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Discouragement is a reminder of your finiteness and fallenness. God did not build you to last in your humanness. You’re not able to sustain all that life pushes at you. The accumulative effect of the day-to-day grind can wear on you. In Psalm 23:3, David talks about his troubles with depression when he says, “He restores my soul.” David needed soul restoration. At some point in the past, he had experienced “soul trouble” and wanted to let the world know how he rebounded from his problems.
David’s statement is encouraging, but saying that “God restored your soul” is incomplete. Without question, the Lord is a soul restorer, but you need more information than that. You need to know not only what God can do but how does He do it. That is the question. Fortunately, David’s parallelistic writing style gives you the answer. At times, David would write in parallelism, meaning he would make a statement and then explain it with his next thought. This concept is what he did in Psalm 23:3.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake!
How does God restore your soul? He does this by leading you “in paths of righteousness.”
Let me suggest that you walk in “paths of righteousness,” which begs the question, what are these righteous paths? The paths David is talking about are the right way of thinking and living. If you begin walking down these paths, your soul will slowly and surely start to experience the restoration process.
Probably some of the most challenging things to do when you’re depressed are the things I just mentioned. There is spiritual warfare going on in your mind, and once you turn to God, you can expect challenges. The challenges are why you don’t want to do this alone. If you know someone who is struggling today, what if you come alongside your friend? Find the discouraged person and lovingly and patiently help them down these paths of righteousness. There are times when it’s hard to take baby steps.
It takes a friend to get them up and walking again. It’s your great privilege to model the gospel to them. Jesus came to get us up off the mat and place us on paths of righteousness. You want to follow His example to the downcast.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).