In Psalm 43:4, the Psalmist refers to God as his exceeding joy.  The question often arises: Does having God as our exceeding joy exclude having other desires or even finding a measure of joy in other things?  No, but the way to tell what rules your heart is to assess what happens when you don’t get what you want.  What happens when certain relationships or circumstances are not smooth or comfortable?  What happens when God removes something you found delight in?   Do we maintain our hope in God or does bitterness or depression set in?

This is why we need to be asking ourselves: Why do we want to be delivered from the downcast, depressed state?  Hopefully, it’s not so that we can get something or merely feel better or just get back to living our lives exactly how we were.  That will just lead to a never-ending cycle of unbelief and discouragement.

Instead, God graciously offers himself in the gospel and continues to work in his people to grow them in the grace and knowledge of Christ.  Christ died for our sins on the cross to bring us to God.  It is a blood-bought privilege to know God and to praise him forever and this privilege is granted to all those who look away from themselves and trust exclusively in his finished work.   So hope in God, for he himself is our salvation.