May 18, 2010

Prescription for Depression

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying 'Where is this God of yours?' My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshippers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You - even from Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as Your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life. 'O God my Rock,' I cry, 'Why have You forgotten me? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?' Their taunts break my bones. They scoff, 'Where is this God of yours?' Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God! Psalm 42

Life can be hard on us and when things don't happen the way we want them to or expect them to, we can get very disappointed. As a result of the disappointment, we get discouraged. Left unchecked, that discouragement turns into depression, which is anger turned inward.

The cure for depression is a prescription plan that the Lord gave me based on the Psalm above:

Pill 1 - hope in God, not man

Pill 2 - remember what God's done previously for you

Pill 3 - praise Him

Pill 4 - encourage yourself

Following this prescription, we can put depression in it's place, often before it even begins. If you are battling with life's experiences and find yourself in a state of depression, odds are you are an encourager. For the enemy throws the opposite of what we are at us.

It's time we start encouraging ourselves like we do others. We all need to be uplifted sometimes.

Prayer: You are the lifter of our heads, Lord (Ps 3:3), so I pray that You help us, Father, to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of mourning and heaviness (Is 61:3), to arise from the depression and prostration that circumstances have kept us - help us to rise to a new life (Is 60:1) and I pray that You rejoice over us with Your joy, oh Lord (Zeph 3:17). Thank You that weeping only remains for a night - joy does come in the morning (Ps 30:5). Help us to praise You, Lord, whether we feel like it or not - for You are always worthy of our praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Need someone to talk to?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)