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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Adrian Rogers » Adrian Rogers - How to Get Up When You're Down

Adrian Rogers - How to Get Up When You're Down

Adrian Rogers - How to Get Up When You're Down
TOPICS: Discouragement, Depression, Hope

Would you find please, Psalm 42? And in a moment we're going to begin reading in verse 5. And what we're going to do today is to have a session on depression. How to get up when you've fallen and think you cannot get up. I'm not talking about having fallen physically, but emotionally, spiritually, when you're down and don't seem to be able to get up. Now I'm not just talking about feeling bad about certain things. Somebody asked a lady, "What do you do when you get down in the dumps"? She said, "When I get down in the dumps, I get a new hat". Her husband said, "I wondered where you'd been getting them".

There are times when we get discouraged when we are unhappy about things. Maybe we lose a job. Maybe we have an automobile accident. Maybe somebody says something bad about us and we're down. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about when the upright get uptight about this or that. I'm talking about depression, a deep mood of despair. And, it's something that is so terrible, so horrible. It is a matter that sometimes sends people to hospitals. Or sometimes causes them just to drop out of society. We feel bad sometimes, that's like a thunderstorm that comes and then it goes. But depression is like a lingering fog that takes all of the sunshine out of our lives. I want you to think with me first of all, what I'm going to call the serious problem of depression.

Look if you will in Psalm 42 verse 5, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me"? Now, David wrote this. And David is cast down and he's talking with himself. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that depression is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, people who are being treated for depression. And according to the research I did for this message, there are millions and millions of Americans who are depressed. And don't tell a person like that, "Cheer up". They've done everything they know. And nothing would make them feel better than to be able to cheer up. But they can't do it. The serious problem of depression.

I want to give you a list that I found that describes what depression is. Are you ready? Let's see if you or a friend are depressed. Depression is a passive or listless feeling, a continual feeling of sadness, an attitude of nothing feels good or is worth feeling good about, a state of constant hopelessness, a feeling that no one cares or no one understands or no one really accepts me, continual worry and anxiety. That's depression. Would you like to check yourself up and see if you are depressed?

Well, here, here's a list. Have you lost all initiative? Perhaps suddenly or slowly, you've just kind of thrown in the towel. Do you have repeated crying spells for apparently no cause? Do you find yourself awakening suddenly at night, not able to go back to sleep? Do you wake up in the morning feeling fatigued and kind of dread to face the day ahead? Do you feel pain, sort of a scattered pain, unspecific, aching all over? Do you find yourself sometimes thinking about your own death and afraid that you might have thoughts of suicide? Do you find yourself just sometimes, "Huh," signing like that? Just a heavy, heavy feeling in your chest. Have you come to the place where you distrust your own wisdom and have unusual trouble making decisions? You second guess yourself. Do you find yourself sometimes irritable and find yourself cross with others and no legitimate reason for it? Do you find yourself unable to be enthusiastic about anything?

That's not my list, that's someone else's list. But that is a description of people who are depressed. Well, you say, "Pastor, I don't need the message this morning. I'm not depressed". Well, somebody you know needs it. And somebody that you can minister to needs it. Or you may need it. It's in the Word of God. How can you get up when you get down? Now it is a killer disease. Depression puts many people in the hospital and quite a few in the grave. It is the third leading cause of death in certain categories and age groups. Those of us who've been in the ministry long enough know that sometimes when we go to the graveside to bury a spouse, before long we'll have the funeral for the other.

Well, you say, "These are the unsaved people. They don't know what we know". No, let me tell you something. God's people are not immune from depression. Numbers 11 verses 11 through 15, Moses, that great leader of God's people, got so depressed that he prayed and asked God to kill him. In Jonah 4 verse 3, Jonah, the mighty prophet of God, did the same thing and asked God to take away his life from him. Then look in First Kings 19:4, Elijah sat under a juniper tree and wished for himself that he might die. We find in Second Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8, the great apostle Paul talked of himself as being depressed or in a state where he despaired even of life.

