Throughout my years of darkness and shame, I held fast to the words of the Lord in Psalm 107. It was my song. It was to these pages in the Bible that I would turn each day when my mind was gripped with depression. I was chained as a prisoner to my past, and some days I could barely catch my breath. I wanted healing so badly. I was crying out to the Lord in my trouble. Speaking this into my darkened heart each day helped my thoughts to come into the captivity of Christ.

This last week, I can’t say why, I was brought back to that dark place and I had to proclaim Jesus. It is a choice. I won’t let the devil steal my joy again. Never again.

The painting you see above was painted when I was about 20 years old, when I came to see that God was dwelling in my heart and driving out the darkness and shame bit by bit. It was in the form of a daisy I picked one day. My center was a glowing sun with the brightness of the glory of God, but each petal withered and dying. Then I saw myself planted in his life-giving waters. Suddenly there was life in the petals and each one became pure white.

We are free, yet so many are not free. If you battle with the chains of depression, you are in a prison. God’s words from Psalm 107 are effectual, living, and able to work healing in you. Think, pray, and consider God’s words as you read them and let what he has to say to you bring healing.

His Loving Kindness Endures Forever

(psalm 107, verse by verse)

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

Have you been redeemed? I remember when I was first redeemed from the hand of the enemy, when I took my first breath as a new creature in Christ. We must remind ourselves who we are in Christ and that we have been redeemed: bought, brought back from the pit, forgiven, made his, loved, treasured, and a beloved child. We need to say it. We need to speak this aloud. Even when we do not feel redeemed in our mind, we can say it until our mind submits to it.

And gathered them out of the lands,
from the east, and from the west,
from the north, and from the south.

They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way;
they found no city to dwell in.

When we are depressed, I tell you, it is a very lonely feeling. That is where the devil wants us. He wants us to withdraw into a solitary way. It makes us an easier target for him to destroy us. It is like a downward spiral. When I have felt this way, I felt that I was a complete reject and that I could find no place where I could fit in.

Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

It is a hungry and thirsty feeling. Your very soul feels like it is dying inside of you—so hungry for love and acceptance that you could wither away. Yet…

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them out of their distresses.

I would cry and cry and cry out to the Lord in my troubles. Even when I did not see deliverance right away, he was my hope. Cry unto the LORD in your trouble and let him be your hope.

And he led them forth by the right way,
that they might go to a city of habitation.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul,
and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

He will lead us by the right way if we trust him. It took a lifetime to understand this. I have found many cities of habitation. Many times, I saw the hand of the Lord leading me here and there and with these people and then other people. You find a place and you might even feel like you fit in for a time. He has you there for a reason and a purpose and he may close that door. But then you will finally get to the realization that home is in heaven. God calls us to be pilgrims on this earth. He just says, “Trust me!”

Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour;
they fell down, and there was none to help.

When you are in that moment of your lowest point, depression makes you feel as if you are standing in a shadow with dark clouds looming over your head. I have often felt that dark cloud. Some days I did not even know why I felt so afflicted and so bound. It literally felt like I was in a cloud of death.

I want to say something point blank. We rebel against the Word of God when we believe we are something we are not. If we put ourselves down and say we are worthless, what a slap in God’s face! He calls us beloved, he calls us his children, he calls us redeemed, he calls us by name. If we call ourselves anything other than that, we condemn the counsel of the Most High God who is the true giver of life and truth.

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and brake their bands in sunder.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

For he hath broken the gates of brass,
and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

There was a time when I crawled around like a worthless worm on my bedroom floor, reaching my arms to God to save me. He heard me. He brought me out of the darkness and the feeling of being worthless into his glorious light. The prison I held myself captive in was of my own doing. He broke the bars so I could be free.

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat;
and they draw near unto the gates of death.

So many times I have gotten myself into messes. I get in the middle of things and say more than I should. There are times I regret being around people at all. I have often made life so complicated and gotten so involved with things that I end up being the bad guy. When my flesh gets in the way, my mouth or actions get involved where I should not, and I eat the fruits of my own calamity. I feel so guilty I could die.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he saveth them out of their distresses.
He sent his word, and healed them,
and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Yet I cry unto the LORD, even when I am guilty, even when I do not deserve any sort of comfort. Our God is so good that he answers. Isn’t that marvelous grace? It is time for you to realize this, so you can be forgiven and can in turn forgive yourself.

