Fighting Depression with Thankfulness

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. Psalm 42:5 KJV

Some of my favorite memories and best life lessons come from the decades I spent working high in the treetops. This morning as I was struggling with the Winter blues and feeling overwhelmed with doubts, I remembered fighting with a heavy limb directly over my head that I was cutting while suspended sixty feet above the ground. My options were limited and the consequences of failure high, but then my foreman called up to me, “Just get mad at it Pete!” His advice got my attention just long enough so I could focus my energy on the solution and not the problem. A tree limb was not what David was struggling with in today’s verse, but his advice sounds a lot like something my old foreman would have approved of. With every reason to be afraid and a laundry list of problems facing him, David decided that the best place to begin was his own soul. He just gets mad at it! “Hope thou in God!” he cries. “Stop whining! Praising God is what your job is, so let’s get with it” (Okay maybe I stretched the Hebrew a little thin here, but you get the idea!) Sometimes we just have to read ourselves the riot act. Our soul is always looking for an easy way out of problems, but no matter our situation or how long the journey, we have to remind ourselves from time to time that God has not left the scene. He is still worthy of our praise, and able to help us. Our job is to be thankful, even if it means getting mad at the situation so we can focus again and put our trust completely in Him!

I enjoyed this recent devotional testimony from Join Eareckson Tada on how she fights off depression. Her battles are far more severe than most of us are facing and I love her idea of making a list of things to thank God for. We are all fighting the same enemy and there is nothing he hates more than hearing how great our God is. So, “Get mad at it!” if it helps. Join David in telling your soul to get with it! You just might be amazed how God will answer and come to help in ways we never dreamed!

7 thoughts on “Fighting Depression with Thankfulness

    • Thanks Patty. I hadn’t thought of it quite so theologically but yes that is good. I also just get fed up with myself and break out of the complaint department prison with thankfulness for how much God has blessed us.

  1. This post is solid gold, Pastor Pete! I love the video when Joni says we have to “Fight for our joy.” We need to give ourselves a good talking too sometimes, like David did. “Put your hope in God my soul, for I will yet praise Him!”

    • He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20 KJV – This verse has helped me immensely in my own struggles. God’s word is our lifeline in a storm.

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