Explore the Bible
August 27, 2017
In my ministry and my work in healthcare, I continually engage people who are discouraged, depressed and disconnected. This past year I participated in a fundraiser for the annual walk event for suicide prevention. The event raised funds for education, awareness and support for victims and their families. The theme was Out of the Darkness.
The individuals I work with and minister to often describe where they are in life as “a dark place.” This is exactly where we find David in Psalm 42. As David lamented, you get the sense that his depression had taken him to a very dark place. David said he was depressed and in turmoil (Psa. 42:5). He was not just depressed; he was “deeply depressed” (Psa. 42:6, HCSB).
David gave the reasons for his depression. Just as a deer thirsts for water during a drought, David’s soul thirsted or longed for God. So often depression has an underlying disconnect. David felt disconnected from the Lord. David knew that God was omnipresent, but he wanted a deeper and personal awareness of God in his life as he was going through these difficulties. This longing for God was intensified when the enemies asked him all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psa. 42:3, HCSB). This taunting caused him not to be able to eat. His tears were his only nourishment (Psa. 42:3). David painfully reflected on his separation from Jerusalem, public worship and his home (Psa. 42:6-8). He felt overwhelmed (Psa. 42:7).
David knew what caused his depression, and he also knew the cure. He asked himself why he was depressed (Psa. 42:5). He told himself, “Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God” (Psa. 42:5, HCSB). The cure is praising God and placing trust in Him. He repeated the cure in verse eleven.
This is a teaching psalm. David wanted to teach us a lesson. When we find ourselves in a dark place, depressed and disconnected, we often turn to secular solutions. We need to place our hope in God. This may sound too simple in human thinking, but it is God’s solution. There really is no one else who can pull us out of that dark place.