Going from great joy to deep depression.
Going from feeling God’s love to feeling as if He has left/abandoned or forsaken you.
Psalm 42 Explains David being yearning for God while in deep depression or as he calls it being “downcast” v. 5 in his soul and having feelings of hopelessness.
David while feeling downcast had memories. He “remembers” v.4 going to church and feeling so joyful that he would shout for “joy and praise“. Yet now he is in tears all day and is downcast.
David who was a man after God’s own heart went from great joy and happiness in the presence of God to crying and feeling disturbed within not just all day but he says “day and night” v.3
In today’s world of psychology and not Biblical counseling they would say that David was bipolar. Having deep lows and high highs and would give him medication. But what is David’s answer to his being downcast?
He knows the future so he preaches to himself!!
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” 42:5
This thought David has not only once but twice so he repeats it at the end of the Psalm. David preaches to himself the same thing again. The great shepherd of God’s people is shepherding his own heart by preaching to it to put his hope in God. David knows these horrible feelings won’t last. David knows that he will yet praise God with joy in his heart again but for now he is longing for him as a dear pants for streams of water so he preaches to himself again.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” 42:11
Praise the Lord for Him loving your holiness! What’s going on here? David is longing for God. To sense His love. David wants to not be downcast.
Oftentimes God withdrawals our ability to sense His Love so that our desire for him will increase. We often need our desire for God to increase because we desire to stay in one sin or another. If you desire God and want a closer relationship with Him we must “Draw near to God and he will draw near to us.” James says we do this by cleansing our hands and purifying our hearts, having high views of God and being humble.
But when we continue in sin we are desiring the temporal pleasure of that sin over denying ourselves and pleasing God. Our desire for God and to please Him is less than our desire to please ourselves. This provokes God to jealousy and He withdraws the sense of his Love in our hearts and we sense his displeasure due to our sin which is only temporary.
How long these painful feelings of separation from sensing God’s love and grace lasts is totally up to God. But those feelings of separation breed desire for God, a hunger for Him and holiness. They tend to cause us to repent of any known sin we are living in because our hunger for God increases during that time and our hatred for sin increases leading to a holier heart and life. Hebrews 12:7-11 “No discipline is pleasurable at the time but produces holiness.”
So our hope is based on the character and promises of God. Jesus promises that He will never utterly “leave nor forsake us.” This He promises and He is faithful. So when downcast think of the Faithful Promiser and put your expectation in the fact that God will fulfill his promise. Hope defined is “expectant faith”. Faith that expects something in the future based on the character and promises of God. This is how David knew the future, that he would yet praise God. “for I will yet praise Him.”
Im preaching this to myself. I have been very low lately in the mornings but by the time I finally get out of bed and worship Im fine. But I tell you what, some mornings are worse than other’s.
My brother committed suicide about a year ago and I was the one who found him by God’s grace. We both had a rough life growing up and he couldn’t take it any longer. He was not a Christian and had no hope. Blood was everywhere and he even wrote the suicide not in his own blood on the mirror. I didn’t sleep for days because I couldn’t shut my eyes. All I saw was blood and all I felt was fear. When I saw the blood in the kitchen and bathroom all I had was fear of what I would see in the bedroom. So fear gripped me for days. All along I kept telling myself God is good and he is being good to me. Although I believed i had doubts. Like that guy in the Bible “Lord I believe help my unbelief”.
After 3 days it was bedtime and my sister prayed for God to do in me what I needed. Simple prayer but I believed God would do in me what I needed. I went to my room put on worship songs on my iPhone which I hadn’t done for days and I saw the beauty and Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that have me a peace that blew my mind. I went from complete turmoil, suffering and grief to absolute peace. The contrast made me to think so highly of Jesus Christ. He is so infinitely precious!! Praise the Lord for He is good His lovingkindness is Everlasting!!
I went from extreme fear to trust. From turmoil to blissful peace. Resting there in His loving embrace I fell asleep and when I woke up I didn’t see blood anymore. Nightmare continued off and on but now are gone.
When I got home I took 2 weeks off of work, curled up in a ball and cried for weeks. Day and night like David. I didn’t realize it but I was slowly moving away from God. Satan would tell me lies and since my shield of faith was not up I believed them and it would sink me further down. He would tell me “Why get up and do any good.” No point in doing any good if in the end they kill themselves. I really didn’t know how to combat this lie and it was so subtle among the grief that I believed it. ( I utterly hate that crafty Devil). So I got depressed thinking I had no purpose in life and was losing hope getting more and more downcast in my soul.
The truth is that God wants us to show love for goodness sake alone. Doing good is right in and of itself. How someone responds to our kindness isn’t up to us both them. But God wants me to get up in the morning and let my light shine that they me see my good deeds and praise God in heaven!
So here is my version of Psalm 42
As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants four you, my God
My soul thirst for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God. In the garden, my beloved shepherd me in the garden. He is mine and I am his.
My tears have been my food morning after morning while Satan says to me “No reason to get up and do any good, it doesn’t help anyway.” Liar, liar, liar!
While downcast this is what I remember as I pour out my soul; how I used to go to church, under the shadow of Your wings with shouts of joy and praise amidst your people.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast and depression overwhelms me therefore I will remember the cross where my Savior died and the depths of His love for me.
Deep calls to deep, in the roar of Your waterfall of discipline, all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
By day the Lord directs his Love, at night his song is within me- a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock, why does it feel like you are forgetting me, turn my beloved and be like a Gazelle and overcome any all difficulties that separate You from me. Why must I go about mourning oppressed by Satan, my enemy?
My bones ache and my energy is sucked dry as Satan gets me to believe that you have forsaken me saying “Where is Your God?” in my time of need. Wait, wait oh my soul and God will renew your strength and will fly high on eagles wings.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” A Psalm of Troy
The bride in Solomon’s Song of Songs goes through many high highs and low lows. On her wedding night she is with the man of her dreams and they drink their fill of love and imbibe deeply in 5:1 then just a few verses later she is separated from the one she love because she wouldn’t deny herself a little comfort and get out of bed to answer the door for her suffering husband. She gets so low she is “love sick”. Not sensing his love, it is utterly painful as cruel as hell fire itself for loves jealousy is as severe as Sheol.
Such is life and marriage. High Highs and low lows. May God be good to you through it all!
Looking at the Psalm again in v. 6 where David knows he is depressed and downcast and when he finds himself in that situation he does something to stir up hope.
He remembers something. He remembers times when things looked hopeless and God came through for Israel at the Jordan river. This strengthens David’s faith in God and promotes love to God which in turn stirs up hope. Since God helped before in what looked like hopeless times because God is faithful and made promises to Israel, God will keep them and God kept them. How would they cross the river? When they stepped into the river the waters parted. God helped in what looked like a hopeless situation.
David goes back to times when he felt hopeful to get his mindset back.
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Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.
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