A shared post by Lasserre Bradley, Jr. from Baptist Bible Hour
In the midst of his troubles the psalmist speaks to himself and says, “Hope thou in God” (Psalm 42:5).
The troubles he describes were great. He speaks of weeping day and night, he fears he is forgotten by God, and his enemies reproach him till he feels as though he has been pierced with a sword. In our terminology today we would say he was depressed.
Depression takes on many forms and can come from a variety of causes. Most of us feel depressed at times, while others struggle with it for years. In verse seven of Psalm 42 the writer says, “All thy billows are gone over me.” He doesn’t identify the troubles but obviously feels overwhelmed by them as they come one after the other like the waves of the ocean. We get the picture of one who has been swept off his feet; he is struggling, and wonders how much more he can take.
Life is full of difficulties and disappointments.
There can be financial problems, marital conflicts, the stress and grief that comes when a child goes down the wrong path. It’s not uncommon today for young people to express great frustration because they want to be married and have been unable to find an acceptable spouse. Really there is no end to the list of things that can contribute to discouragement and depression.
James Boyce summarizes Martyn-Lloyd Jones’ book Spiritual Depression, and the factors that can contribute to depression:
“Temperament (some people are just more inclined to depression than others), physical conditions (we can be affected by adverse physical health), a down reaction after a great blessing (an example is Elijah after his great victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel), the attacks of Satan (one of his strategies is to get us to take our eyes off God), and simple unbelief (probably the most significant cause of all).”