Winning Over Depression

 

“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 soulI 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!

 

The Real Reason Most Of Us Fail To Spend Consistent Time With God

 

Another interesting reading from John G Butler done during my Quiet Time this morning. I hope it will be useful.

It’s not lack of discipline. But lack of appetite. If we don’t have a hunger for God it is because our affections have been drawn away to other loves. To name a few:

Recently a young professional shared with me the dryness of his times alone with God. He said that the Scriptures seemed flat. Irrelevant. He then explained that in his job, he and a team of analysts routinely submit reports to their superiors that affect company policy. It is a common practice, he informed me, to shade the reports in a manner that will put the team members in a favorable light with their higher-ups. If he chooses not to go along, his career is put in jeopardy. So play along he does.

Is there any doubt as to why he has little appetite for the things of God?

Last night I dined with a businessman who, for the past 3 years I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to motivate to spend consistent time with God. We’ve had “quiet times” together, talked about priorities, personal discipline, how to meditate on the Word. You name it. All to no avail.

John,” I asked, “hows your time with God?” Embarrassment, fumbling. Then, “Dwight, I wont lie to you. Its not very good.” Yet this man spends 10 hours a day in his career, and untold hours in church work. But he will not carve out personal time with God.

Let’s be honest. We find time to do what we really want! So the issue is not discipline, but appetite.

If we cannot recognize the value of simply being alone with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, we gouge the heart out of Christianity.

QUESTION: How would you evaluate your appetite for spending time with Christ? Are you eager? Or is it obligatory? If your times with God are the blahs, what do you think is the root cause?

John G. Butler, Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.