Title: If you only knew my…depression
Text: Psalm 42:1-8, 11
Introduction: Depression is a mental disorder marked by altered mood. It has been compared the common cold of the mind. An estimated 3-5% of the world’s population experiences depression on any given date. Diagnostic criteria for depression includes the presence of altered mood nearly every day, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in most all activities and three or more of the following: poor appetite or significant weight loss or increase weight gain, insomnia or hypersomia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, feelings of hopelessness, loss of energy, or fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, self reproach or excessive or inappropriate guilt, complaints or evidence of a diminished ability to think or concentrate, recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, a wish to be dead or attempt suicide.
The causes for depression fall into two major categories: genetic-biological and psychological-cognitive:
Genetic-biological: It can run in the family or it can come from things like lack of sleep, insufficient exercise, the side effects drugs or improper diet.
Psychological-cognitive: This has several categories. It can be caused by (1) background and family cause. For example, children can suffer because of a lack of healthy parental emotional connection. (2) Stress and significant losses. (3) Cognitive causes: how we think. (4) Learned helplessness. This is when someone encounters a situation that we have no control over and you give up trying. (5) Anger. When anger is held within and turned against oneself. (6) Sin and guilt.
In dealing with depression you have to deal with the physiology. You may have to take a med, counseling, or physical exercise. Deal with the causes as we listed above. Dealing with the thinking this is our focus for today. To change feelings we must change thinking! This is what we see in our text today. The psalmist changes the way he is thinking about his situation by thinking on the sovereignty and goodness of God!
I. Desperation vv. 1-2
In the text, the psalmist opens up to show us that he is desperate for God to do something. He uses an analogy of a deer longing for water to satisfy its thirst to illustrate what he is feeling. He wants to know when he can see God. Right here is a clue the something is wrong. Something is out of place. Something is missing and not going right for the psalmist and he is desperate for God. My beloved every believer should have this type of desperation to be with God when you are feeling bad. We get desperate for other things that at the end of the day can’t do anything about how we feel that can even make us feel worse. This desperate desire for God is our first step to get out of depression. Pause. So what are you longing for today? Who are you panting for? You got to want God. This desperation for find God echoes what Jesus says in Matt. 6:33, “Seek ye first…” You tried everything else about you troubles. Now is time to get desperate about the only One who can meet your need and then some.
II. Disappointment vv. 3-4
Next in the text, the psalmist tells us why he is so desperate for God. He is disappointed. Things are not the same. He does not have that joy that he used to have. He is sad about his circumstances. But on top of that, his enemies are making him look like a fool taunting “where is your God”. My beloved, even as a Christians, we will deal with life’s disappointments and these disappoint led to our depression. And the devil loves when a child of God gets disappointed then depressed. He likes to play on your weakness and kick you when you are down. When things are not going right, he will say to you “where is your God?” I thought you were blessed, why are you broke? I thought Jesus was here to deliver you so why are you in bondage. It is disappointments and demons that have the potential to put you in a place of darkness. They make you feel that you are perpetually spiraling down in sadness with no hope. You see no light and no end of the tunnel. And all you have like the psalmist are tears running down your face night and day. You appetite is gone. And you feel like dying. And all you can do is remember when things were better. Your can remember how you used to give God praise. You remember being in worship and being up lift by the fellowship of the saints. But it is something about even thinking about praising God that shifts something in your spirit and gives you a new outlook. Look what this does to the psalmist in v. 5
III. Answer to Dejection v. 5a
He gives an answer for his feelings of dejection. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: He is saying why feeling the way do? My hope is in God. This word hope means in expect. In other words, I expect God to get me out and to restore my joy. So I am going praise him for his presence. Praise turns on the light in your darkness. My beloved, no matter how down you get don’t lose your expectation of God. He made a promise to you. He will bring you out! Your expectation is your faith. You may feel bad but your faith doesn’t have to be bad. Hope in God. Expect him to be God to make you feel better!
