Jesus Calling: July 16thSelf-pity is a slimy, bottomless pit. Once you fall in, you tend to go deeper and deeper into the mire. As you slide down those slippery walls, you are well on your way to depression, and the darkness is profound.
Your only hope is to look up and see the Light of My Presence shining down on you. Though the Light looks dim from your perspective, deep in the pit, those rays of hope can reach you at any depth. While you focus on Me in trust, you rise ever so slowly out of the abyss of despair. Finally, you can reach up and grasp My hand. I will pull you out into the Light again. I will gently cleanse you, washing off the clinging mire. I will cover you with My righteousness and walk with you down the path of Life.
Psalm 40:2-3 (NLT)
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Additional insight regarding Psalm 40:1-3: Waiting for God to help us is not easy, but David received four benefits from waiting:
1) God lifted him out of despair
2) God set his feet on solid ground
3) God steadies him as he walked
4) God put a new song of praise in his mouth.
Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting.
Psalm 42:5 (NLT)
5 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and 6 my God! ...
Additional insight regarding Psalm 42:5: The writer of this psalm was discouraged because he was exiled to a place far from Jerusalem and could not worship in the Temple. During these God-given holidays, the nation was to remember all that God had done for them. Many of these festivals are explained in the chart in Leviticus 23. Depression is one of the most common emotional ailments. One antidote for depression is to meditate on the record of God's goodness to his people. This will take your mind off the present situation as you focus your thoughts on God's ability to help you rather than on your ability to help yourself. When you feel depressed, take advantage of this psalm's antidepressant: Read the Bible's accounts of God's goodness, and meditate on them.
Psalm 147:11 (NLT)
11 No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Additional insight regarding Psalm 147:10,11: We may spend a lot of effort trying to sharpen our skills or become physically fit. There is nothing wrong with doing so, and in fact, our gifts can be used to glorify God. But when we use our gifts with no regard for God, they are indeed worth little. It is our honor and trust that God desires. When he has those, then he will use our gifts and strengths in ways far greater than we can imagine.