And then in Matthew chapter 11 verses 2 and 3, John the Baptist got down in a dungeon. A dungeon, not only a literal dungeon, but a dungeon of despair so great, John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, that even doubted that Jesus was the Messiah. And in history, great men of history have gotten depressed. Charles Spurgeon, those of us who are preachers think of Charles Spurgeon, perhaps, as the greatest preacher who ever lived. But Charles Spurgeon, the great Spurgeon, a man of whit and warmth, had times of depression. And we think in the political realm of great leaders. Winston Churchill, the man who saw England through the Second World War, an indomitable leader, sometimes had fits of depression so great that he just closed up shop. He called that depression, "A black dog that chased after him". David wrote this Psalm.

Now King David, a man after God's own heart, and he says in Psalm 42 verse 5, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me"? Outwardly when this happened, David had every reason to be depressed. If you look in Second Samuel chapter 18 and read verses 19 through 33, you find that he'd lost a son that he dearly loved. That son's name was Absalom. Absalom had turned against David, betrayed David, tried to take the kingdom from David. And David had to flee from, for his own life. And then Absalom is killed and David weeps and says, "Oh Absalom, Absalom, my son Absalom, would to God I had died for thee Absalom".

Now David is fleeing from his life, meant to be a king. He's lost his wealth. He's lost his home. He's lost his power. He's lost his financial support. On top of all of that, David had sinned against God. He'd committed a terrible, horrible sin and he lost a child that he loved, an infant child. And then he had a daughter that was raped. He had a wife that had been assaulted. And he had another son that was killed. And the nation that he was supposed to be king over was in turmoil. I say, outwardly David had a reason to be cast down. Things could not have looked bleaker for David when he wrote Psalm 42, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul"?

Now let's look at this Psalm, and it's almost a clinical case of depression. First of all, David had what I want to call spiritual dryness. Look if you will in Psalm 42 verses 1 and 2, "As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God"? He's thirsty for God, but he feels that God is afar off. He feels like a wild deer being hunted by a pack of dogs. He feels this spiritual dryness. He feels his soul shriveling up. And he thinks perhaps God is even forgotten him. Look if you will in Psalm 42 verse 9, "I will say unto God my rock, 'Why hast Thou forgotten me?'" Here he is thirsting for God, but God seems a billion light years away. "Where are You God? Why have You forgotten me"? Spiritual dryness.

Now God had not forgotten him. That's not, that's not the issue. He felt that God had forgotten him. And then continual crying jags. Look if you will in Psalm 42 verse 3, "My tears have been my meat," or my food, "day and night". David is weeping, uncontrollable weeping. This is the mighty man of God. Now we all have blue moments. We all have times of sadness. But not continual weeping. That's the mark of depression. Not like a summer shower that falls and then passes away. But like the lingering, continually dropping on a foggy day. David has shame, he feels defeated. Look in the last part of verse 3 in Psalm 42, "My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, 'Where is thy God?'" He knows that his enemies now are mocking him. He's ashamed. He feels he's a poor witness for Jesus Christ. And indeed he was.

You know, some of us try to witness, but we don't have joy and we don't have victory and that just increases our shame. David's sense of guilt made him feel that he'd disgraced God. That's compounded by lingering memories. Look if you will in Psalm 42 verse 4, "When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me, for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday". He looked back on better days. He looked back on days when he had joy and peace when with the multitude he was praising God in the House of God. And all of that is now is just a memory. It's not real to him anymore. It seems to make his distress all the more real. For he feels those good times that he once had are now lost forever. On top of that he just has overwhelming circumstances.

Look if you will in Psalm 42 verses 6 and 7, "O my God, my soul is cast down within me, therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts," write in your Bible there, waterfalls, "all Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me". The River Jordan is called the river of death. Jordan means decent and judgment. Starts up on Mount Hermon. Mount Hermon reaches, towers 9,000 feet above sea level. It takes a torturous path down to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 1,300 feet below sea level. And the river Jordan just flows down to the Dead Sea never to emerge again.

So in Bible typology, Jordan has been a picture of death and despair. I've been up the head waters of the Jordan where the waterfalls are. And David feels like he's just being washed over by circumstances. God's waterspouts are coming over him. He is deluged with problems and he doesn't know where to turn. He has overwhelming circumstances. I say, sometimes people like this can become suicidal. A 16 year old boy wrote this letter before he took his life: "Dear World, I don't want to get my hair cut. I don't want to tend kids. I don't want to see Tina at school Monday. I don't want to do my biology assignment, or English or history or anything. I don't want to be sad or lonely or depressed anymore. I don't want to eat, drink, talk, breathe, sleep, move, feel or live anymore. Mom and Dad, it's not your fault. I am not free. I feel ill. I am sad and I am lonely". That's depression and it's sad. The serious problem of depression.

