ELECTION DEPRESSION: POLITICS AND THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS GOT YOU DOWN? (part 1)

election-depressionAnxiety and depression have become a way of life for many and, regardless of who becomes President, a change of administration in Washington will not put a “happy face” on a listless soul.  If you are one of millions wrestling with “Election Depression”,  I have good news from God’s Word!

A recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests nearly 10% of the world’s population lives in a perpetual state of anxiety and depression. A United Kingdom study suggests that 40-50% of Millennials struggle with anxiety. The news for American Millennials is no better. In fact, the problem of anxiety and depression is so dire the WHO has proposed that $147 billion be spent on “psychological counseling and antidepressant medications” in the next 15 years.slide03

Friend, there is a better way to cope with life and overcome Post-Election Blues!  Rather than deepening your rut of fear and worry, allow me to encourage your heart and mind in the principles of God’s sovereignty and providential care by inviting you to consider Psalm 91 on this Election Day.  This great psalm promises hope for the hopeless, confidence for the distraught, sanctuary for the hurting, courage for the fearful, and peace for the troubled!

If you are in need a word of encouragement to help you overcome post-election blues, consider four truths from Psalm 91:

1) The Sanctuary of the Saints (91:1-2)

2) The Security of the Saints (91:3-7)

3) The Sureness of the Saints (91:8-13)

4) The Satisfaction of the Saints (91:14-16)

slide16The saints of God find Sanctuary in the shadow of the LORD (91:1-2).  A young child is fearless when he or she is near a parent; however, stray too far from the parent and fear and panic can suddenly take hold on that child’s heart.  The same is true of the child of God.  When we purposefully and consciously stay close to the LORD, when He is our abiding place and His shadow is our retreat, we can say confidently, the LORD is “my Refuge, my Fortress, and my God” and I trust Him! (91:2)

The LORD is not only the Sanctuary; He is also the Security of God’s people (91:3-7).   Ask yourself on this election day:  Why put your confidence in man (or woman) when the LORD has promised to be your Deliverer (91:3) and Defender (91:4-7)?slide16

The psalmist assured God’s people the LORD is able to deliver His people from the snares of enemies and the troubles that plague the lives of men in this sin cursed world (91:3).   We have this assurance: put your confidence in the LORD; obey His commandments, live a virtuous life, and He will deliver you from the pestilence of sin and death (Romans 6:23).

The psalmist promises the LORD is not only the Deliverer of those who trust Him; He is also their Defender.  I suggest there are three words of encouragement we can take from Psalm 91:4-7 that should lift the spirits of God’s people.

The first word of encouragement is, Be Comforted.  The security the LORD offers His people is set forth in two spiritual portraits. arkThe first,  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalm 91:4).  The LORD is like a mother hen who sacrifices herself to give safety and shelter to her brood of chicks.  Where would the psalmist have found the feathers and wings of the LORD?  I suggest it was within the inner sanctum, the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle.  Once a year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice on the Mercy Seat and atone for the sins of Israel.  Outstretched wings of cherubim covered the Mercy Seat which represented the throne of God (Hebrews 9:5; Numbers 7:89; Leviticus 16:15). For Israel, the Mercy Seat and Ark of the Covenant represented God’s perpetual presence among His people.

shieldThe second portrait of the LORD’s comfort is a military one:  The LORD’s “truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).   The shield was a large defensive tool used by soldiers when approaching an enemies’ stronghold.  Covering the soldier’s body, the shape of the shield was much like that of a door and could be interlocked with fellow soldiers presenting a formidable defense against arrows and spears. The buckler was a small shield used by soldiers in close hand-to-hand combat.  In essence, the LORD’s Truth, His Word, Commandments, Law, and Gospel offer security to the soul like the shield and buckler of a foot soldier.

Take comfort dear friend, the LORD is a Sanctuary, offering Security for those who abide in His presence.

I will continue this study of Psalm 91 later today, praying it will be an encouragement for you on this Election Day!

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith