The Devil’s Toolbox Part One: Depression – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – Psalms 36 – 39 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 John 1 – 5; Psalms 111 – 115; Proverbs 23)

Read the “0623 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” (Psalm 38:17-18)

Good morning. King David was ready to halt (ready to fall). With his eyes on himself all he could see was sorrow continually before him. In verse 18, he says that he would declare his iniquity, and be sorry for his sin. But when would his sin be forgiven? David was ready to fall deeper into sin, and take the suggestion of Job’s wife: to curse God and die. He sounds like he is under attack by the devil’s favorite tool – depression. After just finishing up the book of Job, we find Job also getting depressed: wishing he never was born. And we know Job was innocent and under attack by the devil. And we know that David pleaded guilty and was sorry for his sin. Depression can be brought on by your circumstances and also your sin. Depression affects over 15 million Americans per year. And it’s a leading cause of disability. How can we recognize it in ourselves, or in others? Healthy Way has an article called 12 Common Symptoms Of Depression That Shouldn’t Be Ignored, which was eye opening to me. Let’s take a look at them and compare them to King David in our reading.

1)You are always tired.

King David got tired and weary of the fight. He was ready to quit, give up, throw in the towel…

For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.” (Psalm 38:17)

Here is an example of a situation that David found himself in, and what he did…

And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” (1Samuel 30:1-6)

David went to God with his problem that was causing his depression and making him weary…

And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1Samuel 30:7-8)

And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” (1Samuel 30:16-19)

You can struggle and become weary trying to solve problems in your own strength. Bring them to the LORD, for without Him ye could do nothing.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1Peter 5:6-7)

2) Everyone and everything annoys you.

King David wrote in Psalm 37…

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:7-11)

If you let everything and everyone that annoys you, get to you, push your button, then you will become like them. Rest in and wait patiently for the LORD.

3) You sleep too little or too much.

There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:3-4)

There was little rest for David because of his sin. But…

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John1:9)

4) Eating is an issue.

Matthew Henry in his comments on Psalm 107:18 said…

When people are sick their soul abhors all manner of meat; they not only have no desire to eat nor power to digest it, but they nauseate it, and their stomach is turned against it. And here they may read their sin in their punishment: those that doted most on the meat that perishes, when they come to be sick are sick of it, and the dainties they loved are loathed; what they took too much of now they can take nothing of, which commonly follows upon the overcharging of the heart with surfeiting and drunkenness. And when the appetite is gone the life is as good as gone: They draw near unto the gates of death; they are, in their own apprehension and in the apprehension of all about them, at the brink of the grave, as ready to be turned to destruction.” (Matthew Henry)

I remember seeing a cartoon in the newspaper. The caption said, “When depressed, administer chocolate.”

Depression can make you run to food for comfort, or can make you feel so sick you don’t want to eat. What do you do? Pray…

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:18-21)

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you allowed the Holy Spirit to lead you, and you went to God first before acting on your own? What amazing things could the church of Christ accomplish for the LORD!

5) You are in pain everywhere.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.” (Psalm 38:5-7)

David’s pain here was caused by his foolishness. Sin, once again will cause depression, and depression will cause your body pain. Confess it and allow God to heal you.

6) You don’t care that you look messy.

Another stressful source of depression for David was when he sinned with Bathsheba and their baby was born…

“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2Samuel 12:11-23)

David fasted and laid on the ground before the Lord for 7 days, weeping for his child. But the child died. What did David do? He got up, he washed himself, he anointed himself, changed his clothes, then went into the house of the LORD to worship. After this he went to his own house and had something to eat. But look at David’s last statement here. He says that he will go to his child, but his child would not return to him. There is something very comforting in knowing you have a loved one in heaven. One day you will see that loved one again. Isn’t salvation great?! Do your loved ones know you are saved? Do you want them to suffer in thinking you are in hell? You need to tell them. You need to tell them about Jesus. How He is the only one who can get them to heaven and see you again.

7) You are hiding.

You can’t physically hide from God. He knew where you would be this very second long before you were even born. Maybe you are trying to hide by not praying, you’re embarrassed by your sin, and don’t want to talk to the only one who can forgive it. He already knew what you would do even before the foundation of the world.

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3-4)

The next 2 verse give the solution…

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” (Psalm 32:5-6)

8) Nothing interests you.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:1-11)

King David didn’t want to know anything but where God was. His enemies would ask him all day long: where is your God? But David had faith, David had hope…

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)

9) You are beating yourself up.

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.” (Psalm 6:1-7)

David was weak, his bones and his soul were vexed. He would cry all night to the LORD. He was down on himself: he was beating himself up. What could he do? Pray…

Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.” (Psalm 6:8-10)

10) You are forgetful and have trouble concentrating.

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” (Psalm 77:1-10)

Can man forget his Creator, Almighty God, his Saviour? We do it all the time. By stealing His glory in taking credit for a job well done. By putting things before Him: oops, slept late, have to read my Bible later. Isn’t it funny how later never comes? What can we do? If someone starts talking to me and compliments me, I already have it in my pea brain to say praise the LORD. Praise the LORD for without Him I can do nothing. I will remember my LORD, and what He’s done for me. And I will tell others…

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:11-13)

11) You feel numb.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” (Psalm 25:16-18)

David was desolate and afflicted. Have you ever felt alone. You can’t realy get a grasp on things going on around you. You feel numb. If I had a dollar for every missed opportunity I had to give glory to God, I’d have an awful lot of money to account for. Many times I have to pray and ask the LORD to keep me aware of just what is going on around me. There have been far too many times I could have done this, or why didn’t I do that? The best answer to this is to seek God first and walk in His Holy Spirit.

12) You think about dying.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” (Psalm 116:3-8)

God still has something for me to do. You know how I know that? I’m still here…

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

Everyone dies at their appointed time. How? It doesn’t matter, when does. Like I said earlier, God stopped creating on day 7. All the things that made you you were stored up in Adam and Eve. Say you decided to commit suicide? When you died, that was your appointed time. What if you changed your mind. God already knew that it was not your appointed time, and has more wonderful works prepared for you to walk in. God knows everything, and everything is going according to His plan.

If you are going to flee because of depression, then flee to God…

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 43:1-5)

Peace.


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