“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God!” Psalm 42:5,11 ESV
Depression affects nearly all of us at some point in our lives, if only to a minor extent. Scripture is not silent about depression, discouragement, or despair. In fact, some of God’s greatest heroes battled depression. The Bible records that Moses, Elijah, and Jonah suffered through times of discouragement so deep that they desired to end their lives.
I am one of those people that wrestles with depression. I am not ashamed of it. In fact I view this thorn in my flesh as a blessing that often gets me refocused on my God and how amazing he truly is in my life.
One antidepressant that works well for me, and I suggest to you is to just take time to remember God and all the things he has done. Refusing to give in to depression and instead battling it by remembering God.
In Psalm 42 the Psalmist focused on three life changing applications that can help us when we are bound by despair.
First, the psalmist focused on the truth of God’s Word rather than on the lies that tormented his soul. Overwhelmed by his troubles, the psalmist felt that God had forgotten him. But this was not true! The truth was, he was surrounded by God’s unfailing love even in the midst of his problems.
Second, the psalmist focused on God’s unfailing love even in the midst of his trouble. He recognized God’s goodness in his life and clung to God’s mercy in his sea of discouragement. No matter how bad things may get in our lives, God loves us and He is good to us. Nothing can separate us from His love.
Third, the psalmist chose to praise the Lord from his pit of depression. Praising God lifted him out of the depths of despair, putting a smile on his face and giving him a song in his heart. Praise is truly powerful. As our praise blesses the Lord, it also changes us.
Doing these three things will take your mind off of the present situation as you focus your thoughts on God’s ability to help you rather than on your ability to help yourself. Take advantage and read the Bible’s accounts of God’s goodness and meditate on them. Also, don’t forget to take account of what God has done in your own life. I promise joy will come!
“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10