I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart. (Psalm 119:30–32—NKJV)

Everyone has mopey periods in life. For some, depression seems to descend like a cloud and hover everywhere they go. Others deal with depressing downturns in mood, that come and go with momentary suddenness, hardly losing their stride. In either case, when those periods occur, it is wise to seek out the reason for them. Often the solution for the average healthy person is to simply get a good meal, a good night’s sleep, seek the face of God, confer with a good friend, and take oneself by the nape of the neck, and get the feet moving on the right course.

Seasons of depression, both lasting and momentary, are par for the course in every thoughtful believer’s life because we are not yet perfected. There is a necessity for daily conviction, repentance, and renewal (Colossians 3:10) so that we may grow and comprehend the “breadth, length, depth and height” of the love of God (Ephesians 3:18). For our own victory over willfulness and sin, we do well to embrace those moments of self-inspection and then run into the presence of God for our daily dose of sustaining grace and restored joy (Psalm 51:11–12).

Our stanza of verses from Psalm 119 covers verses 25 through 32. Each Hebrew verse begins with the Hebrew letter daleth, hence the title of the stanza in your translation. These eight verses take up the subject of praying for the grace of divine strengthening when grief presses upon a man and squeezes out his native strength. In verse 25 David describes the condition of his soul clinging to the dust—he is humbled and laid low. In verse 28 he says his soul is wracked with grief. This must be a tough circumstance not easily shaken off. Is it any wonder that his first request is that he be revived according to God’s Word?

Way back in Deuteronomy 32:39, God declared, “Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.” Quickening and reviving is the specialty of God and is administered when He knows it is fitting, proper, and suits His good purposes.

Having asked for God to revive his strength, David proceeds to set his heart to be teachable and places himself at the disposal of God in verses 26–27. He turns to the Word of God and immerses himself therein, allowing himself to be captivated with the majesty and greatness of God. Then, in verses 28–29, he requests the favor of God’s aid in teaching his heart because his personal strength is exhausted. In both the good times and the bad times, a believer is totally at the mercy of God’s sovereign care and feeding. David wants nothing false within.

Now David arrives at our verses quoted above, where he expresses his increasing desire for his life to prove to be one of devotion to God. Notice the verbs he chooses to describe his fervor: “I have chosen, I have laid before me, I cling, I will run!” Just as the old saying goes, “even victims have responsibilities,” even so the weighed-down man of God has obligations to his Lord. What is refreshing is the fact that David remains stalwart in his faith despite the circumstances; he remains focused despite the pressures draining him; and he remains loyal to his Master despite his humbling. He chooses the way of truth; he lays out (an action of commitment, “to set”) God’s judgments before his eyes; and he holds fast to the testimonies of God.

With this he runs. He is set free as a horse released from a pen to run in the wide-open spaces of the Word of God. The work of God in illumining David’s heart by granting him understanding of the Word, David describes as enlarging his heart.

When you are burdened and downhearted, where do you turn? Do you tend to wallow in despair or do you bestir yourself, cast yourself at the disposal of your Lord, and march on? Ground your life in the wide-open spaces of God’s Word. Trust and obey.