Talk to Yourself

19 February 2023 am – Psalm 42:5 – Encouragement – Scott Childs
Introduction: The author of this Psalm, who was likely David, was going through a deeply distressing and depressing time. Spurgeon suspects that it was during the days when David fled from Absalom, his son, who attempted to take the throne from him. He was very low. Depression threatened to overwhelm him.
Very likely, each of us has experienced times of discouragement, defeat, or even depression similar to David’s. The cause may be fears, frustrations, opposition, an unbelieving spouse, wayward children, financial struggles, health issues, an unfaithful friend, or a myriad of other things. During depressing times, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope of escape, and no peace for the soul. When you are wading through the mire of one of these valleys, you need to talk to yourself as David did.
Transition: When you are downhearted, here are three lessons you must learn from David to get you out of the valley of despair.
  1. David did NOT listen to himself.
a.         His heart was hurting.
1)         He spent many days and night crying (v.3).
2)         He felt that his burdens were like water pouring over him (v.7).
3)         He felt like God had forgotten him (v.9).
4)         He endured the sharp jabs spoken to him from his enemies (v.10). For you, they may be unkind words from an unsaved spouse. They may be cruel words from those you love.
5)         His heart was pained by those who asked him, “Where is your God when you need him?”
6)         A hurting heart has a difficult time seeing reality. Sorrows are like thick, dark storm clouds that block the sun and add to the gloom. David’s heart was heavy!
b.         He did not follow his heart
1)         A secular idea in our world today is that we ought to follow our heart. That is not wise advice.
2)         Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 28:26) “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” “Follow Your Heart” is a philosophy that is opposite to God’s words in this verse. Trusting in our own heart is trusting your feelings and emotions (e.g., fear, worry, panic, irritation, self-confidence). It focuses on the “what if” possibilities. Likewise, it may rely on reason or logic. It is humanism. It is living life independent of God. It is ignoring (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
3)         David did not follow his heart.
2.        David DID talk to his soul.
a.         He asked himself two questions
1)         He asked, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
a)         The words “cast down” describe something that is sunk or depressed. His soul had reached a low ebb.
b)         In asking, “Why”, he may have tried to evaluate the reason for this terrible feeling.
c)         When we are cast down like this, sometimes we know the cause behind it. It may be the guilt of an unconfessed sin. It may be our lack of spending quality time with the Lord. It may be a feeling of failure. Often, it is an accumulation of unresolved problems.
2)         He asked, “Why are you disquieted in me?”
a)         The word “disquieted” refers to an uproar, groan, murmur, or turbulent feeling in his heart.
b)         Certainly, depressed feelings do cause turbulence and groaning within. Such feelings cause us to overlook the roses and see only the thorns. We stop caring about others and focus only on ourselves.
3)         Depressed feelings are a sure sign that we have gotten our eyes off God. We do not know God well enough. We discontent with circumstances God has allowed in our lives. (Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
b.         His questions urged a proper response
1)         Perhaps, more than searching for the reason, David was telling himself that he must look beyond the reason to God. He knew deep inside that he did not need to remain depressed.
2)         He knew that he had no true justification for being disquieted in his heart. He could see that his depressed feelings did not please God, and were rooted in selfishness and self-pity.
3)         By asking these questions, he was gently rebuking himself for being selfish. By admitting this, he was opening the door for renewal. His surrendered attitude opened the door to God’s help. No matter how difficult it may seem, we too must do this when we are down.
3.        David turned his focus to God’s faithfulness.
a.         He told himself to hope in God.
1)         He firmly commanded himself to hope in God.
2)         The Bible contains many examples of God’s ability to overcome humanly hopeless situations.
a)         Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was too old to bear children, yet God promised, (Genesis 18:14) “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
b)         As the children of Israel fled from Egypt, the Egyptians trapped them near the Red Sea. Moses assured the frightened people, (Exodus 14:13) “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
c)         When Jesus and his disciples were in a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples feared they would drown, Mark 4:39 tells us that Jesus “ arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Dig and find more yourself.
3)         Proverbs 15:3 states, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” God sees your situation. He knows what you are facing. Nothing is too hard for him. You must hope in God! Sing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
4)         No sin is so great that God cannot forgive. No burden is so heavy that God cannot lift it. If something has broken your fellowship with God, He is able and desirous to help you restore it.
b.         He assured himself that God would deliver.
1)         David was able to say, “I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
2)         When he said, “I shall”, he was looking into the future. God enabled him to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
3)         The phrase “help of his countenance” can be translated deliverance of his presence. David knew that the presence of God would deliver him from despair.
4)         He took his eyes off himself and looked to God. He knew that his faithful God would help him.
5)         David was confident that he would soon look back with praise to God for rescuing him from his depression.
Conclusion: If you are not presently discouraged, one day you will be. It happens to all of us. The best remedy is a fresh look at our great God. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is waiting for us to depend on Him for help. Stop listening to the lies that Satan puts in your heart. Confess any sin that may be getting you down. Talk to your soul biblically. Tell yourself to hope in God. Focus on God’s ability to deliver you. When He does, praise Him.
Song: God can do anything