Thursday, June 19, 2008

John Piper on Spiritual Depression

Psalm 42

BOOK II : Psalms 42-72
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?

3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Taken from the NIV

I need passages like this more often than I would like to admit. This is a good sermon by John Piper:

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You can read the transcription of the full message here. I'm a guy, so I like to cut to the bottom line "how to's". From the sermon:

How the Psalmist Responds to Discouragement

1. He asks God Why?
2. He affirms God’s sovereign love.
3. He sings!
4. He preaches to his own soul.
5. He remembers past experiences.
6. He thirsts for God.

The thing I notice is that God understand that we will go through times of spiritual turmoil - and it's okay: not that we should dwell there, but that we should continue in truth and not be overcome by the struggle, whether the enemy is a physical one or spiritual one.

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