Dealing with Depression
Depression is a devastating and debilitating condition, it robs the child of God from any usefulness for Him, and destroys their effectiveness in dealing with the normal trials of life. All of us are susceptible to falling into this condition, many of those who are great men of faith have been in this state as well. David was a man after God’s own heart, yet even he was afflicted by depression at times. The great news from the Bible is that there is a way out of depression. While it is not a place that you have to stay, it is normal to get down, it is sin to stay there. Psalm 42 and 43 give us a look at depression and the pathway out of it. Notice the darkness of depression as you read through these passages now.
Ps 42:1-11 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Ps 43:1-5 “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
David here uses some very dark metaphors and even some direct statements to express the depression that He is in. Take a special look at verse 9 where He tells us the source of the problem. It says that he goes mourning because of the oppression of the enemy. He doesn’t say my enemy, or thy enemy, or an enemy, he says the enemy. While this might be emblematic of saying he was talking about his personal enemy, God doesn’t mix works. Jesus used the same phrase to refer to the Devil in Matthew 13:39 when He said, “Mt 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” And again in Luke 10:19 where it says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”