A Psalm to Heal Depression

Throughout my years of darkness and shame, I held fast to the words of the Lord in Psalm 107.  It was my song.  This past week as Nancy and I were doing our tea party talk show, the Lord quickened my spirit.  I had nearly forgotten this psalm because I have been so set free.

It was to these pages in the Bible that I would turn each day when my mind was tossed to and fro and I was gripped with depression.  I was held as a prisoner to my past and some days I could barely catch my breath, yet, even then, I wanted healing so badly that I read these words because I was crying out to the Lord in my trouble all the while believing for my deliverance.  Speaking this into my darkened heart each day helped my mind to come into the captivity of Christ.

I am not sure why the Lord brought this back to my mind this week.  I had an interesting week.  There was a moment that my mind went back because something happened.  In a moment I was brought back to that dark place and I had to proclaim Jesus even so.  It is a choice.  I won’t let the devil steal my joy again.  Never again.

The painting you see above was painted when I was about 20 years old when I came to the realizing that God was dwelling in my heart and driving out the darkness and shame bit by bit.  It was in the form of a daisy I picked one day as I saw my life.  My center a glowing sun with the brightness of the glory of God, each petal withered and and dying until I plated myself in his life giving waters. The center bringing life to the petals, making each one white and pure.

We are free.  Yet so many are reading and you are not free.  If you battle with the chains of depression, you are in a prison.  I feel so led to proclaim Psalm 107 over you today, verse by verse and as you take it in, allow the Lord to speak into your heart.  This has taken me a couple of weeks to prepare, and with much prayer, I pray you take hold of his mercies and his goodness!

His Loving Kindness Endures Forever. (all of Psalm 107, verse by verse)

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

So many of us have been redeemed.  I remember when I was first redeemed from the hand of the enemy, when I took my first breath as a new creature in Christ.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of who we are and that we are redeemed.  We need to say it.   We need to speak this aloud.  Even when we do not feel redeemed in our mind, we can say it until our mind submits to it.

And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

When we are depressed, I tell you, it is a very lonely feeling.  That is where the devil wants us.  He wants us to withdraw into a very solitary way.  It makes us an easier target for him to destroy us.  It is like a downward spiral.  It can be.  I have found that when I have felt this way, I felt that I was a complete reject and that I could find no place where I could fit in.  Maybe you can relate.

Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

It is a very hungry and thirsty feeling.  Your very soul feels like it is dying inside of you.  So hungry for love and acceptance that you could wither away.  It is a real feeling. Yet…

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

Cry unto the LORD in your trouble.  I would cry and cry and cry out to the Lord in my troubles and believe that He will deliver me out of my distresses.  One by one.  Even when I did not see deliverance right away, I held fast to this hope.

And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

He will lead us by the right way if we trust him.  It took a lifetime to understand this.  I have found many cities of habitation.  Many times where I saw the hand of the Lord leading me here and there and with these people and then other people.  You find a place and you might even feel like you fit in for a time.  He has you there for a reason and a purpose and He may close that door but if you finally get to the realization like I have that my home is in heaven, you begin to trust in Devine intervention.  When God leads, opens doors, closes doors, and then opens others.  You just sit back and notice these things after awhile and trust in the process.  I guess some of us, meaning myself, are meant to be a pilgrim wandering from place to place.

Oh that we would just accept His marvelous ways that are hard to understand, and praise him for His goodness through what may come.  He does satisfy our longing, dry, hungry, lonely souls with goodness.  I am so thankful that even through times of pain and anguish, there are those moments that are undeniable Jesus moments where you feel FULL and see full circle his perfect plans.  And they are good.  Trust me!

Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.

When you are in that moment of your lowest point, and so discouraged, you almost feel like you are standing in a shadow, like a dark cloud looms over your head.  I have often felt that dark cloud.  Somedays I did not even know why I felt so afflicted and so bound and it literally felt strange like I was in a cloud or shadow of death.

