“For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Ps 42:5 NIV
Some of the godliest people in the Bible and in church history battled depression. Job experienced it through the back-to-back losses of his children, his wealth, and his health. Moses “spoke face to face [with God] as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex 33:11 NKJV). Yet the pressures of leading Israel overwhelmed him to the point of despair. Elijah conquered the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, and afterwards became so depressed that he wanted to die. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers who ever lived, called depression “the black dog” that followed him all his life. Depression, in some form, will touch each of us at some point in life. Long-term depression frequently requires professional help. But the longest road in the world is shorter when you take the first step, and that step is turning to God. Whether your depression is caused by the pressures of responsibility like Moses, or by losing things you love like Job, or feeling drained on the heels of a great success like Elijah, you must turn to the Great Physician and let Him make you whole. It’s what the psalmist did: “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you” (Ps 42:6 NIV). David doesn’t deny his emotions; he expresses them to God in prayer. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (v. 11 NIV). But he doesn’t stop there. He says, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Notice, depression lifts and hope returns when you begin to praise God and trust His goodness.
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