Lord, life and the people around me present me with a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities. I need Your wisdom today.
Read Psalm 142:1-7
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Prayer may not change things for you, but it sure changes you for things” (Samuel Shoemaker, 1893-1963).
Depression is both an ancient and universal malady. Psychologists have discovered that one common element in cases of depression is disappointment. Something happens that causes a person to lose their sense of hope, reality and focus.
Psalm 142 is a window into the ancient biblical world and pictures the author struggling with depression. The writer is presumably King David and we see his desperation and depression. He has become a fugitive, trapped by his enemies (6b) and abandoned by his friends (4). He describes his situation as like being imprisoned (7a). (See 1 Sam. 22:1,2.) The overwhelming disappointment he experienced has led to feelings of desperation and depression (3).
How does David handle all this? The disappointment with his friends leads him to turn to the Lord, his refuge (4b), the One who will respond to his desperate need. The psalm can be divided into two stanzas by this cry of desperation (1-4, 5-7). He is positive the Lord will respond to his cry. He is so positive he projects into the future the occasion when fellow believers will gather around him in encouragement when he offers thanks to the Lord for his deliverance (7). Note that there is no record of what the Lord’s response was.
Depression knows no educational, cultural or financial boundaries. It is one of the major health problems in the Western world and is experienced by almost everyone at one time or another. Our Christian faith gives us a place to turn to, however. Do as David did: face it, admit it (2), seek the power of God (5) and the presence of others to help you move through the valley of despair and discouragement (7b). God will respond out of his infinite love and wisdom.
Are you dealing with disappointments now? Cry out to the Lord and remember that when you pray, your loving Father is always listening.
Loving Father, when I feel alone, discouraged, and desperate, I need You to act for me. You are my refuge. You hear my cry.
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