Now here's the second thing I want you to see. I want you to see the spiritual provision for depression. Thank God you don't have to be depressed. God has made provision for you, for me, for our friends, those who are depressed. Number one, you need to look within and analyze your heart, look within and analyze your heart. Look if you will in 42 verse 5 through 7, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts, all Thy waves and billows are gone over me". But now I want you to notice particularly now as David begins to talk to himself.

You say, "Can you talk to yourself"? David did. David talked to his soul. The soul is the you that lives inside. Not the spirit. The spirit is your spiritual nature. Your soul is your emotional nature. Your soul is mind, emotion and will. And David talks to his soul. Do you know there's someone in you that's constantly talking to you? It's that old man. It's that old nature. That's your soul, unredeemed or unsanctified, and your soul is constantly talking to you, saying, "You have reason to feel sorry for yourself. You will never make it. You haven't got what it takes. This is the end. Life is not worth living". Now David talked back to his soul. And David said to his soul, "Why are you cast down, O my soul"?

Now this is where you have to take control. You have to take your soul by the nap of the neck, hold your soul up in front of you and talk to you. That's what David did. You have to look your soul straight in the eye and say, "Soul, why are you feeling this way"? You have to look within and analyze your heart. Why are you depressed? Now I'm not saying you don't have a reason to be depressed. Maybe you've lost a loved one by death. Maybe it's been a child. Maybe it's been a spouse. And you have to say, "This is the reason for my depression, because of the loss of a loved one".

If that's true, pour out your grief to God. Ask your friends to help share your grief with you and realize that life is not over for you. The best testimony for your love for that friend is to go on and live a life in their honor and for God's glory. Maybe you have a broken heart. Maybe somebody that you loved jilted you. Maybe a husband walked off from you. Maybe there was a broken engagement. You ask yourself, "Why am I cast down"? Maybe your parents have made you feel unwelcome in your own home. Refuse to brood and rehearse it over and over again. It does no good. But ask yourself, analyze this. If you've had a heartbreak, see what you've learned from that heartbreak and go out and begin to make some new relationships. Perhaps you have sinned; done some grievous thing and you're being haunted by the host of guilt. What do you do? Confess it to God.

If you need to confess it to someone else and ask forgiveness, do it. If you can make restitution, do it. Do what you do and then close the door behind it. Analyze. Look at your heart. Ask yourself, "Why am I cast down"? But you need to do something else. Not only look inward and analyze your heart, but look upward and recognize your help. Listen, once you see what the problem is. Now notice what David did. Look in Psalm 42 beginning in verse 7 through verse 9, "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts, all Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, 'Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?'"

What is David doing now? He's looking upward. Not only inward to see why I feel this way, but he's looking upward. He's looking to God and he's saying, "God, You are my help. You are my hope. You will command Your lovingkindness to me". "What a friend I have in Jesus. All my sins and griefs to bear". You may say, "Pastor Rogers, you don't understand". That's not the point. God understands. God knows. How tender and how loving God is. And He knows and He cares. He's your help even when you don't understand. Dr. Warren Weirsbe is a great Bible teacher. He has said that, "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived". And he has reminded us that we do not live by explanations, we live by promises. Some feel that somehow God has let them down and that God had failed them. God has not failed you. God has not forgotten you. David felt and he said in Psalm 42 verse 9, "Lord, why have You forgotten me"? But God has not forgotten him.

You say, "Well, Pastor, I don't understand". You don't have to understand. As a matter of fact, the fact that you don't understand may be part of the trial and part of the test. Robert Frost said this, listen, and this is so rich so listen to it, don't miss it. "But it was of the essence of the trial that you shouldn't understand it at the time. It had to seem unmeaning to have meaning". You probably didn't catch that so sharpen your mind and listen to it again. "It was of the essence of the trial that you shouldn't understand it at the time. It had to seem unmeaning to have meaning". You see, we can trust God with almost anything if we understand why. But God doesn't let us understand why all the time that we might know who, that we might just trust Him with that that we don't understand.

