Monday 3 March, 2014

Psalm 42

1 A deer longs for streams of water. God, I long for you in the same way. 2 I am thirsty for God. I am thirsty for the living God. When can I go and meet with him? 3 My tears have been my food day and night. All day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” 4 When I remember what has happened, I tell God all of my troubles. I remember how I used to walk along with the crowd of worshipers. I led them to the house of God. We shouted with joy and gave thanks as we went to the holy feast. 5 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and 6 my God. My spirit is very sad deep down inside me. So I will remember you here where the Jordan River begins. I will remember you here on the Hermon mountains and on Mount Mizar. 7 You have sent wave upon wave of trouble over me. It roars down on me like a waterfall. All of your waves and breakers have rolled over me. 8 During the day the Lord sends his love to me. During the night I sing about him. I say a prayer to the God who gives me life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go around in sorrow? Why am I beaten down by my enemies?” 10 My body suffers deadly pain as my enemies make fun of me. All day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” 11 My spirit, why are you so sad? Why are you so upset deep down inside me? Put your hope in God. Once again I will have reason to praise him. He is my Savior and my God.

Here is a clear picture of depression – “All you waves and breakers have swept over me”, “My tears have been my food day and night” “Why have you forgotten me God?”

Depression was caused for the psalmist by exile from his people and his God. For us today it is often less clear cut, with a multiplicity of causes, both emotional and organic, and many different triggers. Yet the psalmist gives us clues to the things we need to remember when we are depressed.

1.      The Lord directs His love to us and His song is with us. Although we may feel abandoned at times he will never leave or forsake us and He will never stop loving us. The “direction” of the Lord’s love shows a very deliberate intention to love us – not just an airy-fairy feeling. He will continue to direct his love no matter what happens.

2.      God is our rock. (v9) When we feel washed about and overwhelmed by the waves of depression He is the solid base to which we can return.

3.      The psalmist makes a deliberate choice to hope in God and to praise Him. He acknowledges that God is his saviour. When our “souls are downcast within us” we also need to make this choice, no matter how we feel.

Father, help me to always remember that you are for me and not against me and that you will never abandon me. In difficult times help me to always choose to hope in you, for I know you are my rock and my redeemer.

Written by Megan Cornell

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