Do You Talk to Yourself?

I’ve been absent for a month—meandering in the wilderness.

I won’t ask if you missed me but, if you haven’t noticed, my last three blogs were guest posts. I value what each of them had to say, but I also shared their words because I had nothing to say.

desert

Spiritually depressed, without apparent reason, I wondered if I’d ever blog again.

Have you been soul empty? Lost the joy of the Lord?

Earlier this summer, I warned readers of Taking a Vacation from God which can lead to spiritual apathy. That wasn’t my case.

Spiritual blindness sprang up overnight. Blinded to the cause, I begged for a lifeline out of the miry pit.

Read my Bible, but His Word didn’t register.
Prayed, but my words fell flat.
Went to church, but the manna only nourished me for an hour.

I couldn’t blame my current circumstances for life was sweet. Or a lack of spiritual meat because I’d been studying God’s names; in awe of His love for me.

So I waited for the cloud to pass. My only hope in Him.

woman-1006102_640

Then Pastor Joe referred me to the book Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

The author said the cause of spiritual depression can be someone’s temperament, physical ailment, or unbelief. But another cause can be a reaction after a great blessing or exceptional experience such as Elijah in 1 Kings.

Made sense. After weeks of preparing a talk, He Knows My Name, my spiritual high came crashing. Is that how astronauts feel when they return from celestial heights to Earth?

What’s the cure? According to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Psalm 42 is the antidote.

The Psalmist, King David, is depressed by his circumstances, but instead of commiserating, he talks to himself.

“We must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ourselves to talk to us.”

Lloyd-Martin explains. “Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. They start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.”

Do you listen to the voices in your head? Is the main voice talking your Self?

We need to learn how to handle ourselves.

“You have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’—what business have you to be be disquieted?

You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’—instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way.

Remind yourself of God. Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.”

Ending on this note: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.

Is this cure sure?

Well, I wouldn’t be writing this post if I hadn’t found the joy of the Lord even in this…..

 

Wilderness  photo: www.JennyWredePhotography.com

Depressed woman: Pixabay

 

 

 

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

9 thoughts on “Do You Talk to Yourself?”

    1. Great question. For when I’m battling physical depression, I’m listening to similar voices in my head: Despair. Accusations. Condemnation. We have to know how to discern the voices in our minds and battle with truth. However, spiritual depression for me…is when the circumstances in my life aren’t dictating my emotions/moods. And rather than lethargy keeping me from seeking God, I’m truly trying to seek Him, but can’t feel God’s presence or hear His voice.

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      1. Depression is not sadness. The symptoms of feeling despair when there is nothing to be despairing of is an indication of plain ol’ depression. The other symptom of seeking out one’s higher power and not getting an answer is new and I will consider that the definition of spiritual depression. Thank you for the answer.

        P.S. The feeling of spiritual depression you describe is one I know very well.

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    1. Oh Judy, if you are going through a wilderness time, KNOW that God is with you even in this. I am on a spiritual high now that truly does feel like I’m being lifted on eagle’s wings.

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  1. Dearest Karen…I have been where you have been. And then “guilt and condemnation” reared its ugly head to let me know that there was nothing that should make me feel this way! But alas, God is so good and so patient. He tenderly restores that joy that is not gone, just hidden a bit. I am so glad you are back, and for the record, I talk to myself when necessary! 😉 Welcome back!

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    1. Thanks! It feels good to be back. 🙂 This morning, I tried typing the thoughts that were in my head. Hmmmm, I realized how many of those thoughts are negative, worrisome, fearful, critical etc. However, I did what the Lloyd-Jones suggested. I talked to myself. Renewed my mind with whatever is pure, excellent, lovely, etc. It truly does come down to learning how to handle ourselves. Not giving in to self pity. And you’re right. God is good and patient!!

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  2. Welcome back, Karen! Sounds as if your time away was needful and profitable; that God ministered to you like nothing less can. A friend gifted me with D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book years ago when I first started counseling–a tremendous resource. Your honesty in sharing ministered to my heart this morning, because your struggle is also my struggle. I get discouraged and at times find myself toying with the idea of quitting the very things I know I have been Called to do–writing and counseling. Only when I take my focus off of myself, and refocus on God’s Sovereign Goodness, do I rediscover my Joy in the Lord who never, ever abandons His own. You ARE appreciated!

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    1. Thank you Kathie. I’m glad for another endorsement of this book. 🙂 Your comment touched me! And from what I’ve read of your blogs, you definitely should continue doing what the Lord has called..and gifted…you to do. The enemy loves to mess with our minds and distract us from doing God’s will.

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