Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cure for Depression

THE Christian life begins with conversion to Christ Jesus. In conversion there are always two sides. On the human side there is the act of receiving Christ as one's own personal Saviour. On the divine side there is a supernatural intervention by which regeneration is wrought. Conversion is a transition ; a coming "out of" one place and "into" another different place. By natural light and reason we can see only natural objects and truths ; but in the new light of regeneration we see and understand things spiritual and divine.

Cure for Depression.

"Why art thou (are you) cast down, O my soul? and why art thou (are you) disquieted within me ? hope thou (you) in God : for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. "
(sourced from book of Psalm chapter 42 verse 11)

MOST of us know something about seasons of depression. They can be a sore trial ; {do I hear the sigh, " A long moment ! " from someone whose cup of trouble has been filled to the brim? Perhaps at times we suffer more from the length than the strength of our trials. There seems no end to them-trials.}and how to deal with them-trials can be a wearying problem - new sets of trials. Notice the words which this psalmist uses of himself - "cast down " and "disquieted". The first looks backward, the second looks forward. The godly man had been "cast down" by what had already occurred. He was "disquieted" by what might yet be.

An airplane pilot can tell you of the various factors in the safe piloting of aircraft through unfavourable weather; similarly the psalmist also tell us much about piloting our hearts through squalls of depression.

See his SELF-INTERROGATION. He turns in upon himself with , " Why art thou (are you) cast down, O my soul?"
In times of depression it is wise to make our emotions give account of their behaviour before the united board of reason, judgment and conscience. This usually lays bare certain causes which can be counteracted. In the first strophe of this psalm we note three.

1.First, there was interrupted communion with God.
" My soul thirst for God, for the living God : when shall I come and appear before God?" This devout habitue at Jehovah's sanctuary was driven beyond Jordan, and ached to be back for his set times of devotion in Jerusalem. Even so , if you and I are really born again, we shall be the prey of depression if the new nature in us is denied communion with God. Never forsake fellowship with the living saints of the Living God.

2. Another source of the psalmist's gloom was misunderstanding by others.
"They continually say to me : Where is thy (your) God ? " Such misunderstanding , especially by those who are dear to us, like spouse, parents, siblings, child(ren), friends, can be dejectingly disconcerting, most of all when it concerns God's dealing with us.

3.The third contributor to this good man's depression was unhelpful brooding over the past. Let's read verse 4 : "When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me, I went with them to the house of God , with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holy day." It is a strange characteristic of our human nature that we find a tempting deliciousness in dwelling hopelessly on departed joys of yesterday/years. Almost always when we become broody we become moody. Check up your dictionary for the actually meaning of these two words, for people seldom use dictionary when they are in depression.

But now see the psalmist's SELF-EXHORTATION .
"Hope thou (you) in God ..." Self-interrogation leads to self-exhortation.
But is this self-exhortation as intelligent as it is brave? It is.
The trouble-beset writer has found the true source of hope.
First, he resolves that instead of merely remembering the past, he will fixedly remember God - "My soul is cast down within me ; therefore will I remember THEE (GOD)..."
Next, there is new confidence in God's sympathy , faithfulness and presence. "The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me." This is wonderful improvement : even in the night, a song !
Finally, there is the resolve to pray it through .
"I will say unto God, my Rock ... " To know his prayer, read this psalm 43 below.

Thus this godly man rose above his dark-cloudy depression into clear shining - " I SHALL YET PRAISE HIM" ! His circumstances were not yet changed for the better, but he himself was changed. No more depression. Does this speak to you and me?

Psalm 43

JUDGE me, O God, and plead my cause, against an ungodly nation : O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust men.
For Thou art the GOD of my strength : why dost Thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out Thy light and Thy truth : let them lead me ; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of GOD, unto GOD my exceeding joy : yes, upon the harp will i praise THEE, O GOD my GOD.
Why art thou (are you) cast down, O my soul ? and why art thou (are you) disquieted within me ? hope in GOD : for I shall yet praise HIM , Who is the health of my countenance, and my GOD.
(A psalm by David/Daud)

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