Seminar Outline on Managing Negative Emotions
- In the USA, teen depression increased by 59% between 2007 and 2017, according to Pew Research.
- The internet and smartphones, tablets, and iPads became widespread during this period.
- In 2015, America celebrated what the Bible calls sin, along with “woke ideologies” that came in 2020. Since then, depression has become a national interest.
- Today, we have a new term for this epidemic, “Youth with Severe Major Depressive Episode,” that’s affecting millions of teenagers worldwide.
- Clearly, emotional stress is linked with heightened social media use, peer pressure brought by increased materialism, and economic stress. But often, the root cause is sin, the lack of faith, and an enemy who wants us depressed.
Christians are not immune from depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. The godless, even if they have a supportive family, will find it difficult to manage these negative emotions because there is no real comfort apart from relying on God’s grace.
There are three stories in the Bible that show demons, sin, and divine afflictions can cause emotional distress.
- Gerasene demoniac: Demonic possession manifests as a psychotic behavior. (Matthew 8:28-31)
- King David’s sins: Sin can cause anguish and anxiety. (Psalm 38)
- Job’s divine affliction: God may allow harm to test our faith. (Job 1:20)
READ: JAMES 1:2-4
- Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds
- The testing of your faith produces perseverance.
- Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
PART 2: The enemy can play with our emotions
- Instilling Hopelessness: Satan often tries to convince us that there’s no way out of our problems, which leads to hopelessness, depression, and self-pity. He uses the spirit of condemnation to make us feel bad. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
- Creating Confusion and Accusations: The enemy thrives on chaos and confusion, tempting us to sin so he can accuse us before God. This can lead to anxiety and inner turmoil. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
- Fear and Condemnation: Satan uses fear and condemnation to foster anxiety. However, fear is not from God. (Romans 8:1; 2 Timothy 1:7)
READ: 1 JOHN 4:4
- As a believer in Christ, we belong to God.
- We have victory in Jesus.
- Greater is He who lives in you than he who is in the world.
PART 3: Sin can cause depression
King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband (Uriah the Hittite). Despite his love and devotion to God, he had to suffer the consequences of his sins.
Despite his strong and determined character, he found it extremely difficult to manage his emotions which eventually turned into chronic anxiety because his sin was so grievous.
READ: PSALM 77:1-2
“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord. I stretched out untiring hands at night, but I would not be comforted.”
CONSEQUENCES OF DAVID’S SIN
- Guilt: After his actions, David’s conscience troubled him, leading to intense guilt, depression, and sadness.
- Isolation: David withdrew from his leadership responsibilities, a common behavior in individuals experiencing depression.
- Loss of joy: Known for joyful praise, David lost his joy and peace.
- Physical distress: Depression can manifest physically. King David’s bones wasted away.
- Fear and anxiety: David groaned all day long. His fear and anxiety nearly drove him crazy.
PART 4: Testimony (5 minutes)
PART 5: Biblical steps to overcome emotional anxiety
5.1 Refuse the lie
Ephesians 6:10-11 says:
• Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
• Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
5.2 Obey God, give thanks, and dwell in His mercy
Philippians 4:8 says:
• Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—think about such things.
• If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
5.3 Helping others brings forth healing
Isaiah 58:7-8 says:
• Help others.
• Share whatever you have with others.
• What happens?: Then, your light shall break like dawn, and healing shall come.
5.4 Read scriptures for revelation
Psalm 139:23 says:
• Search me, God, and know my heart.
• Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
5.6 Ask Jesus to help you
Matthew 11:28 says:
• Come to Jesus, ALL who are weary and burdened.
• Jesus will give you rest.
5.7 Move on and organize your life
1 Corinthians 14:33 says:
• God is not a God of disorder.
• God is a God of peace and order.
ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE:
- Pray and read the Bible at bedtime and when you wake up.
- Fix your bed to start the day with a disciplined attitude.
- List your to-do list and Bible verses using Post-it.
- End your day by thanking God for everything—including bad things.
- Do not be alone in your struggle; join a small group or seek discipleship.
PART 6: Bear Fruit
BREAK OUT DISCUSSION:
- Discuss PART 5 (Choose from 5.1 to 5.7) and why you think this will help those who have depression. (10 minutes)
- What is the happiest color? (1 minute)
- What is your favorite fruit? (1 minute)
READ: Eight Fruits in the Bible
TRIVIA: Yellow is the happiest color because it is the color of the sun and often has a “smiling shape.” When we’re constantly exposed to sunlight, serotonin (or happy hormone) increases. A ripe banana is also yellow and has tryptophan, which also contributes to serotonin production.
The Bible presents eight spiritual fruits as “one fruit.” While we can’t completely avoid depressive thoughts or anxiety, having the “fruit of joy and peace” helps us overcome negative thoughts and manage our emotions.
READ: GALATIANS 5:22
- The “fruit” comes when we walk by the Holy Spirit. (EMPHASIZE: We hear and obey God’s words)
- Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the “fruit of the Holy Spirit.”
- When we belong to Jesus, He sends us the Holy Spirit to teach and encourage us. (EMPHASIZE: To claim we belong to Jesus means we abide in Him)
READ: JOHN 15:5
- Loving God is a command.
- Loving others is a command.
- Jesus first loved us.