In Psalms 42 and 43 we find David in the deep, dark pit of depression. Because of all the superficial, always-be-positive cheap imitations of faith in our world today, the thought of a godly man having to deal with depression is unthinkable. Yet, there it is—three times the question of David reverberates: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5).
Hills and valleys, mountaintops and deep ravines are facts of geography upon this earth. They are also facts of the spiritual geography of one’s pilgrimage through life. Sometimes, Satan seeks to bombard and overwhelm us with an abundance of trials like he did Job.
David felt spiritually barren—like the thirst of an exhausted deer which had been chased ruthlessly by hunters (Psalm 42:1).
David’s “salt water diet” had taken its toll—his tears had been his food day and night (v. 3).
David’s enemies had bombarded him with vigorous attacks of doubt—they continually said to him, all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3, 10).
David’s memories of better days haunted him. He ached when he remembered when he used to go with the multitudes to worship in the house of God (Psalm 42:4).
David’s questions oppressed him—Why has God forgotten him? Why does he live in continuous mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? (Psalm 42:9).
Life is not all peaches and cream. Spiritual victory does not come by strolling in a park of soft grass and clear blue skies. Sometimes it necessitates a strenuous, dogged, steep climb out of the deep, dark pit of depression.
Three times David describes how to do it: “Hope in God. For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5).