“Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me?” asks the Psalmist in Psalm 42:5.
And i must admit–after a week of gospel fellowship; of solid, biblical preaching; of Scriptural worship music; of powerful prayer–my heart is struggling with being content and joyful as i approach a new week.
I want the spiritual high to continue, but i already feel as though it has left. And it is depressing.
But the truth and the fact of the matter is this: even though I won’t be sitting under those godly preachers of the gospel, i still have the Holy Spirit, and i still have the Scriptures which are “profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In addition, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, “But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Tim Challies has a challenging article that cautions us not to use the excuse that since the Spirit teaches us what God’s Word means we don’t have to spend time studying it; in addition he challenges us to see our study time as the Spirit opening our eyes to the truth.
I share that to point out–for myself primarily–that just because the 2018 Shepherds’ Conference is over does not mean that my spiritual life has to plateau. I have the same Spirit that those godly men have. I have many study tools like those men have. I may not have all the education they have (though by God’s grace i have more than some people).
So i need to not get down in the dumps about going into a new week with new challenges and distractions.
The psalmist continues in Psalm 42:5. “Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
I can read. I can write. I can sing. I can pray. I have the Holy Spirit indwelling me. For that reason, my daily quiet time can be just as beneficial as a sermon from John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, Art Azurdia, or Steve Lawson. I have no reason to be depressed.
One of the pillars of the reformation is Sola Scriptura, which is Latin for “Scripture Alone.” If a person has the Scriptures, and if a person digs into them prayerfully, then they will grow up into salvation (cf. 1 Peter 2:2). We don’t need 10 steps for successful living. We don’t need 5 keys to happiness. We don’t need 7 people who lead. We need the Scriptures, all of which point to Christ.
You can grow through the study of Scripture as well. Anything i wrote in this post as my own experience (1st person) can be true for you as well.
If you have the Spirit, He will teach you if you dive into the Word. Pray for Him to speak to you. Pray for Him to help you live what you learn. (If you study just to learn it is pointless and unprofitable for you.) Praise God for His Word. Praise Him for graciously giving it to us. He could have left us in the dark about History, His will, the Gospel, and the Future, but He gave us 66 books filled with content that will not be mastered by us in a lifetime of study.
Praise Him for His Word and dive into it. Seek Christ in it. As Matt Chandler says, “The Bible’s not about you!” It all points to Christ. Seek Christ in the Scriptures; don’t seek comfort in the Scriptures; and when you find Christ, you will by consequence be filled with His comfort when you start walking in His will. Even if outwardly everything looks and feels uncomfortable, inside you will know a peace that surpasses understanding (cf. Philippians 4:7).
Do you want this peace? Do you realize that this is what your life has been missing for so long?
Trust Jesus! Seek Him in His Word! Apart from Him there is no peace!
Soli Deo Gloria