«But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God» (Psalm 40:17).
The first and most characteristic symptom of depression is what is technically called dysphoria or a profound state of unease. This is translated into sadness, bitterness, sorrow and affliction. It was emotional distress that came upon Sylvia a month after giving birth. She was beset by sleep, appetite and concentration problems, and lack of motivation in such a way that sometimes she did not even have the energy to properly take care of her little girl. The doctor prescribed her medication so she can cope with the symptoms. The drugs somewhat helped her, but the ultimate solution came because Sylvia decided not to be defeated by depression and turned to God in fervent prayer. The Bible helped her greatly especially the reading of the Psalms. Her spiritual experience was so beneficial that after the crisis Sylvia could not help but tell the others about what God had done for her.
The Book of Psalms is filled with messages where there is psychological pain. Words like «anguish» and «affliction» appear a dozen of times with most of them showing God’s power in delivering His children from sorrow. Here are some of the many phrases that were of great help for Sylvia, «The troubles of my heart have enlarged; bring me out of my distresses! Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive my sins» (Ps. 25: 17, 18); «I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities… Have mercy on me, O» Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief. Yes, my soul and my body!
(Ps. 31:7,9); «Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning» Ps. 30:5); «Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me» (Ps. 23:4).
If you suffer from despair and affliction, today’s verse assures you that God thinks about you. The same way the lover dreams about his beloved, you can be sure that God thinks about you. Maybe you are wondering just like the Psalmist, «How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?» (Ps. 13:2). The same Psalm urges you to have faith in God so He can bring you joy in your heart as it says, «But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation» (v. 5).