“Fog creeps in like little cat feet.”
So does depression. Oftentimes inexplicably, without reason or rationale. It gets under your skin. Settles down into your gut.
The Psalmist asks, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5a) Apparently, he was not sure either as to its cause. In fact, he seemed to be a bit bewildered, perhaps asking; “Why me?” “Why now?”
“Downcast” here literally means, sink, depress, bow down, collapse, despair. “Disturbed” conveys the idea of tumult, rage, moaning, clamor, troubled.
In his battle to win over depression, the Psalmist focused on five areas:
1. Hunger — “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for God, for the living God… ” (Psalm 42:1, 2a) Because nothing quells our appetite for Him more than harboring iniquity, we may want to ask ourselves the question, “Is there any sin in my life with which I need to deal?” (Hebrews 3:13; Psalm 66:18; 139:23, 24)
2. Communicate — “These things I remember as I pour out my soul… I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?‘” (Psalm 42:4a, 9) We may need to get on our face before God (literally) and have a real heart-to-heart talk over the issues that are troubling us at the core.
3. Refocus — “Put your hope in God… ” (Psalm 42:5b, 11b) That is, we may need to redirect our expectancy to Him, rather than wallow in worry, circumstances, fear, or anger.
4. Praise — “I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5b, 11b) We choose to adulate Him as an alternative to grousing or self-pity. (1 Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 2:14, 15)
5. Remember — “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.” (Psalm 42:6) It may be time once again, to recall (and appreciate) God’s past leading and blessings. Nothing displeases God, or quenches our spirit more than a thankless heart. (See Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 63:6; 77:11; 106:7; Isaiah 46:9)
CONCLUSION: Depression is one of the Enemy’s major weapons in knocking us out of the race. So let’s resolve to win over depression by doing battle with Satan along Scripturally prescribed lines, as illustrated in Psalm 42. Have you found anything else that works? I haven’t!