"When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted." AND YET... Encouragement from Psalm 77

Trusting through the Agony

Do you think people in Biblical times didn't suffer depression? Do you believe those who faithfully love God never fall into the pit of depression? Read the psalms...

Do you think people in Biblical times didn’t suffer depression? Do you believe those who faithfully love God never fall into the pit of depression? Read the psalms

Asaph’s Agony

We read Psalm 77 this week for Listen When He Speaks.

I was reminded again of how people in Bible times suffered from depression, too. Even ones of great faith, who trusted God whole-heartedly.

In Psalm 77, the psalmist Asaph poured out his brokenness. He cried out to God and prayed all night, but found no relief. It seemed God would not listen, and all the good in Asaph’s life was past.

Asaph believed God had turned His back on him. He doubted he could rely on God’s promises.

I know this feeling. This hopelessness. 

My delusion in the despair of suicidal depression is that I am beyond grace.

Depression is not unique to me. Or to you. We are not the first to believe things will never get better.

We need to come out of the shadows and share how we have survived. How we can have hope and trust God even when we know we may fall back into the pit.

God hasn’t taken away my mood disorder, but His grace brings me through and He gives me tools to be as healthy as possible with the glitch in my brain.

He gives me Himself.

Asaph’s Answer

What did Asaph do with his agony, his despair?

He thought about God’s faithfulness. And praised Him for His power, and the awesome things He had done.

Throughout the Old Testament we see the importance of remembering and reminding. God established rituals and celebrations, and had His people set up memorials. Remembrance and celebration of the realities of God’s holiness, might, and provision were built into the Israelites’ unique culture. He intended future generations to see these things and ask questions, to learn their history of God’s faithfulness, and, in asking and receiving answers, remind their elders.

As He did for the Israelites at the Red Sea, God provides a way where there seems to be no way, even through the despair of severe depression.Asaph remembered his people’s redemption, and their amazing journey on a pathway through the sea. God created a way where there was none. God provided a way through the impassable. God didn’t shove His out of slavery to make their way on their own, He led them. He created an extraordinary way, and guided them safely through.

Weathering a bout of severe depression can feel like the description of God’s power displayed when He brought His people through the Red Sea. Roiling waters, pouring rain, rumbling thunder, lightning, a whirlwind, an earthquake. Through which, God created a pathway, “…a pathway no one knew was there!” (verse 19, NASB).

Maybe you can’t see the way through the storm you’re in today. But that’s okay. Really, it is. Your responsibility is to wait until God shows you the way, then follow. He’ll bring you through. Maybe not without scars, but He’ll bring you through. And those scars? He’ll make them beautiful. You just need to trust. Even when you can’t.

Read more about God’s faithfulness through the agony of suicidal depression:

Suicide Prevention Week: My Story

Suicide Watch: The Story of My 40th Birthday

After Suicide Watch: Three Years and a Day

Even at My Worst, I was Never Alone

 

Read more about Faith and Mental Illness

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