3 Steps to Rising Above the Clouds of Despair

Monday, February 20, 2012

3 steps to rising above the clouds of despair
All of us from time to time face moments of despair in life. I wish I could tell you that the Christian life is exempt from despair, but I can't. We read about an incident when David faced a period of intense despair in Psalm 57. Maybe you have felt like he did in verse 4, "I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts--men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords." If you read the entire chapter you will read how David didn't resign himself to despair. We see how he went from the depths of despair to great heights of hope. There are three things David did that if we will do, will help us in our moment of need.

#1 - Count on victory. (v. 1 - 2) Though his circumstances were overwhelming, David knew that he could count on the fact that God would see Him through. He says, "I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed." David held on to the truth that his present circumstances would not last forever. The storm will pass and you will see blue skies again soon. Count on it.

#2 - Celebrate God's love and faithfulness. (v. 3 - 6) This is hard to do because when you are facing the storm, you don't always feel God's love or sense his faithfulness. But you have to rely on the truth, not your feelings. When we are in trouble we can't afford to trust our emotions because they rarely tell us the truth about reality. We have to hold unswervingly to the faith that we profess and trust God anyway.

#3 - Sing His praise in the morning. (v. 7 - 11) When David begins to declare and sing God's greatness it begins to change the way he feels. His heart and spirit are lifted and suddenly his perspective has changed. If you are like me, there are times I have found myself singing that old Heehaw song, "Gloom, despair, and agony on me!" If you are struggling in the middle of your circumstances maybe you need to change the song you are singing. Try singing, "Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever and ever!"

I can tell you from personal experience that this works. In the last ten years I have had to navigate through the loss of both my parents as well as my wife's father and later, her step-father. I have experienced the depths of depression and despair and these three principles will save you. It is never easy, but there is always hope. May the Lord put a new song in your heart as you walk through the storms of life.

Here is a link to a song by Matt Redman called, "Never Once" that will greatly encourage you. It will get your mind and your heart focused on God's faithfulness in the midst of difficult circumstances.


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