Depression is on the rise in our society. The Centers for Disease Control reports antidepressant use in the United States increased nearly 400 percent over the last two decades.
When faced with troubling emotions, most of us turn to modern medicine. In olden times, there was no Prozac! What are we to do? Take it to God! It seems our faith in God has diminished. We have difficulty believing in a God who is omnipotent; One who can cure all. We must remember that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1).
Our society looks upon those with depression as weaker vessels. Yet, if we look through the annals of history we find many a great person who was afflicted with this dreaded illness. Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary were both sufferers of what amounts to clinical depression. One greater comes to mind—King David. You say the David of the Bible?
Listen to David as he cries out to God in Psalm 6. He uses words like weary, sore vexed, weak, groaning, grief, and weeping to describe his feelings. He cried so much that his bed and couch are soaked with tears. This is a chronic issue as David describes these feelings other places in the Bible (Ps. 39 & 40:2). Certainly, these symptoms meet the modern-day criteria for a diagnosis of depression.
God has given mankind wisdom to develop medicine for this disease, but David did not have antidepressants. It is what he did, that is so crucial to receive healing from God. If medication be our lot, let us do so looking to God with an earnest expectation of healing in His time.
David would be the first to admit that we think too highly of ourselves. When David was compassed about by life’s hardships, his first step was to seek the Lord (Psalm 6:1). He turned his attention toward the Great Physician. Forget about the musings of mankind, they are filled with false hope. Without God, the healing process is doomed. It is like a mathematical problem; leave something out and it cannot be solved. Two plus two equals four, but man without God is zero.
Secondly, David asks the Lord to search him and reveal any sin in his life (Psalm 7). David is laying it all before the Lord. If we humble ourselves and honestly ask Him, then be prepared. God will reveal and provide help to the sincere.
Although we are incapable of fully describing God’s majesty, due to the finite limits of our mind, David makes a great attempt in this third step in Psalm 8. In spite of his afflictions, he praises God! We, likewise, must praise Him if we want the victory we desperately seek. Will we be heard singing, “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth” (Psalm 8:1, 9)? Peace can only be obtained by seeking, asking and praising God Almighty.