Summary: How the psalmist experienced depression and some ways to cope with it. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reason for Psalmists depression:
• Separation (vs 6)
• Attack (vs 3&10)
• Grief (vs 3,5 &7)
Remedies to the Psalmists depression:
• He prays (vs 9)
• He affirms God’s sovereign love (vs 8)
• He sings (vs 8)
• He preaches to his own soul (vs 5&11)
• He remembers past experiences (vs 4)
• He thirsts for God (vs 1-2).
• Martin Luther was a German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology;
• He was the pivotal figure of the 16th-century movement in Christianity;
• Known later as the Protestant Reformation.
• On one occasion Martin Luther once spent three days in a deep depression,
• Over something that had gone wrong.
• On the third day of his depression his wife came downstairs dressed in mourning clothes.
• Martin Luther asked her: "Who’s dead?"
• She replied; “God!”
• Luther rebuked her, saying,
• "What do you mean, God is dead? God cannot die."
• Luther’s wife replied: "Well, the way you’ve been acting I was sure He had!"
Throughout Christian history many deeply spiritual men and women have experienced depression:
• i.e. Charles Spurgeon, probably the most effective British preacher of his generation,
• Was immobilized for weeks at a time by depression.
• In a biography of the "prince of preachers", Arnold Dallimore wrote,
• "What he suffered in those times of darkness we may not know...
• even his desperate calling on God brought no relief.
• 'There are dungeons', he said, 'beneath the castles of despair.'"
• i.e. William Cowper (pronounced “Cooper”),
• The seventeenth century poet and hymn writer also suffered chronic depression.
• Cowper wrote many famous hymns in partnership with ex-slave-trader John Newton.
• He penned the classic hymns:
• “There is a fountain, filled with blood,”
• “GOD moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;”
• “Oh! for a closer walk with God”
• But in his period of deepest depression;
• He lacked assurance and even doubted if he was saved or lost!
• i.e. Soren Kierkegaard, the influential nineteenth century Christian writer;
• Who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher,
• If you read his works then you will need to keep a dictionary handy;
• He likes to use long and what we would call uncommon words.
• He too suffered chronic depression.
• i.e. J.B. Phillips the writer who penned his own New testament paraphrase says:
• “He wrote for the young people who belonged to my youth club,
• Most of them not much above school-leaving age,
• And I undertook the work simply because;
• I found that the Authorised Version was not intelligible to them."
• Later it was published more widely in response to popular demand.
• It is a great work that has stood the test of time.