How can I escape dark clouds of depression?
Clouds of depression affect millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike.
There are so MANY external and internal factors that trigger dark clouds of depression!
We can focus too long on the state of the world, the opposition to truth, or be overwhelmed by the suffering encountered. We can get out of balance physically... from needing more sleep to having a medical condition requiring doctors and medications. We can get out of balance emotionally... from dealing with a traumatic event to losing hope that things will change requiring professional help. We can get out of balance spiritually... from dealing with our body’s response of living in sin to attempting to manufacture our own happiness. It could be spiritual warfare or just be an ongoing feeling that doesn’t match our current circumstances... complicated to say the least!
Whether it is you or someone close, you are NOT alone and depression is NOT a death sentence!
Reach out to God! A personal relationship with Him is vital to dealing with the dark clouds of depression. We need Someone who can guide us when we can’t see... [Jesus said], behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:20
I have been encouraged by Psalms of the Bible when dealing with these dark clouds. Being depressed is not a sin, but our response can be! The author of Psalm 42 seems to understand and point us in the right direction.
Psalm 42, As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 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. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 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.
Here are some practical steps to escape dark clouds of depression based on the this Psalm.
Pour out your SOUL to GOD (v4) Verbally speak or write out your thoughts to God. It just has a way of untangling our thoughts and cleansing our spirit in preparation for help. Take a walk. Sit down with a journal. Dr. Caroline Leaf in Switch on your Brain says, “The design of the brain allows us to capture and discipline chaotic thoughts. Catching our thoughts is necessary because it calms our spirits so we can tune in and listen to God.” > Psalm 62:8, Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah > Lamentations 2:19, “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children
ANALYZE your HOPES (v5) Sometimes depression is self-inflicted, so it is important to examine our lives for the sources of our hope and happiness. King David wrote while fleeing from his oldest son Absalom who initiated a coupe. David had wrapped up his hope in the love of his family and the love of the people around him, so when it was gone, he realized it needed to be God > Psalm 3:3, But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory [hope], and the lifter of my head.
SIMMER in God’s TRUTH (v6-8) When you are going through a hard time, there is nothing as good as “feasting on the truth” of God’s Word. Read it. Listen to it. Memorize it. Post it. Meditate on it. Act on it. >John 8:31-32, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
PREACH the CROSS to Self (v9) D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are LISTENING to yourself instead of TALKING to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.” > If GOD is FOR me, who can be AGAINST me... self! >> God loves me enough to step out of heaven and sacrifice His life on the cross, so I might know a connection with Him... self! >>>Nothing can separate me from the love of God... Self! Romans 8:38-39, For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reducing clouds of depression is a process, not an event.
Listen to the complete message, HERE