Sunday, September 13, 2009

when discouragement hits

In Psalm 43 the writer is in trouble again (sounds like a David psalm but the writer isn't named). He feels misunderstood, caught, struggling in the dark, discouraged, God-forsaken, alone, hopeless.

He prays for God's help:
"Vindicate me...plead my cause... deliver me.

He prays for a sense of God's presence:
"...Send Your light and Your truth. Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle."

He ends by doing a little self-talk:
"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me
Hope in God
for I shall yet praise Him"

This psalm tells us that even spiritual giants like Bible writers sometimes feel alone, discouraged, misunderstood and down. Can we learn from what this one does about it?

- He asks God for help.
- He plans to go to the place of worship.
- He takes up his musical instrument and plays a song of praise.

In other words, he acts himself out of his funk. He does what he knows to do, realizing his feelings will follow.

Lord, help us not to feel guilty when we struggle with negative feelings. Instead help us do what David does - pray, meet with God's people, dust off that old harp and praise God, even if we don't feel like it.


Laura Davis said...

Thank you for the encouragement Violet. I have been feeling a little like David lately.

violet said...

You're welcome Laura.

Joanna Mallory said...

Amen, Violet. Thanks for articulating this so clearly. It's exactly what we need to do, especially when we don't feel like it.

There's another verse about God giving us the garments of praise to replace the spirit of heaviness.

Praising out loud is extra effective, maybe because it convinces our brains better.

freebird said...

I needed this on this morning. My husband is giving me a really hard time for unknowingle hitting the $20 back on the debit card machine at Walmart and because I didn't realize I hit it, I walked away without the money. I know it's a big deal but it's not THAT big of a deal. So, I am trying to get out of my funk he sent me into and it felt good looking over your blog. I knew this post is what I needed to do but it helps to see it. Thankyou.

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