3.30.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: King David’s Approach to Depression

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Today’s devotion could get me into trouble, so a few disclaimers.

  1. I don’t personally suffer from depression.
  2. Just because I don’t suffer doesn’t mean I don’t empathize, even if I don’t understand from a personal point of view.
  3. I am not pulling a Tom Cruise regarding medication for depression.
  4. Some of the people I love most in the world are on medication for depression or anxiety and this is not an affront to them or anyone else.
  5. I’m not a doctor and I’m not trying to diagnose anyone. Those who suffer from depression should most certainly seek professional help.

With all that said, I want to look at our signature verse today from Psalm 42:11.

It says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Many Biblical scholars believe that King David (who wrote this particular Psalm) suffered from both depression and PTSD.

Moses showed signs of depression.

Job is a classic example of it.

Elijah is thought to have had it.

Depression is very real.

But what I love about David’s approach in his psalms of lament is that he always circled back to his hope and faith in God.

This verse is a pep talk to David’s very soul with a deliberate choice to place his hope in God and praise Him anyway.

As stated, I don’t know from personal experience what it takes to muster up the strength to praise through depression, but I see much value in David’s approach.

I’m really nervous about saying something wrong here so I’m going to wrap up with some final thoughts…

Jesus made the blind see and the lame walk.

He is certainly capable of anything, including helping those who suffer from depression.

But just as the bleeding woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe had to believe, so does anyone, no matter their affliction.

And no matter what kind of affliction one suffers from, God may or may not offer the kind of healing one wants.

Paul suffered from an unknown “thorn in his side” that kept him focused and dependent on Jesus.

And Paul was okay with that because it helped highlight Jesus’ power through Paul’s weakness.

Today, as you pray, thank God for being greater than depression or any other disease or ailment.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for God’s will.

Ask Him to sustain you, and to equip you to praise Him through whatever circumstances you face.

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