“When Sadness And Trouble Seep In”

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art  thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God…  Psalm 42:5

Why am I so sad?  Why am I so troubled?  He was disquieted within.  He had no peace. He was anxious, his soul felt cast down.  He could no longer think, do or participate, as he knew he should.  Korah’s son was challenged with a personal struggle.  He expresses a deep human emotion that can arise in situations that may involve sickness, death, divorce, job loss or personal freedom.  He was a man of faith, but these all-consuming feelings challenged his thoughts, behavior and activities.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. (Heb 11:1 NIV)  Even so, this psalmist was troubled and did not seem certain.

I once heard a man say he did not take risks and that faith is a risk, therefore, he did not believe.  Of course, the unbeliever had not reached the understanding that faith is not a risk. However, the sad, troubled psalmist, like many believers today, do find their thoughts pitched between faith and risk, fearing something harmful, dangerous, or detrimental may occur. Circumstances such as these can make one feel anxious, overwhelmed or consider giving up.  At this point, you may be thinking as you have seen or heard before, the subject here is depression.

No, this psalmist also reflects a state in which a risk mindset can begin to seep in; where although one may begin by God’s Spirit, he starts to believe that he must finish by his own power.  In some cases this may be paralyzing; but feelings of risk can also bring on an impulse to take things into your own hands, impulsively do something about it when it seems that things are going wrong or taking too long.  It is the point at which an emphasis on risk can be painful and dangerous because such thoughts often result in inappropriate behavior, unhealthy lifestyles, fear to take action or make decisions. This is particularly so when one believes his circumstances are such that no one can predict or guarantee the outcome, not even God.

The great threat here is that viewing faith as a risk fails to acknowledge and distinguish God. It also expresses feelings of insecurity and improbability of God’s love, God’s power and the veracity of His promises.  This reinforces frustration and hopelessness towards the possibility of change or help.

“It is the point at which an emphasis on risk can be painful and dangerous”

But, fear not, this lack of God consciousness suggests not only what makes help necessary but possible! When the psalmist realized what was going on in his head he said, “Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help…” (Psalm 42:5)  He began to change how he spoke about the situation and encouraged himself.  Each time he realized the troubling thoughts were beginning to seep in; he stopped them by focusing on God.  He shifted his thoughts and words to God’s loving kindness, building faith until he could feel oils of gladness seeping into his heart, until he saw that God is a shield, that He gives favor and healing and is an “ever present help”.  His heart and mind filled with the knowledge and understanding of God; our Father in heaven who gives good gifts to those who ask him!

When you are feeling sad, troubled, paralyzed or impulsive, have you asked why?  Have you equipped yourself to stop the thoughts by focusing on God? Have you written down what God has said or promised regarding your struggle? Great!  Now begin to carry the verses with you.  Read and speak them throughout the day.   To be encouraged, let God work in you and through others he has equipped to help. Acknowledging God can open your awareness and trust that with God nothing is impossible even though your request is not yet tangible. Dare to dream of having life better than it is! There is no risk involved because every word of God proves true and he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him (Prov. 30:5). Believe in the Lord your God, and your thoughts will be established, your words will be established and the work of your hands will be established. There is no risk in faith, believe in the Lord your God; you shall be established! (2 Chron20:20)

Yours in Christ.  

Rev. Crigler

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