The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 4/12

Posted on | April 12, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 4/12

Scripture reading: Psalm 42 and 43

A Sure Cure for the Blues

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me continually,

“Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3)

 

Do you ever talk to yourself? Some think that such behavior is a sign of mental illness. I beg to differ. If done correctly, it may be one of the smartest things you ever do! Consider the 42nd and 43rd Psalms.

The writer is discouraged, downhearted and near despair. Some would call him clinically depressed. Things have not worked out in life like he had hoped, and he finds himself in a deep, dark emotional pit, not knowing how to get out. But rather than taking antidepressant medication or talking to a therapist, he responds to his condition by talking to himself. In fact, three times he asks him- self the same question. Perhaps he wanted to be sure that he was listening to his own inner conversation.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil with me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5)

An examination of these two Psalms helps us to better understand what we can do when we are discouraged. If you are in such a place today, let me encourage you to do what the psalmist did. Go stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye, and talk to yourself.

,. First, tell yourself the truth. The psalmist did not soften reality or deny the truth about his desperate situation. No, he candidly told himself the truth: My soul is downcast within me (42:6). There is no better way to ensure that you stay in your pit of depression than to deny that you are in it! If you are down and discouraged today, don’t pretend that you aren’t. Look yourself in the eye and tell yourself the truth.

,. Then, ask yourself a question. Once he acknowledged the truth of his tragic circumstances, the psalmist was able to  ask  himself  a  question. To make sure he was listening, he asked it three times: Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? (42:5, 11; 43:5. The Message). Such self-talk is not pointless prattle. He is asking himself a question that desperately needs an answer. The answer is seldom as obvious as we first think it is. So, as you look in the mirror and ask yourself the question, don’t let yourself off the hook. Make yourself answer. Why are you so depressed and down in the dumps? Didn’t get your way? Jealous of someone? Angry at God? Got your feelings hurt? Answering the question will not take your depression away, but it will help you to understand the roots of your foul mood. And without a solid diagnosis of the disease, no cure is possible.

,. Finally, preach yourself a sermon. Now that you understand the problem, you are ready to receive the solution that God has for you. So, look hard in the mirror and with all the authority you can muster, preach to yourself! Wag your finger and raise your voice if you like, but preach yourself a sermon. The psalmist’s sermon had three points. Point #1: Put your hope in God (42:5). Point #2: Put your hope in God (42:11). Point #3: Put your hope in God (43:5). When you preach to yourself, don’t stop until you have preached yourself under conviction. No one who trusts in God will ever be disappointed.

There is no better cure for depression than this. It worked for the psalmist. And it will work for you.

 

The ultimate cause of all spiritual depression is unbelief. For if it were not for unbelief even the devil could do nothing. It is because we listen to the devil instead of listening to God that we go down before him and fall before his attacks.—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

point to ponder Why are you discouraged?

prayer focus Strength to change the things you can change, to accept the things you can’t change, and to trust God in all things.

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