Summary: This is a Psalm of comfort and consolation. It was written either during David's exile from Jerusalem, or during Israel's captivity in Babylon.


Scripture: Psalms 42 &43


This is a Psalm of comfort and consolation. It was written either during David's exile from

Jerusalem, or during Israel's captivity in Babylon.

Matthew Henry: Sometimes God teaches us effectually to know the worth of mercies by the want of them, and whets our appetite for the means of grace by cutting us short in those means.

Emotional depression has rapidly become a major health problem, not only among adults, but

even among children and teenagers. It is reported that there are two thousand suicides a day

around the world, and many of these are caused by depression. More than four million people

in the United States each year need special medical attention because of severe depression.

A. Depression can be related biological causes that are out of control of the affected individual.

Medical treatment is required. Chemicals may correct an imbalance.

B. The secular world is more susceptible to depression due to unrealistic expectations and

the lack of spiritual support in emotional upsets.

C. Call it what you will, Christians have their share of emotional problems. Remember point

A. Being saved does not correct biological problems. However, the expectations of

Christians should be more realistic and there should be constant support from the many

helps of Christ and His church.


A. Stop looking at yourself and start looking at God!

1. His thoughts were on himself. In Psalms 42 & 43 there are 51 personal pronouns:

14 I's 16 me's 21 my's

Compared to 21 mentions of "God" and the "Lord".

2. He was discouraged because his plans had not been fulfilled. He wanted

to join the pilgrims in their annual trip to the temple, but he could not

go (42:4).

3. His feeling had not been relieved (42:3). He was "feeding on tears" instead of

eating his meals.

4. His questions had not been answered.

a. Why art thou cast down?

b. When shall I come and appear before God?

c. Why hast thou forgotten me?

d. Why go I mourning?

e. Why dost thou cast me off?

f. Where is thy God?

Ten times the psalmist asked "Why?" and we have no record that God ever

gave him an answer.

5. God's people need to examine themselves and confess their sins, it is a dangerous

thing to look at yourself too much. One evidence of this selfish pride is that

we see ourselves no matter where we look. This explains why a change in

circumstances cannot of itself cure depression: we take our hearts with us.

* People try to overcome these emotional upsets by rearranging their situation:

a. Change jobs.

b. Change friends.

c. Change habits.

d. Change spouse.

6. The most important thing about any difficult experience is not that we get out of it,

but what we get out of it. If we are truly thirsting after God, and not just His

help and deliverance, then the experience that could tear us down will actually

build us up.

B. Stop looking at the past and start looking at the future.

1. When the present is difficult people look either to the past or to the future.

a. If we look to the future, we are trying to forget ourselves.

The lost have nothing to look forward to beyond the grave.

b. If we look to the past, we are usually pitying ourselves; and self-pity

is one of life's most destructive forces.

There is a right and wrong way to use the past:

(1) When we see God in our past, then the memory will be a


Yesterday God helped me;

Today He'll do the same.

How long will this continue?

FOREVER, praise His name.

(2) When we see ourselves, and when we start contrasting our

circumstances, then the memory will only

bring discouragement.

*The past must not be an anchor to hold us back; it must be

a rudder to guide us forward.

2. The answer to depression is hope. In the Bible, "hope" is not "hope so".

a. God's deliverance.

God will one day defeat the enemy and give victory (43:1).

M.H. --> Let not good men think it strange if they be exercised with many and various trials, and if they come thickly upon them; God knows what he does, and so shall they shortly.

b. God's presence and protection (43:2).

God may not change the circumstances, but HE will enable us to face

them and be adequate for them.

Philip Brooks: "O do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not

pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks."

c. God's direction in our lives (43:3).

He gives light in the darkness and leading in the decisions we must take.

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