Andrew Murray was a great, great Christian. Andrew Murray said this, "In times of trouble, God's trusting child must say first, 'He brought me here. It is by His will that I'm in this straight place.' Next, 'He will keep me here in His love and He will give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.' Next, 'He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons that He intends for me to learn and working in His grace that He means to bestow.' Last, in His good time He can bring me out again. How and when He knows.'" So when you're in this difficulty, say "I am here, one, by God's appointment, two, in His keeping, three, under His training, four, for His time".

You see, somebody said, "God is too good to be unkind, too wise to make a mistake, and when we cannot trace His hand we can trust His heart". Look inward and analyze your heart. "Why am I cast down"? Look upward and recognize your help. And thirdly; look onward and realize your hope. Look again in Psalm 42 verse 11, "Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God for I shall yet praise Him". God wants me to tell somebody here today; no matter how bleak your circumstances, God is with you. Don't lose hope. God has a future filled with hope for you. "I shall yet praise Him". David took his soul and he says to his soul, "Hope in God".

Now hope does not mean a vain wish. It means a definite assurance based in anticipation. There are only two places where hope is impossible. One is in Heaven because you don't need hope, you have fulfillment. The other is in hell. If you die and go to hell, you're beyond all hope. But hope is always possible. Jeremiah 29 verse 11 is for you today, my precious friend. Listen to it, "'For I know the thoughts that I have toward you,' saith the Lord, 'thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.'" Or as some translations give it, "A future and a hope". Don't you let Satan blow out the candle of hope! I'm telling you, you need to look inward and analyze your heart. You need to look upward and realize your help. And you need to look onward and realize your hope.

God wants me to tell you that He's going to turn your Calvary to an Easter. God is going to turn every tear to a pearl. God is going to arch the rainbow of His grace over your sorrows. "Hope thou in God". He is going to meet the deepest needs of your heart. And God will never be satisfied until your greatest desire is for Him alone. So, we've talked about the serious problem of depression. We have talked to you about God's hope for you. Let me give you the sure promise one more time in depression.

Psalm 42:11, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God for I shall yet praise Him". You may have fallen, but I'm telling you, you can get up. And if you're depressed today, God loves you. Not a sparrow that has fallen to the ground goes without His notice. I know many of us give you a hug and a slap on the back and tell you, "Things are going to be better". But friend, listen to me, there is no real hope in this world or the next world apart from Jesus. "Friends all around me are trying to find what the heart yearns for by sin undermined. I have the secret; I know where 'tis found. Only true pleasures in Jesus abound. Jesus is all this world needs today. For sin has blinded and darkened their way. Oh to pull back the grim curtains of night, one look at Jesus and all will be light".

As I thought about what I was going to speak on today. I said, "Lord, I don't want to talk on depression. I want to talk about something that's happy, or something that's upbeat". The Lord said, "Adrian, there's someone that needs that message. There's someone who is depressed", and God said, "Speak that message".

So from God to you, let me tell you something. If you're down, you can get up. God has a way for you. Not by some cheap pop psychology. Not by somebody slapping you on the back and saying, "Atta boy". "Hope thou in God". He will see you through. And God's people said, "Amen".

Father God, I thank You that we have such a wonderful Savior. And Lord Jesus, take this message today and bind up the wounded. Let them know that underneath are Your everlasting arms. Give strength and help and hope. And Lord, I pray today for those who may not know Jesus, who may not be truly saved, that today will be the day that they will trust Him.

Now keep your heads bowed. Would you begin to pray for those round about you and pray for your own heart? And if you're not absolutely certain that you're saved today, may I lead you in a prayer? And in this prayer you can receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. And I promise you that God will save you instantaneously. He will keep you continually. He will never forsake you nor leave you. Would you pray this prayer?

Dear God, I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died on that cross to save me. You shed Your blood to pay for my sin. Thank You for doing that, dear Jesus. I don't deserve it. It's by Your love and grace that You died for me. Lord Jesus, You promised to save me if I would trust You, and I do trust You, right now, this moment. I receive You into my life as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, save me Jesus.

Say it; pray it; mean it. "Save me Lord Jesus". Did you ask Him? Then pray this way:

Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me. I don't deserve it but I receive it by faith and that settles it. You're now my Lord, my Savior, my God, and my Friend. Lord, I give You my life. From henceforth I will live for You because You died for me. Give me the courage now to make this public. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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