IV. Remember the Days of the Lord v. 6
This next verse tells us why the psalmist has such a high expectation from God. He knew what God can do from experience. Has anybody ever had a God experience? Look at the text. He says “since my soul is cast down, I will remember what you did for me in the past in the land of Jordan, with Hermonites and from the hills of Mizar. You have to remember what God has done for you in past and knowing that He is able to do it for you now! If we look at this text closely we can see how the Sovereignty of God can prevail of your depression. Looking at these locations mentioned symbolically you can get some encouragement. Jordan is symbolic of death. You may be dealing with death maybe not physical but emotional or spiritual. God is sovereign and able to give life to dead situations to give you your life back. The Hermonites in the text are mountain peaks which tell us God was with the psalmist in the high place. The name means sacred or forbidden. Not matter how high or how superior is the thing that is causing your depression, nothing is over your God. Mizar were low hills in shadows of Mount Hermon. The word means smallest. Not only is God in the biggest things that depress you, He is in the smallest shadow of your life that no one can sees. No matter what beloved, God is sovereign over what you are dealing with!! So remember the days when the Lord brought you out he will do it again!
V. Be real about your Distress v. 7
But this next is verse I love so much. This is not for everybody but just for the real people. This text speaks of the rages sea surrounding and crashing in on him. He is in storm! I love this text because the psalmist keeps it real! He got a problem! He is feeling pain. He got some issues. He is expressing his deepest emotions to God. He is not faking it behind church lingo. Even Jesus said in John 16:33 that you will have some trials. I believe God loves it when we get real with Him! The more real we get the more real He gets! When you are dealing with depression please don’t deny it. It is real. Tell God how you feel. He knows your pain. He will hear you when people turn a deaf ear. Our problem is that we think Christians are not supposed to get depressed. Depression is an issue of our humanity. Until we get to glory, we may have to deal with it in one way or the other. So be real about your distress knowing that God will get you peace when the storms of life are raging against you. He is storm chaser!!! When the weigh of life is come down on you the glory of God rises up in you! The psalmist tells us how this happens.
VI. Your resolve in depression is in your Devotion v. 8
In the NLT, it says that each day the Lord pours out his unfailing love toward him and each night he sings His songs. Prayer gives him life! All of this points to the importance of devotion which is your personal worship. Worship relieves the pressure of life by loosing the power of God in your life! God will pour out his love toward you and gives you praise in the midnight of the night seasons of life and empower you through prayer. Worship is the simultaneous reach of God and man connecting by the His love. So when you feeling depressed that is time for devotion. You may have to fight to do it. But press into his presence. His love is constantly reaching out to you to bring you in His presence and out of that rut!
Transition: This psalm gives you the liberty to cry out to God when you get depressed. The psalmist is crying out to God about how he is feeling and what his enemies are doing to him. My beloved God can handle your depression. If this is not enough encouragement for you to deal with your depression, let’s turn to the gospel and show you somebody else dealt with his feelings of depression. Jesus himself in the garden of Gethsemane struggled with is purpose and did not want to deal with something he was born to do; die! He agonized with God about it. Jesus told the disciples his soul was exceedingly sorrowful until the point of death. He was depressed! He did not want to die but wanted God to take the cup of pain away. He prayed so hard that he suffered from hematidrosis; blood coming out of his sweat. He had to literally deal with the sins of the world crushing down on him. Gethsemane means oil press. In order to get oil you had to press or crush the olive. Jesus was pressed and his oil came out. But he came to the resolve “not my will but thy will be done”! He was determined to give God glory in his life. My beloved, you may be crushed and pressed hard but all it is doing is bringing the oil out to so you can be like Jesus and give God glory. If God is allowing you to stay in a position that is crushing you, He is trying to bring out your anointing so you can give him glory! Which leads to our last point…
VII. Be Determined to give God praise v. 11
In verse 11, the psalmist repeats verse 5 to give himself a reminder that God will help him in his sorrow. And because of this the psalmist was determined that despite how he was feeling, he was going to give God praise. The text says in verse 11b, “for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my continuance”. I will still praise God even in my pain. My beloved you have to have a yet praise! Despite of what I am dealing with I will yet praise him. Despite being crushed by my enemies, I will yet praise Him. I will yet praise God for He will deliver me. I will yet praise God for he will bring me out of darkness. I will yet praise God for he will give me strength! I got a yet praise because I expect God to help me, to give me joy, to give me hope, to show me love again! I got a yet praise!! A yet praise is a faith praise!! Praise God on credit!