White Horse Inn Modern Reformation

Depression-Anxiety in the Psalms

The Psalms treat depression more realistically than many of today’s popular books on Christianity and psychology. David and other psalmists often found themselves deeply depressed for various reasons. They did not, however, apologize for what they were feeling, nor did they confess it as sin. It was a legitimate part of their relationship with God. They interacted with Him through the context of their depression. (Steve and Robyn Bloem, Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You’re Losing It, p. 204) Through the psalms God allows us as his children to scream out our most agonizing questions in his presence: ‘Why, O Lord?’ ‘How long, O Lord?’ ‘O Lord, where is your former great love?’ Such language is not off limits in prayer, but is welcomed by a Father who, somewhere in his mysterious love, has a place for suffering. The psalms help us get through those dark valleys of perplexity where God cannot be seen and his ways cannot be understood. Then God graciously gives the eye of faith to penetrate the darkness of the cross in the light of the resurrection. Faith enables us to be certain of what we cannot see (Heb. 11:1). As the eye of faith peers up into heaven, it gazes upon him who is now crowned with glory because he suffered. It views the nail-scarred hands of him who ‘suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example, that [we] should follow in his steps’ (1 Pet. 2:21). It sees him saying, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). (Mark D. Futato, “Suffering as the Path to Glory: The Book of Psalms Speaks Today,” Modern Reformation March/April 1999, Vol. 8 No. 2)

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