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The Altar of Depression
by Terry Barlow
07/28/14
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    As I read again Psalms 42 and 43, which are actually one continuous psalm, I saw something different. The psalmist was asking his own soul, “Why are you cast down within me?” But the verb “cast down” can also be translated “Bowed down” or “prostrate” within me, which implies that the psalmist came upon his own soul worshipping at another idolatrous altar, an altar of depression and discouragement.  And though the psalmist came upon this sad scene, he did not leave it that way,  but took charge over his own mood in the name of his God and declared something like, "I will yet praise Him who is my hope and the health of my countenance!"  Virtually all of the psalms that pass through dark territory resolve and issue forth eventually into light.  (Psalm 88 may be the only exception.)   Not to be simplistic, because depression can surely be more complex than that,  and its complications might necessitate medication. But it is good to come to grips with what is oftentimes this surprising element in it: we allow ourselves to wallow in and, yes, even worship a certain mental and emotional state and be overcome by it, instead of employing the inner discipline and Spirit-given power that the psalmist did. In this way we literally address it and overcome it, so we can break through and worship at the higher altar, the altar of our Creator and Redeemer.   Some moods have to be "kicked," Oswald Chambers once said. 

   Perhaps one rationalizes that this problem of depression has been in the family for generations, and so it’s part of our lot in life, a kind of dark inheritance. But no, in Christ we have a new heredity and inheritance, which involves the experience of deliverance and victory over these kinds of afflictions by the power of God. These kinds of victories aren't usually won in a day though.  They may,  for a time,  have to be won and re-won day after day. Then, as we go,  we can further fulfill our spiritual heritage by testifying to others firsthand of this liberation! Many hurting people, after all, are yearning to hear and follow our lead and our steps out of their versions of the same bondages.  I am convinced that in this last hour any believers who have been especially susceptible to depression are going to be under vigorous assault by our spritual adversaries.  Like the Israelis of present day, we are going to have to have our "bomb shelters in place"  to withstand the bombardments and to come forth not only in victory but in triumph, that is, celebrating and proclaiming the victory already won in the precious name of Jesus! 



If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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