Summary: When you’re depressed, remember to take advantage of the spiritual antidepressants in the words of Jesus. Find your joy, hope, and friendship in the Lord Jesus and speak against the sadness that seeks to steal your joy.
Finding Encouragement Through Discouraging Times
(John 15:11-15:13)"These things I have spoken to you so my joy may be in you."
Illustration: David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. --1 Samuel 30:6
Talking to oneself is something many people ridicule in others and vow they’ll never do themselves. They assume it’s a sign of losing touch with reality. In light of what we read today in Psalm 42, though, let’s think about it.
Before the psalmist talked to God about his depressed soul, he talked to his depressed soul about God. He said, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance" (v.5). David was talking to himself, but he certainly was not losing his mind. His words sound like someone in touch with reality!
Once I urged a new Christian to testify to others about the change that Jesus had made in his life. I knew that his own faith would be encouraged as he talked to others. He agreed with my suggestion, but he surprised me by saying, "I even testify to myself!"
When you’re depressed, remember to take advantage of the spiritual antidepressants in the words of Jesus. Find your joy, hope, and friendship in the Lord Jesus and speak against the sadness that seeks to steal your joy. (Our Daily Bread)
To change your outlook, remember who’s looking out for you.
1. Paul wrote, Because we have encouragement in Christ. Because we have loads of consolation in love. Because we have sufficient supplies of affection and compassion. Because we constantly enjoy fellowship in the Sprit. As a result of our taking this spiritual inventory let us make everyone’s joy complete by being of the same mind, united in spirit, intent of Christ’s purpose - to give God the greatest glory possible with our lives. We can do this best by having the mind of Christ, viewing and responding to life as He would. (Phil. 2:1-5)
2. Let us follow the example of Job, who wrote, "Songs in the night bring light during the darkness.
3. JOY HELPS US PRAY. REJOICE EVERMORE; PRAY WITHOUT CEASING IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS CONCERNING YOU. (I THES 5:16-18) If you are having problems rejoicing it may be connected to the fact that you are not thankful for all that you have. It could also mean that you have failed to appropriate the power of prayer.
4. Remember the famous words of the song, "O, what peace we often forfeit. O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry. Everything to God in prayer."
5. Remember the words of the song, "There is joy in serving Jesus. Joy that triumphs over pain. Joy that fills my heart with singing. Every hour and every day."
6. Do not let frustrations, discouragement or disappointments accumulate like dust, building up a hedge of bitterness in your mind. Instead, follow the command, "Casting ALL your care upon Him for He cares for you." (I Pet. 5:7)
7. Remember the words of the famous hymn writer, "Just when I need Him, Jesus is near. Just when I falter, just when I fear. Ready to help me. Ready to cheer. Just when I need him most.
8. Remember how in 2 CRON. 20:21-26 - WHEN AN INVADING ENEMY IMPERILED JUDAH, SINGERS WERE APPOINTED TO JOIN THE DEFENDING ARMY. WHEN THE LEVITES BEGAN TO PRAISE THE LORD WITH LOUD VOICES IN THE VALLEY OF BERACIAH, the enemy was defeated. They sang and praise God in advance believing that He would fight the battle and give them the victory.
9. Remember John Wesley who wrote, "I DO NOT REMEMBER TO HAVE FELT LOWNESS OF SPIRIT FOR ONE QUARTER HOUR. When I SEE GOD SITTING UPON HIS THRONE RULING ALL THINGS WELL." HE FOUNDED THE METHODIST CHURCH ~ SERVED FOR 40 YEARS and never ceased preaching Christ as the Head of His worldwide parish.
9. Remember to sing the words of the chorus, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. With my mouth will I make known, Thy faithfulness, they faithfulness. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
10. Remember the inspiring words of David in Psa 112:1,2 - BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO FEARS THE LORD, WHO FINDS GREAT DELIGHT IN HIS COMMANDS. HE WILL HAVE NO FEAR OF BAD NEWS HIS HEART IS STEADFAST TRUSTING IN THE LORD.
11. Remember the words of David who wrote, in Psa. 16:11, "YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE PATH OF LIFE; YOU WILL FILL ME WITH JOY IN YOUR PRESENCE, WITH ETERNAL PLEASURES AT YOUR RIGHT HAND.