The first step is to begin to Praise God. Isaiah 61:3 tells us, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Praise is literally the opposite of depression, the word depression means to sink down or to be pushed downward, while praise means to lift up and to exalt.
The irony is that lifting God up requires the act of humbling ourselves as well. Depression is the feeling that we are low, humility is though the feeling that He is high. Though you might say these things are similar, the latter comes with a great promise, James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Truly the first step to recovery from depression is to go lower, in humility. It is not infrequent to find someone who is battling with depression who is also a very prideful person. In reality they are depressed because they think that they deserve better than what they have received. It is actually their act of lifting themselves up that has caused them to be pushed down. If instead they would humble themselves and lift Him up they would be lifted up themselves.
I am not saying that everyone who get’s depressed does so because of pride, I am saying that humility is necessary for proper praise. We teach people how to do this in Biblical counseling by having them do a stroke file, they will take a 3×5 card and on the front of it they will write three things in the morning, three things at noon, and three things in the evening that they can see to thank God for.
David prayed three times a day in this manner. Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Daniel prayed three times a day according to the book of Daniel as a matter of fact he was so faithful in this that this is how his enemies attacked him. Three times a day you should take time to seek the Lord and praise Him, This will keep His glory before your eyes all the day long.
If you are struggling with depression you should begin to keep a stroke file today. On the back we teach people to write the name of their spouse and once each morning, noon, and night write one thing that they can be thankful for about them. It could be things that they do, it could also be things that they don’t do. If your spouse isn’t strung out on drugs that is a great thing to thank God for.
The next step that David takes is to remember God. This means to look back on your life and purposely remember all the things that God has done for you. When we depressed we only see the negative and bad things. It would be good to get a notebook and begin to write down all the things that you can remember that God did good to you.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Notice in Psalm 42:6 that David had some special places of remembrance to God. He considered the land of Jordan, this was the promised land, that place of the promises of God. Remember the works of God as He brought His people across the Jordan river and began to give them the place of their inheritance, as David looked around it was a reminder of the fulfillment of the promises of God everywhere that he looked.
Maybe there is a special place in your life where you received the promises of God. Consider that place and what God did there for you. Then David remembered the hermonites. Psalm 133:3 says, “As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” The hermonites are the mountain range on the north border of Israel. The hermonites were a place where David had received the commandment of blessing from the Lord. Is there a time in your life that you remember God speaking to you?
You should remember that time of God’s speaking, and think on the times that God has spoken in your life. David further remembers the Hill Mizar. The hill Mizar is a peek in the mountain range. It is not clear exactly what happened here, but this was a special place for David, and as he recalled what he experienced in this place, it is clear that He remembered the blessing that God gave him there.
There are some times of blessing in your life that if you will keep them in remembrance it will bring you up out of depression. There are some mountain top experiences that God has given each of us that will strengthen our hearts.