“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, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” -Psalm 42:11
Depression seems to be such a widespread issue today. It could be that it is simply talked about more than ever, but it seems that the statistics point to an overwhelming increase in reported cases of depression. I believe that depression is a part of life for a large number of people, and always has been. King Saul and King David are two examples of men who suffered depression in their lives. Often theirs was connected with a period of sin and rebellion, but for David, as he wrote Psalm 42, this was not the case.
David asked the question that many people who suffer from depression today ask, “Why? Why am I so down, so upset?” I don’t know that David ever found an answer to why his soul was disquieted within him. I do know that David found a healing solution that King Saul never discovered – praising God from the depths of depression.
David proclaimed, I don’t know why my soul is distraught, but I’m going to praise God anyway and He will be the health of my countenance (my personality). In other words, there may be no real cure for depression, but God can still be praised and He will be the balm that brings a soul-healing. So often today, we handle depression with medication before we search for unconfessed sin, before we work on the relationship with God, and before we search the soul for an answer.
There are times when medication may help the unexplainable depression that comes to a person’s soul as a result of a chemical imbalance. But shouldn’t we search for the possible spiritual cause first? King Saul’s depression was soothed by praise music. I don’t believe Saul was saved but there was a therapeutic effect brought on by the act of praise. David proclaimed as well that praise was wonderful medication for the soul.
God has given us the technology and wisdom to find medical cures for many psychological issues. I’m not for ignoring those medical discoveries, unless we use them to mask over our need for a searching of the soul. Let us first ask the Almighty to try our hearts, to search our souls, and to enlighten us to a possible spiritual cause. Then let us repent of sin and praise His name and let medication be the final step after a spiritual revival.
I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God!