The National Spotlight “Fort Hood Gunman Was Being Treated for Depression” -The New York Times, April 3, 2014 “Pastor Rick Warren blames son's death on depression” -USA Today, April 7, 2014 “ Miriam Carey, Capitol shooting suspect, had post-partum depression, mother says” -Associated Press, October 4, 2013 “ Gunman at FedEx facility complained of depression ” -Associated Press, May 9, 2014
Reactive Depression Reactions to stressful life events Loss of a loved one Divorce/Breakups Loss of a job Family problems Moving Retirement Disillusionment/Breach of trust
Who was Asaph/the author*? Priest, Musician/Music Director, Levite, Prophet Chief Musician for the procession of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 16) Appointed to serve at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 5) Served during the reigns of David, Solomon, possibly Jereboam/Reheboam* *Psalm 77’s attribution to Asaph could also indicate a later author in the style of, or from the guild of singers named for him
The backdrop of historical events Solomon’s breaking of the covenant with God (1 Chronicles 7:19-22) Division into two Kingdoms Ransacking of the temple by Egyptian King Shishak (2 Chronicles 12:1-5*, Psalm 74, Psalm 79) v5: “This is what the L ORD says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you to Shishak.’”
Point A: Despair Depression is felt and manifested, physically 1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. 3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. 4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
Point A: Despair Former avenues of comfort are now haunting reminders, sources of pain, or closed off entirely Inability to sleep (v. 3) Thinking of God causes moaning (v. 3) Can’t endure when praying/meditating (v. 3) Happy memories only underscore the sad present (v. 5) Thoughts of times of singing joyfully at night contrast his current silence (v. 6)
Point A: Despair Self-talk (v. 7-9) 7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Point A: Despair “ Depression is the inability to construct a future.” -Dr. Rollo May, American psychologist
The Turning Point Acknowledge ownership of your grief and any of your contribution to it (v. 10) Then I said, "It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed." (NASB) And I said, This is my infirmity : but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. (KJV) And I say: 'My weakness is, The changes of the right hand of the Most High.' (YLT) So I say, "It is my sorrow that the right hand of the Most High has changed." (HCSB) And I said, "This is my anguish ; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High." (NKJV)
Point B: The Prospect of Hope Challenge any underlying false perceptions with truths (v. 10) 10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the L ORD ; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Point B: The Prospect of Hope Acknowledge that your perception may be skewed, that deliverance may be invisible to you (v. 19) 19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the L ORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:21-23