Why So Downcast?

Monday, March 22, 2010

How are you feeling today? I don't mean physically, but emotionally? It is increasingly difficult to stay emotionally positive in the world we live in. All you have to do is watch the news or read the newspaper and your good mood can fly right out the window, especially on a Monday morning. The economy is still in the tank, and with the passing of the healthcare legislation, I worry that things will only get worse. To top it off, you clicked on this blog post hoping for some encouragement. Hang on and keep reading because we have reason to be encouraged in spite of all that.

In Psalm 42:11, we read that David is depressed. This chapter is one of the most depressing chapters in the Bible. David pours out his lament before God. He has been crying day and night. He is disturbed and oppressed. He goes so far as to say in verse ten that "my bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me." Pretty depressing stuff and not something that we want to read on a Monday morning. But you have to read all the way to the very last verse. David spends an entire chapter voicing his despair and then suddenly, something clicks in his mind that changes his whole outlook. Notice what he says in verse eleven: "Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

David realizes that he doesn't have to be a slave to his emotions. Don't misunderstand what is being said here. He is not simply ignoring his feelings and choosing to be happy instead. The truth here is that through the simple act of "praising God" in spite of our emotions, our perspective, along with our emotions, are changed. Simply put, we all have a choice of how we respond to our circumstances. That choice will determine your emotions. Don't let your emotions determine how you worship. Let your worship determine how you will feel. We don't have to be a victim of our emotions. You see, worship empowers us to overcome our circumstances, control our emotions, and defeat the enemy. Understand that worship doesn't make our problems and feelings magically disappear. The power of praise is that is lifts us up above them so that we can see things from God's perspective. How you feel is not always reality. Don't trust your emotions. They are not very reliable. When I choose to praise the Lord in the midst of my circumstances, I suddenly realize that things aren't quite as bad as I thought they were.

So, how are you feeling today? Before you go any further, stop where you are for a moment and begin to lift up a song of praise to the Lord. It will dramatically change your whole perspective. You have the choice of how you will feel today! By the way, the smiling baby is my niece, Sheridan Rose. Thought she might brighten your day.


Sarah Card said...

This was an awesome post David! It brought tears to my eyes too when I saw my little baby girl with her smiling face!!

Meriam said...

Excellent post, David, and so appropriate, given how I know many of us feel about our country's direction right now.

tmac2271 said...

Cool post. Whenever i get in those slumps, i remember that if i can feel that emotion in the first pace, then im still alive, and should do my best to turn it around

Lora said...

David - Thanks for keeping us grounded here. I hear more and more and see more and more anger at recent events. To keep our eyes focused in the right direction is the only way to survive. Thank goodness that He is in control ... and like Paul, we can count it all joy no matter what our emotions or circumstances are.

Lolita said...

How can the passing of the healthcare legislation make things worse? As I understand it, the lack of such a thing has caused trouble in America for eternity. That very thing that your government just passed has been in Sweden for a long time, and that's about the best thing about our country. Doesn't the Bible say something about all people's equal value? I think a right to medical care is included in that very statement.

New Songs of Praise said...

Lolita - that wasn't the point of my post. The point has nothing to do with the viewpoint as to the right or wrong of this issue of healthcare reform. There are many opposed to it but that doesn't have to negatively impact how we respond in worship to God. He's bigger than healthcare reform. Our government isn't the answer, He is.

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