The Depressing Ds

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The Depressing D’s: Distress, Debt, Discontentment 

First Samuel 22.2

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 29, In the year of our Lord, 2013

Scripture Reader and Reading: Dan Calvert – Ezekiel 37.24–28



  1. Life without Christ eventually leads to emptiness. 
    1. Without Christ there is no aim in life—so distress settles in.
    2. Without Christ there are no guiding principles—so debt can rule.
    3. Without Christ nothing fulfills—leading to discontentment.
  2. Interestingly, as David had to flee from King Saul, 
    1. certain kinds of men began to follow David, because
    2. they saw in him something that they needed,

      2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him (1Sa 22.2).

  3. They recognized in David 
    1. qualities that could help them relieve their depressing d’s.
    2. Whether they realized it or not
      1. they saw the heart of God.
      2. As the Scripture in Ezekiel 37 showed,
        1. in the Old Testament,
        2. the Bible frequently used David as a type of the Christ.
  4. Therefore, those experiencing the depressing d’s now, can go to Christ. 


  1. Distress 
    1. The sources of distress:
      1. Fear
        1. Of harm
        2. Of lack of provisions
      2. Overpowering and persistent temptation
      3. Failures
      4. Lack of faith
      5. Lack of leadership
    2. What can make us distressful:
      1. Too many demands
      2. Goals that are not met
      3. Disappointment in the people we love
      4. Poor health
      5. Loss of income
    3. The distressed find peace in Jesus Christ.
      1. He is in a position to give it

        6 For unto us a Child is born,
        Unto us a Son is given;
        And the government will be upon His shoulder.
        And His name will be called
        Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
        (Isa 9.6)

        1. He is Wonderful.
        2. He is the Counselor.
        3. He is the Mighty God.
        4. He is the Father of Eternity.
        5. He is the Prince of Peace.
      2. Millions over the centuries have found the truths of this promise,

        27 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11.27–30).

        1. Verse 27 – Knowing the one who has all things in His hands:
          1. Verse 28 – Gives true rest
          2. Verse 29 – His work leads to true rest
          3. Verse 30 – His work is easy and light.
  2. Debt 
    1. Necessary debt and unnecessary
      1. Unnecessary
        1. Worldliness
      2. Necessary
        1. Love
          1. Rom 13.8
          2. Luke 10.25–37
        2. Unavoidable circumstances
          1. 2Ki 4.3
    2. Considerations:
      1. Pro 22.7
      2. Pro 27.1
      3. Ecc 7.14
    3. Learn to see that Jesus is life

      3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3.3–4).

      1. Your life is about the spirit.
      2. Your life finds glory in Jesus.
      3. Do not build life on possessions – Luke 12.15
    4. Someone paid our greatest debt.
      1. We owe God because
        1. He created us
        2. He provides for us
        3. He forgives us
      2. Yet, we cannot repay Him for these things
  3. Discontentment 
    1. The sources of discontentment:
      1. Impatience
      2. Ignorance:
        1. Of how things are run
        2. That everyone is not perfect
        3. Of what gives true and lasting happiness
      3. Self-centeredness
    2. What people can be discontented about:
      1. Material possessions
      2. Wages – Luke 3.14
      3. Trivial things
      4. Outward appearance
    3. Put Him in your heart and see contentment grow
      1. He gives life all that it is meant to be

        1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Col 3.1–2).

      2. He is life itself

        3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3.3–4).

      3. Knowing Christ, therefore, you can be content in all situations.

        6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content (1Ti 6.6–8).

        11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phi 4.11–13).


  1. Find relief in Christ from the depressing D’s – 2Co 1.3–11