I’m feeling sorry for myself today. Meditating on Psalm 13 is helping. God is good.
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Resurgence is doing a series on God & Depression based on Psalms 42 & 43.
I was very excited when I saw the first post – I love the Psalms and I think they tap into human emotions so well. I think the Psalms are a great example of how to express emotions in prayer to God. I particularly think they are helpful for people with depression.
Psalms 42 & 43 are great examples of this so I love that Resurgence are doing this series. However this comment in the latest post concerns me
We cannot live without hope, but there are countless things to hope in. Much of our depression may come from misplacing our hopes as we place too much hope in things which are not God. The Psalmist takes a look at what he has been hoping in — a revealing and convicting thing to do. We will find we need to repent for having our hearts set on things other than God, and in this way, bringing depression on ourselves. [emphasis mine]
This statement might be true for some people but not for everyone. And it seems like terrible advice to give to someone who is dealing with depression – surely telling them they need to repent of their depression (which is what they will hear you saying) is only going to make things harder for them. As for ‘bringing depression on ourselves’ – this is not the case for everyone. Depression is a medical illness for some and needs to be seen and treated as such.
I have read Psalms 42 & 43 over and over. I see no repentance expressed here. But what is beautiful is that 3 times across these Psalms the psalmist express his distress and immediate follows with the statement that his hope is indeed in God, his saviour. That is exactly the turmoil of depression – knowing that we have hope is God but feeling nothing but turmoil and an utter lack of hope. This problem needs grace, love and patience but not repentance.
Why am I so depressed?
Why is this turmoil within me?
Put your hop in God, for I will still praise him,
My saviour and my God. (Psalm 42:5,11 & 43:5)
The first in a series from Resurgence on God & Depression, from Psalms 42 & 43.
Lost sense of God
The writer of Psalm 42 is a musician and leader in the Jerusalem temple who has somehow been cut off from his home, his friends, and his occupation. Being away from the temple, for him, is being away from God, so he pens a song to express his deep grief.
He starves without the presence of God, which used to be the hallmark of his life as a full-time temple servant. His life is nothing without it, in the same way that life is nothing without water.
This is not because he is unusual — he is exactly like us. The only difference is that he knows what he’s craving.
Read the first post here.
See the series here.