As we read the 77th Psalm, it becomes clear that the psalmist is battling with depression. He says in verse one, “I cried”; in verse two he says he is troubled; in verse three he complains; in verse four he cannot sleep; and in verse seven he feels forsaken. Now we know that the psalmist is depressed, but why? What caused his depression?
In his book, Learned Optimism, Professor Martin Seligman says that “depression does not rise from misplaced chemicals or lingering childhood trauma, but from negative thinking.” Summarizing the words of Joseph Wolpe and Tim Beck, Seligman explained how cognitive therapy began to be considered as treatment for depression.
“Depression is nothing more than its symptoms,” writes Seligman. “It is caused by conscious negative thoughts. There is no deep underlying disorder to be rooted out: not unresolved childhood conflicts, not our unconscious anger, and not even our brain chemistry. Emotions come directly from what we think: if you think you are in danger, you feel anxiety; if you think you are being trespassed against, you feel anger; if you think loss, you feel sadness. The key to defeating depression is your thought life.”
Now, this fits right in with God’s Word. Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
If you will notice, in Psalm 77 the psalmist has victory over his depression by changing his thought life. Verse 10 says, “I will remember”; verse 11, “I will remember”; verse 12, “I will meditate.”So let me challenge you to change your thought life if you want victory over depression.
What to do:
✞ Study verses that teach about the mind and how to think - Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:8, Proverbs 23:7, and others.