TEXT: Psalm 77
So far, in this series on handling despair and depression, we have discussed two things that will help us as Christians. (1) Crying out to God in prayer, (2) Changing the way we think by remembering and focusing on past blessings rather than current difficulties. These are two steps that would have been useful to the pilgrims, Christian and Hopeful, as they sat in the dungeon of Giant Despair. Instead, they let doubt and disbelief cloud their minds -- even to the point where they considered the Giant's advice that they should commit suicide in order to be delivered from their imprisonment.
John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, wrote once that even he was not immune from feelings of despondency. He said the devil would come to him and tell him, "You have no part nor lot in this Jesus, you have but put him away from you, you have said in your heart, 'Let him go if he will.' Now, therefore, you are severed from him; you have severed yourself from him. Behold, then, his goodness, but yourself shall be no partaker of it." The devil would try to discourage John Bunyan by telling him that he was cut off from God.
In his commentary on Pilgrim's Progress, Dr. Barry Horner states: "For the pilgrims [in the dungeon], there appears not to be the slightest glimmer of a hope. Nor do they at this stage even think to look to He who is their only hope... The terror of this scene is not the confining circumstances so much as the prisoners’ belief that they are beyond the reach of grace. They believe that God has deserted them."
Perhaps you have felt the sting of being deserted by people whom you thought would have your back. But have you ever struggled with the feeling of being deserted by God Almighty? Our Lord did.
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