When people go through spells of sadness, you would think that the enemy would give them a break, but he doesn’t. He will attack, even when people are at their lowest and hardest times. Thoughts will flood people’s minds that are cruel and without mercy. Satan will put the “what if’s” in our mind: “What if I had done that, or what if I had not done that?” We would think in our hardest times, that there would be some kind of relief. So, when the enemy keeps attacking, how do we overcome?
Psalm 42 and 43 were written at the same time. They are divided in our Bible, but more likely were not when they were written. David wrote these when he was running from Absalom, his son that organized a takeover of David’s kingdom. It looks like David is losing everything; his family, his friends, and his position. David doesn’t think it could get any worse, but it does.
In 2 Samuel 16, when David is leaving Jerusalem, he runs into a man named Shimei, that is acting like the devil: 2 Samuel 16:7 – Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! (Verse 8) “The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” (Verse 13) And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.
That is exactly the way Satan does toward us! He tells us that everything that is happening is our fault; we brought it on our-self; we should have done things differently and son on.
David flees to the wilderness and writes this Psalm: Psalm 42:1 – As the deer pants for water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.
David is writing this while under attack. Deer will pant when they are being chased by an enemy. And, when deer are being chased and panting, they use up to 80% of their water reserve. If they are chased long enough, they will die. The first thing a deer does after getting away, is find water.
David writes, “My soul is tired of running!” And, “My soul is panting for God!” He knows that God is the only One that can refresh him. There are certain things we can do when under attack from the enemy:
We Need To Recognize We Are Under Attack
We are not just sad or depressed because things are going bad, we are in a battle: Psalm 42:3 – My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”
I have had people say that to me whom are not believers when going through a hard time; “Why would God allow that to happen to you? Where is He when you need Him?” And, it usually comes from family or a close friend and that makes it hurt even worse.
Psalm 42:9, 10 – I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Verse 10) As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” ( and “they” are the enemy)
David had literal enemies and we have spiritual enemies. People will look at you and say, “Look what you’re going through. Where’s your God now?” We can’t think of anything that we have been doing wrong, things will just begin to turn in a bad way. Recognize that is an attack from the enemy and we need to say, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan!”
We can’t ever forget that Satan is a liar! He will put thoughts in our head that we are not going to make it, and we won’t without God! Satan will attack us when we are most vulnerable and tells us “You blew it!” It is a spiritual battle that usually goes on in our mind. Some will feel sorry for themselves and slip further into depression.
Satan will often produce the evidence to prove his lie. I’ts false evidence, but evidence just the same. Are we going to believe what God says about us, or are we going to believe a lie from someone who wants to destroy us?
Do you remember when Joseph’s brothers brought his coat to Jacob and Jacob believed a wild animal had killed him? That was a lie, Joseph wasn’t dead!
Don’t Listen To Yourself
Psalm 42:4 – When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
David has been run out of Jerusalem and is talking to himself when he says, “My soul within me.” Woe is me! He then remembers going to the house of God with the multitude. When things get tough, we need to surround ourselves with fellow believers that can encourage us. Get in God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit speak, and put on some worship music. We can refuse to be depressed by attacking back!
Start Talking To Yourself In The Right Way
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. It’s the thoughts we have a problem with; it’s the emotions and feelings that will affect our decisions when in a spiritual battle. Stop listening to your feelings and start talking to your soul: Psalm 42:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
Cast down, literally means depressed. David is not listening to those thoughts of depression anymore. He starts to talk to his soul, knowing God will help him. When people get depressed, they are being “pressed down,” but people have to recognize who is doing this to them – the enemy! When people get depressed, all kinds of bad things can happen, including suicide.
David talks to his soul again: Psalm 131:2, which says, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Like a bay when the bottle is taken away, our soul will cry out when under attack.
We have a spirit and we have a soul, and the spirit should rule over the soul, our emotions. However, when the soul, our emotions, want to rule over our spirit, depression can set in and tell us that everything is going wrong and nothing will work out and it’s not going to get better.
Before we are saved, our soul is in charge of all decisions. For some, that can mean for years their soul has been making all decisions and some not so good. But when we get saved, the Spirit comes in and says, “Nope, you are not going to do that anymore,” and then the battle begins. Always remember, the spirit is stronger. Our spirit is dead in our trespasses before being born again, but once saved, it is made “Alive!” When under attack, let your spirit tell your soul to, “Shut up!”
God To God
Just as the deer pants for water, we need to get to God as fast as we can when under attack. Our look on our face will tell others our countenance. We expose a lot with our expressions, but look what David says in Psalm 43:5 – …”the help of my countenance and my God.
When David looked at God’s face, it changed “my face.” If we look to God’s countenance, it will change ours. David realized he didn’t have to be in Jerusalem or in the house of God to be near Him.
Here is another thing that will help when in a battle: When we begin to pray, enter His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise. Think about what all God has done for you and be grateful for it. Don’t let the enemy tell you how you should feel. And we certainly don’t start our conversation with God by griping and complaining.
When under attack, get to some water, and the water is the Living Word of God!