Focal Passages: Psalm 42:1-3, 6-8; 43:3-5
In Donald McCulley’s sermon – “Got Hope?” – he tells of a famous painting by G.F. Watt with the title of “Hope.” The painting pictures a poor woman against the world. Her eyes are bandaged so she cannot see ahead. In her hands is a harp, but all the strings are broken save one. Those broken strings represent her shattered expectations, her bitter disappointments. That one last unbroken string is the string of hope. She strikes that string and a glorious melody floats out over the world; it fills her dark skies with stars. The artist painted a great truth: Even when all else seems gone, you can still have hope!
Have you ever felt depressed? If so, then you will find good company in Psalms 42-43. These psalms are about a person who is desperately longing for God’s presence and rescue but is overwhelmed with feelings of depression. Water is a big theme in Psalm 42. This writer is feeling separated from God and he can feel it so much in his soul that he is like a thirsty animal, searching for water. He has a spiritual need in his life: a longing for God’s presence.
The psalmist cannot figure out why he is so depressed. He goes on to describe himself as “deeply depressed.” Now the theme of water returns – describing the depression, which he sees as a conspiracy of the waves that cascade over him and drag him to the bottom.
Depression is like that. You cannot breathe, cannot see your way out and you feel like you’re sinking fast. Even in the midst, he knows he must continue to look to God’s faithful love at all times.
Sometimes all we can do in the midst of depression is keep crying to God.
Ponder over two truths from this Psalm. First, depression can happen even to a believer. We are not immune from this struggle. Then remember that ultimately it is God who is our hope. We can trust in the promises of God that no matter what is happening around us, it will be okay because God is in control. God does have a plan, God does love you and he will see you through even this.