“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25
If God promises He is near to the brokenhearted, (Psalm 34, 106, 147, Is. 61) then we must acknowledge that there are broken hearts. At times, every one of us has experienced a form of a broken heart; that feeling of overwhelming sadness, burdened by sorrow, grief from failure or defeat. Whether it was just a disappointment of an unfulfilled wish or a horrific loss, there is no getting around it, all of us is familiar with some sort of broken-heartedness. Disguised in dejection, discouragement, melancholic blue feelings, despair and hopelessness; broken-heartedness sometimes has you in the middle of a season of depression before you even realize you are there.
Depression darkens the door of even steadfast Christians. There is a fog that tenaciously covers a sense of our hope, our joys and our happiness. Whether spiritually, emotionally or physically driven, it is really of no consequence when you are in the middle of this cloud. When the cloud of depression starts to suck me in, I have a plethora of other emotions driving the downward spiral. As a Christian I am terrified. I am consumed by the very thoughts of the truths that have ministered to my faith in the past. My broken-heartedness causes shame and doubt and fuels unbelief. I question my faith.
Preaching to myself that my hope and joy are not found in how I feel, I remember Jesus himself was a man of sorrow. He experienced loss, rejection, and broken-heartedness. I know that depression is part of life in a broken and fallen world. Satan’s assault, distressing circumstances, sin, or from chemical or genetic characteristics; it doesn’t really matter to my heart; it manifests in the same darkness to my soul and a numb condition that I cannot shake. Joy remains out of my reach.
Reading the Psalms, I know that David too experienced dark and despairing times. In Psalm 6 his “soul also is greatly troubled” he is “weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” In Psalm13 David has ”sorrow in my heart all the day.” “I am lonely and afflicted.” The “troubles of my heart are enlarged,” he bemoans in Psalm 25. “Bring me out of my distresses,” he begs the Lord. The 42nd Psalm finds him asking, “why his soul is cast down”, he cries about his “turmoil and oppression”. Again in 107 the “needy are afflicted.” And these are just a scant sampling of the discouragement we find in the Psalms
God made us with emotions. He is not displeased or alarmed by them. In the midst of the outcry of emotions, we are not always mindful of our words and with our theology, yet, God is there with us in the depression. Romans 8 promises, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, (including depression) will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” My darkness is not dark to my God. My feelings of hopelessness don’t nullify that there is hope. He sees me in all my gloom and despair. He is there. He is patiently waiting, working, transforming. My hope, my joy is not found in what I can “do” to get out of these feelings, but my hope is in what Jesus has already done. Jesus lived a perfect life for me, died for me, and rose from the grave for me. Jesus has overcome sin and death! He promises “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” and , “in me you may have peace.” (John 16:20,33) My heart may be heavy, but my feet are on the rock.
I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3
My faith has been rattled, matters weigh heavy on my heart, my life is suddenly fraught with grief and hard circumstances. Uncontrollable situations have robbed happiness and I am being tempted with unbelief. I am in a dark place. It may last for a moment; it may last for a long while. I know, because I have been here before. So I press into His word and the words of David, “I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.” (Acts 2:25-27) I feel shaken, so I pour over the words of 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7, my “hope for YOU is unshaken, for we know that as YOU share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” I plead that, the “God of hope fill (me) with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit (I) may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13) For now I may feel that I have hopelessly lost my way, but He is not moved. My soul is secure.
Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost our way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way
You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for
©Dawn Rodgers, Eric Wyse https://youtu.be/oh_SXjN-AAs