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Summary: Part one of three-part series Emotions, this message deals with depression.

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Psalms 42:8 (NIV)

8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.

Through his anguish and depression, he reminds himself of a constant flow of God’s mercy, and that it is God who sustains him and keeps him alive.

Folks, see why this sounds cliché but it’s not? It’s not just about saying, “I’m so incredibly depressed – gee whiz, good thing God’s here to make it all better for me.” This is gritty. This is determination to cling to God and the promise of God’s presence while the writer and his countrymen are in exile in a country that has carried them off into slavery. This is searching loneliness. This is deep depression and emptiness and pain and loss. And this is how we who serve God today are to respond in our own darkness, in our own deserts. We are not only to read words like this in the Bible, we are to live by them – to repeat them again and again until God reassures us of his presence with us through them. How long would you have to read this until you began to believe it? Until you began to feel it? Read this with me.

Psalms 42:8 (NIV)

8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.

It’s not something we can say that will instantly make us feel better. It’s something we have to ingest – recite again and again, and let it get into us, until it brings with it the very presence of God that it promises. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4) You don’t live on physical food by saying, “Gee, I’m hungry,” then sucking on a mouthful of pizza for a moment, savoring the flavor, and then spitting it out. You put it in your mouth. You taste it. You chew it. And you swallow it. The job isn’t done until it’s inside of you, until it’s part of you, until there’s no difference between you and what you just ate. You live on food not merely in the sense that you eat it regularly, but you actually ARE what you have eaten. The energy in that food was converted by your body and used to build more of you. Take that however you wish!

We see the Psalmist repeating these things to himself again and again. I will yet praise him. In verses 9 and 10, he slips back into depression again, before once again snapping out of it in verse 11:

Psalms 42:9-11 (NIV)

9 I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Focus on that. I will yet praise him. I will yet praise him. I will yet praise him. I will yet praise him. I will yet praise him.

Notice what the Psalmist does not do. Nowhere in this Psalm is there a prayer for God to take away the depression. God, please make me feel happier. God, please lift the clouds. God, please fix this. Do you know why? This is my last point. It’s because God has already given you everything you need to get through difficult times. Look at this:

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