“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11
I think it is safe to say that we are living in a time when more and more people are discouraged. Many are showing evidence of depression. There are obviously many things that contribute to this condition, such as personal temperament, physical and emotional health, and challenging circumstances (economic, political, family, etc.). The devil uses all of these things to attack the child of God and tempt him or her to act in unbelief. If it were not for unbelief the devil could not be successful! It is because Christians listen to the devil instead of listening to the Lord that we fall before his attacks. That is why the psalmist said, “Hope thou in God!”
Years ago I read a book entitled, “Spiritual Depression” by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. In that book Dr. Lloyd-Jones made a simple statement concerning the psalmist that has had a profound effect in my life ever since. He said, “We must learn to take ourselves in hand. We must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ‘ourselves’ to talk to us! Most of our unhappiness in life is due to the fact that we are listening to our self instead of talking to our self.”
Periodically (more frequently for some than others) we need to recount for ourselves who we are and what we have been given in Christ! For example I often remind myself of the following truths from God’s Word: I am a child of God (John 1:12); My body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1st Cor. 3:16); I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3); I am always being led in triumph in Christ (2nd Cor. 2:14); The Holy Spirit teaches me all things (John 14:26); I am in Christ, and Christ is in me (John 15:4); I’ve been granted everything pertaining to both life and Godliness (2nd Peter 1:3); and My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).
I offer you three recommendations I believe will help you when the enemy comes to attack you in a difficult time in your life. 1) Put to memory these and other verses of truth and promise. 2) In the meantime make a copy of this list and include it with the Bible you use in your personal devotion time. 3) Go on a “treasure hunt” looking for Bible verses that give hope to your heart and discipline to your mind to add to your list!