know, life is a fragile thing. It… You know, this earthly life, the book of James
says it’s like a vapor. It’s here for a moment, and then it’s
gone. And the most important decision that you could
make as a human being is to make sure you are ready for eternity because if you go off
that precipice that ends life, you need to make sure you are right with God. And if you’re not right here, it’s too
late to get right on the other side. We’ve got one opportunity. It’s by embracing His Son Jesus Christ. I’m so glad a 12-year-old boy came up and
shared Christ with me in the park that day. My whole life I had been looking for the truth,
but I had been looking in all the wrong places. And I know that I went to school with Christians. I’m sure I must have worked with Christians. But either people just thought I was a lost
cause because I was so reckless with my life… and I was reckless. I was a standout when it came to drug abuse
and crazy living. It’s a miracle I lived long enough to get
saved. So I think there’s some people just thought,
“Hey, it’s not worth spending our time on him.” There’s some other people, maybe they were
afraid to talk to me… maybe because of the way I looked. Maybe people were intimidated, I don’t know. But no one shared with me before that 12-year-old
boy turned up with a bag of seeds that day in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. Thank You, God! And if you’re here tonight, I just want
to tackle you before you go over the cliff. I just want to give you an opportunity. This is not about religious ritual. It’s not about adhering to some endless
list of things you are no longer allowed to do. It’s not about all the joy and fun getting
sucked out of your life. It’s not about becoming some Christian automaton
that you have to look and act and sound like everybody else. I think when you really come to Jesus, you
discover your true individuality for the first time, that God reveals who He meant you to
be, who you were created to be, and all of those unique nuances that no one else has. But you have to be willing to come to Him. The truth is, Jesus has already died on the
cross and paid the price for our sin. He was raised from the dead on the third day. And if you come, He won’t turn you away. Won’t you bow your heads and close your
eyes just for a moment, if you would. Heavenly Father, we thank You tonight for
Your Word. It is precious to us. We esteem it highly. Jesus, You told us that the value that we
place on the Word, that it will be measured back to us with the same measure, with the
same value that we place upon it. We hunger after Your Word, Lord. Teach us. And I pray for those that have come into this
place perhaps by themselves or with a friend that You’d help them right now. Convince them by the presence of Your Holy
Spirit that You love them and that You want them. I want to lead you in a simple prayer, friend. If you’ll tie your heart around the words
and speak the words to God, I believe He will answer you. The words without a heart behind them, they’re
empty and meaningless. But if you’ll mean business, if you will
be sincere in speaking to God, I believe He will meet you. And I’m just going to count to three. If you want to get in on the prayer or be
a part of it, I’m going to ask you to lift a hand when we get to three. It’s just an outward way to express the
faith in your heart. The book of James says that faith is always
expressed through action. And sometimes an act as simple as lifting
your hand will help your faith begin to move towards God. One, two, three. Just put it up. If you need to make things right between you
and God, put them up. I see several hands in several places. It’s awesome. Just keep them up for a minute and let me
look. Fantastic. All right. God sees your hand; sees your heart, which
is most important. Put that hand on your heart right now. In fact, everyone in the house do that, and
let’s pray. Just say out loud, Dear God, I come to You right now. With all of my heart I believe. I believe Jesus is Your Son, and I believe
Your promise that if I believe and confess Him as Lord, that You’ll save me. Jesus, I confess You right now as the Lord
of my life. I yield everything to You, Jesus. My life is no longer my own. Wherever You lead me, I will go. And it’s in Your name I pray, amen. I hope that you listened to that prayer that
we just prayed. And I hope that you prayed it with us. If you did and you tied your heart around
it, my friend, God heard you. And we would love to hear from you. Listen, send me a message, send me an email. Do something. Just let us know that the broadcast has been
a blessing to you. If you’ve accepted Christ, if you’ve been
encouraged, we would love to hear about that. And that would indeed encourage our hearts. And I just want to share something with you. It is so important that once you have embraced
Christ as your Savior that you get connected with other believers, other people that love
Jesus, that esteem God’s Word. And spend time with them. We call that fellowship. Hang out with them. Do life together with them. Go to church with them. One of the enemy, the devil’s main tactics
is to try and isolate people. Friend, don’t allow yourself to get isolated. Proverbs 18:1 says, “He that isolates himself,
seeks his own desire and rages against all wise judgement.” Meaning that isolation can lead to crazy thinking. The Bible says in the multitude of counselors
there is safety. The Scripture says a three-fold cord is not
quickly broken. Our lives need to be intertwined with the
lives of other believers. So find some believers. Find a good church. Get plugged in. And do life together with them. Hi there, I have a resource entitled, “Footprints
of Faith” that I believe will be a blessing to you. There’s a book included in it as well as
several teachings on CD. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible
to please God.” And I’m going to tell you without faith
it’s impossible to walk with God. This resource is going to help you in your
daily journey with the Lord. Footprints of Faith. Learn to recognize and follow God’s leading
and see His power at work in your life. This booklet and three message series teaches
you the benefits and blessings tied to obediently putting one foot in front of the other by
faith even when you can’t see the outcome. So request this faith-building resource today. Just use the information on your screen, “Footprints
of Faith.” Thank you for watching Answers with Bayless
Conley. For more information and inspiration visit
AnswersBC.org.

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Comments

  1. Pastor Bayless you are a special blessing to me !
    Would love to write and tell you how God has changed my life after i listen to your podcast almost every day!
    Simona

  2. Pastor B, I remember being in the sanctuary last year when you gave this sermon. I think it was Wednesday night Bible study? It touched me then, but it really is hitting me even more profoundly listening to it again tonight. Its amazing how God reaches into our hearts and pours into it what we need at just the right moment in SO many ways. That last part you spoke on about finding believer friends, I wish I could find some Cottonwood family here in Los Angeles. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ThankYou so much for this message I feel so much the present of the Lord trough your preaching and it encourages me to read the Bible. Many blessings and love for you and your family and loved ones and church. ๐Ÿ™‚

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