I want to say something point blank.  We do rebel against the word of God when we believe we are something we are not.  If we put ourself down and say we are worthless, what a slap in Gods face!  He calls us beloved, he calls us his children, he calls us redeemed, he calls us by name.  If we call ourselves anything other than that we condemn the council of the most High God who is the true giver of life and truth over your life.

It truly begins to feel so utterly lonely when no one is there to help because no one understands where we are at in our minds.  It gets so frustrating to even try to figure out how to get back up.  I have had times where I felt so worthless that I felt if I died the world would be happier.  What an outright Lie from the pit of hell!

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

I remember the time I crawled around like a worthless worm around my bedroom floor reaching my arms to God to save me.  He heard me and saved my soul and saved me out of my distress!  He brought me out of the darkness and the feeling of being worthless into his glorious light.  The prison I held myself captive in was of my own doing.  He broke the bars so I could be free.  I am so excited to proclaim that God is able to brake anyone free!  It is amazing to walk in victory and freedom from prison!

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

So many times I have gotten myself into my messes.  I get in the middle of things and I say more than I should.  There are times I regret being around people at all.  Where there are those that by each touch, they turn everything to gold, I have often made things so complicated and gotten so involved with things that I end up the bad guy.  I have been afflicted.  When my flesh gets in the way, my mouth or actions get involved where I should not, I eat the fruits of my own calamity.  In those moments I have felt the cool sting of deaths door knocking and my heart fainting.  I feel so guilty I could die.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Yet I cry unto the LORD, even when I am guilty, even when I do not deserve any sort of comfort.  Our God is so good that He answers the painful cries of those who get to the end of their rope, the end of themselves, in all their shame and guilt to lovingly restore them.  Isn’t that marvelous grace we have?  I know it is!  It is time for you to realize this so you can be forgiven you can in turn forgive yourself in the process and heal.

This is the moment we give a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving when all seems lost.  We offer up our thanksgiving even when we do not feel thankful.  It seems so hard and strange to start pouring out our words of gratitude when we feel in a muck of trashy, belittling, and pitiful thoughts.  I always start with my eyes.  I am not sure why it is my eyes.  When I feel down, I say, “Thank you God so much for giving me eyes to see! I am so blessed that I get to look at things that are so beautiful, like my children, colors, nature, clouds in the skies, water, fields, animals, and light.”

It is like a snowball effect after that.  I go on to praise God for my ears to hear the music, the rustling of leaves in the breeze, the voices of my children, the birds singing, the sound of water rushing over the rocks, and even the sound of food sizzling.  That brings me to my nose which is so incredible to me that I can smell things like food cooking, flowers blooming, the smell of a new born baby, the smell of puppy breath, the smell of freshly mown hay, and even the smell of fire burning.

When you get on a roll, the sacrifice of thanksgiving gets so much easier because you forget all your troubles and start realizing just how blessed you are that you even have legs and feet, arms and fingers, hair to comb, clothes, a roof over your head, food to eat, a soft bed to sleep in when others are cold, naked, and hungry.  It just takes a minute to put your mind straight from all that so-called depressing thoughts.  Wow, how refreshed you will feel when you want what you already have.  It is a choice and a point of perspective, ALWAYS.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

God is the God of Everything, all of creation, even the God of the storms that rage.  All things in his perfect purpose.  Sometimes the storms knock us down hard.  We melt because of the trouble we are facing.  We go to and fro, we waver like the waves of the sea and do not know what to do next.  I sometimes feel my heart will stagger like the drunken man.  Dizzy with fear and shame.  It is those times that we get to our wit’s end where we just can’t imagine a good outcome at all.  It seems completely impossible in every way.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

I remember crawling around the floor at the early age of 15 weeping and groaning within.  I had no faith, no reason to live, no one who understood, and a plan to end it all.  That is where I cried out to the Lord.  My life changed after that.  He is real.  I saw his glorious light that dark evening.  His blood cleanses, heals, and redeems.  He calms the waves of disbelief, despair, and discouragement.  He brings us into his glorious rest, our haven of pure peace.  We are a part of his family, we are his child, and so we are not alone.  He gave us his comforter, the Holy Spirit.  We are now never alone, he is with us.