God pours his blessing as we give a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, especially when all seems lost. It is a sacrifice, it doesn’t come easy, but we offer up thanksgiving even when we do not feel thankful. It seems so hard and strange to start pouring out our words of gratitude when we feel in a muck of trashy, belittling, and pitiful thoughts. I always start with my eyes. I am not sure why. When I feel down, I say, “Thank you God so much for giving me eyes to see! I am so blessed that I get to look at things that are so beautiful, like my children, colors, nature, clouds in the skies, water, fields, animals, and light.”

It is like a snowball effect after that. I go on to praise God for my ears to hear the music, the rustling of leaves in the breeze, the voices of my children, the birds singing, the sound of water rushing over the rocks, and even the sound of food sizzling. That brings me to my nose—it is so incredible to me that I can smell things like food cooking, flowers blooming, a newborn baby, freshly mown hay, and even the smell of fire burning.

When you get on a roll, the sacrifice of thanksgiving gets so much easier because you forget all your troubles and start realizing just how blessed you are. God calls our praise and thanksgiving a sweet fragrance. It just takes a minute to put your mind straight from all the so-called depressing thoughts. It is a choice and a point of perspective.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind,
which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven,
they go down again to the depths:
their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger
like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.

Sometimes we are caught by storms that knock us down. We melt because of the trouble we are facing. We go to and fro, we waver like the waves of the sea and do not know what to do next. It is those times that we get to our wits’ end when we just can’t imagine a good outcome at all. It seems completely impossible in every way. Yet God is there for us…

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm,
so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet;
so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

At the tender age of 15, sin and shame had already stripped me bare. I lay upon the floor weeping and groaning within. I had no faith, no reason to live, no one who understood, and I had a plan to end it all. God heard me as I cried out. I saw his glorious light that dark evening. His blood cleansed me. He calmed the waves of disbelief, despair, and discouragement. I became part of his family—his child. He gave me his comforter, the Holy Spirit. I would never be alone. I then knew him but my mind was still so full of wounds that needed healing.

Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turneth rivers into a wilderness,
and the watersprings into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness,
for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

God is just. We need not worry about our adversaries. We don’t need to look back at the wicked people; especially those who brought evil upon us as children. God will exact for them their own destruction. God sees everything. They may not receive his curses in our time, but that is because God is storing up his wrath. If you know a person who seems like they get away with doing evil, feel sorry for them. Bitterness only prolongs your depression and defeat

One thing I realized is that I am only responsible for what I do! When I get some chastisement from the Lord, I see it as a very loving thing. That shows how much he cares. He cares enough to make me grow and transform a little at a time.

He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
And sow the fields, and plant vineyards,
which may yield fruits of increase.
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.

God has the power to bless greatly. We do not deserve it, but he still offers blessings to his children. I know that I have more than I deserve, and he has chosen to increase the fruits of our labors. We are all so blessed.

Again, they are minished and brought low
through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction,
and maketh him families like a flock.

Sometimes it is the poorest of the world that sing the loudest praises because they have no one but God to go to for help and they are full of joy for the tiniest things.

I know a woman who is surrounded by junk, yet she finds the beauty of it all. She makes her home the palace of beauty and joy within her means. She chooses to see herself as the richest woman in all the world, and I can tell you that she believes it. It may not look like it to others, but she is rich beyond anyone’s measure. I know she will always be happy no matter what comes her way because she has an incorruptible treasure hidden in her heart. She is an inspiration to me.

The righteous shall see it, and rejoice:
and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things,
even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Fill your mind and heart with Psalm 107 by reading it everyday. It is not easy. It will take work. It will take every ounce of grit to push past things. Thank God for all that you have. He will smell the sweet savor of your thanksgiving and he will bless you. A practice like this will seem silly and hard to start but it will be a good habit. You will be training your mind to think on things above and not on things on the earth. Little by little it will heal your mind. God will speak to you and fill you to overflowing, and you can go on to teach others.

I was there in the blackest pit, and now for these many years I have lived in full light. I pray God shows you his Light. He is there for you.