If we are depressed and cannot feel God’s presence, even when we don’t think we have done anything wrong, what should we do? Let’s learn from Psalms 42 and 43.
The author was very depressed. He felt God had forgotten him (v42:9). He didn’t think he had sinned, but he had lost his relationship with God and he was experiencing spiritual darkness.
What could have caused it?
First, he had lost his community. Previously, he was with a joyful, religious crowd, but now he was isolated in the mountains (v42:4,6). It is easier to feel depressed if we don’t have others’ support.
Second, bad things were happening to him, leading people to ask him all day long where his God was (v42:3). Gradually, he also asked God the same question (v42:9).
Third, he had lost his appetite (with tears as his food) and lost his sleep (crying all night) (v42:3).
Such setback, failure, and physical weakness, with no support, particularly when he didn’t know the cause, could have led to his depression.
How did the author get back up again?
Though the author felt down and out, he didn’t stop praying. Instead, he desperately searched for God, pouring himself out to Him (v42:1, 4). He also reminded himself to consider the love of God in his life (v42:6, 8).
Furthermore, he kept preaching to himself. Three times he questioned himself why he was so miserable. Three times, he told himself to put his hope in God (implying not in worldly things). And three times he said he would praise God, his Savior (v42:5, 11; 43:5, 3:3).
If we are depressed for a long period, we should take care of our health and find support from others. But it is much more important to keep praying to God, remembering His love as shown by Christ suffering for us. Also, we should keep asking ourselves why we are sad and remind ourselves to put our hope in God, praising Him as our Savior.
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon:
作者感到很沮丧, 觉得上帝已经忘记了他。 V42：9。他不认为自己犯了罪，因为至少他没有表达任何内疚。但是他已经失去了与上帝的关系, 经历心灵上的黑暗。
其次，坏事正在发生在他身上，导致人们整天都在问他上帝在哪里。 V42：3。渐渐地，他也问上帝同样的问题。 V42：9。
第三, 他食欲不振（以眼泪为食物）及失眠（整夜哭泣）. V42：3。
此外，他一直在向自己讲道。他三次问自己为什么如此沮丧。他三次告诉自己要将希望寄托在上帝身上（而不是在世俗的事物上）. 然后三次他期望他会赞美上帝, 他的救主。 V42：5,11; 43：5。诗篇3：3.
如果我们长期处于抑郁状态，要照顾好自己的身体并寻求他人的支持。但是，更重要的是不断向上帝祈祷，记住祂的爱, 记住基督为我们受苦。此外，不断问自己为什么感到难过，并告诉自己要将希望寄托在上帝身上，并不断期望会赞美我们的上帝, 我们的救主。