When I was living in the mountains of Peru, I will never forget this feeling of God being with me there.  It was like I took him with me all the way across the world.  It sounds funny, but I really had to sit and think about that concept.  Not growing up with teachings on Christianity, how was I to know.  I just knew.  It was pretty incredible to feel the presence of God from near and far.  It makes the old saying true, “Wherever I lay my head is home!”  I felt home.  I felt with God.   Everywhere I go, he is with me and I am in my desired haven.  Thank you Jesus!

Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

God is just.  He will take care of those that trust him.  We need not worry about our adversaries. God can exact for them their own destruction.  If they be in the wrong, know that God sees everything.  They may not receive the reward from their iniquity and that is because God is reserving it and storing up his wrath.  One thing I realized is that I am only responsible for what I do, thank God!  When I get some chastisement from the Lord I see it as a very loving thing.  That shows how much he cares. He cares enough to make me grow and transform a little at a time instead of what the wicked people have to look forward to, their eternal punishment. They may have it easier in this life than I do. They may get to have their time of being right in their own mind, having things their way, but one way or the other they will have to pay for it.  He already paid for my sins past, present, and future.

If you know a person who seems like they get away with doing evil and they seem to prosper, that is all they get.  Feel sorry for them.  It is a sad thing when a person gets away with sin.

He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.

In turn God has the power to bless you greatly. We really do not deserve it, but he still offers blessings to his children.  I know that I have more than I deserve, He has chosen to increase the fruits of our labors.  If you look around you, you may find a million things that are going right, right before your eyes that you overlook each day. We are all so blessed.  Even the poorest person in the world can thank God for a million things.  Sometimes it is the poorest of the world that sing the loudest praises because they have nothing but God to go to for help and they are full of joy for the littlest things.

Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

If all you have is Jesus, that is EVERYTHING.  You can be a prisoner, persecuted for Christ, beaten and in chains, have no-one, have nothing to hold in your hands, you can’t pinch even a penny in your fingers, yet having that free gift of salvation, you know God is there for you, you feel like the richest and most blessed.  You know that your trials are temporary and you can survive and thrive in your spirit because you know God is real and that His inheritance is waiting for you.

I know a woman who is surrounded by junk yet she finds the beauty of it all.  She makes her home the palace of beauty and joy within her means.  She chooses to see herself as the richest woman in all the world and I can tell you that she believes it.  It may not look like it to others, but she is rich beyond anyone’s measure.  I know she will always be happy no matter what comes her way because she has an incorruptible treasure hidden in her heart.  She is an inspiration to me.

The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Incline your heart to this wisdom from this Psalm.  You may say, “Erin, you do not know what I am going through. It is not as easy as you make it seem!”  It is not easy.  It will take work.  It will take every ounce of grit to push past things and read this chapter every day, thank God for all that you have, to cause these truths to penetrate your longing soul.  A practice like this will seem silly and hard to start but it will be a good habit.  You will be training your mind to think on things above and not on things below.  Little by little it will heal your mind and God will speak to you, fill you to overflowing, and you can go on to teach others the same.

God bless you dear, precious children of God.  I pray you have been encouraged by this message.

 

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3 thoughts on “A Psalm to Heal Depression”

  1. Hi Erin, I have been coming back to this post over the last few months. I have also been listening to the Tea Part Talk Show, especially with Vang and Nancy. I am thankful for this post…It really is what I am hanging onto right now. We are having a hard time and so thank you for the work you put into this.

  2. Dearest Erin
    Holy Spirit is busy forming a personal family prayer book in my heart. I have a couple of Bible passages already and I am definitely going to add this one to the book.
    Thank you so much for this incredible blessing.
    I love you so much dear sister in Christ.

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