Monday, July 23, 2012

Black Hole: Dealing with Depression

Here's the Notes from the message preached at New Life Community Church yesterday morning.  If you want to listen to the message, you can do so at

Inside Story, Part 5                                                                Sunday, July 22, 2012
 “Black Hole”

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (NIV)

So, how is your soul?
Eugene Peterson: "I had a pastor when I was a teenager, an adolescent, who always greeted me with, 'How are things with your soul today, Eugene?' The question left me stuttering and tongue-tied. I hardly knew I had a soul. Mostly I had hormones." … “I came to dread that
question because it just involved a series of clichés. Some people think it means, "How are your
devotional life and your quiet time?"  In Jesus' day, a lot of Pharisees had real regular devotional lives, but their souls were a mess.”  Eugene Peterson recalled that in his church, it kind of meant, Am I all fired up with intense emotions?

The attack on the basic part of us.  Our identity, our security, our personhood – our soul.
Great pressure to be something we’re not.

Illustration:  College newspaper with ad about EGG DONOR.
Genius Egg Donor Wanted
Great Compensation
“We are a couple seeking high-achiever egg donor to help build our family.  As an example of our ideal egg donor, it could be a 21-year old ______________ University student with an A grade point average and near-perfect SAT scores, having won several awards in high school and university.  We hope our child will be a top student, as each of us was, and able to go to _______________ University or another top university.”

New York Times front-page story dated June 10 which says that up to 40% of students in high-achieving high schools are now taking amphetamines to try to get more focused and raise their SAT scores.

Entitled message BLACK HOLE.
Wikipedia:  A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping

NASA:   A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.

Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

A Black Hole is an IMPLOSION. 

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.  But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 131:1-3 (ESV)
Weaned – Strategic Disappointment


Psalm 42

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God?   My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”  Psalm 42:1-3 (ESV)

Three Surprisingly Biblical Conditions (P.S. remember Ecc. 3!)
1.     OPPRESSING circumstances.
2.     Internal TURMOIL and DEPRESSION.
3.     FIGHTING for hope.

10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.  Psalm 42:5 (ESV)

11  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 (ESV)

Six Lessons from Psalm 42:
1.     Talk to God about your FEELINGS.
Vs. 9. 
I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

Not always wrong to ask WHY. 
Forgotten – this is an Overstatement.  Vs. 8 – By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
So why if he KNEW God had not forgotten him, did he ask why He had forgotten him?  Because it FELT like God had forgotten him.  The Psalmist talks about what he feels, while at the same time stating what he believes.
2.     Confess God’s SOVEREIGNTY.
Vss. 5 and 11.  “My salvation and my God.”
Vs. 9.  God is my rock.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves  have gone over me. 

Illustration:  climbing Duns River Falls.

3.     SING in the night.

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 

4.     PREACH to your own soul.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation  

11  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says,: “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.” (Spiritual Depression, 20-21)

Listen, self: Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  If God is for you, who can be against you? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for you, how will he not also with him graciously give you all things? Who shall bring any charge against you as God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for you. Who shall separate you from the love of Christ?

5.     REMEMBER God’s presence.

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 

6.     THIRST for God.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;  Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)

Horatio Spafford

Before he lost his daughters in a shipwreck:

He invested most of what he had in real estate.
He lived in Chicago and lost it in the Great Chicago Fire.
It destroyed his home. They had no insurance. Lost his money.
Lost their son to scarlet fever.

Then he put his wife and their four remaining daughters on a boat to go to England. He had to stay behind for business. There was a shipwreck, and his wife ended up sending him a telegram with just the words,
"Saved alone. What shall I do?"

All four of their daughters were lost. He gets on a ship, and when he gets to about the same place in the ocean where his daughters were all drowned, he writes these words:

When peace like a river attends my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say
It is well with my soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment