Feeling Down?

“The best cure for ‘the dumps’ is the Word of God.”

One of my Bible college professors, Bill McCloud, shared these words with me almost two decades ago… and I found myself a couple of months back thinking about his words. I was feeling somewhat discouraged, maybe a little depressed… I’m sure my bride could tell (she always knows when I am not at my best), but I never really opened up to anyone about it. And although there were some challenging life situations at the time that were mitigating factors, I honestly, just felt – I think – insignificant. I currently live in a city that I do not know very well… and because I no longer drive (eyesight), I basically just go to work and then come home… every day — I can’t really venture out and discover new places, new friends. So, I often can feel isolated and alone… trapped even… and anyone who knows me wells knows that is not at all the type of environment and space that I thrive in…

So… one day, I was feeling really down, and I cried out to God, “God, I can’t live like this… I can’t!! Please lead me out of this dark space!” And immediately, a verse popped into my mind, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). I knew God was speaking to me and had more to say… so, prayerfully, I opened my Bible, and turned to Psalm 42… I read the first few verses, and then got to verse 5, which says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD…” (emphasis mine). I can’t tell you how much I needed that reminder, to trust in the God who knows me and loves me… the reminder that I can cast all my cares on Him, because He cares for me! (1 Peter 5:7)

Life sucks sometimes. It just does. It’s part of the fall of creation (read Genesis chaps 1-3). It is not just human beings that feel the effects of the fall and sin; it is all of creation and life – the entire scope of our existence. But God doesn’t want us to wallow in our frustration or discouragement… He wants us to run to Him. If our discouragement and anxiety about the situations of our lives don’t do anything else, it should drive us to our knees! That is why the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anyting, but pray about everything. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ JesusJesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). To not use the resources God has given us – His Word. His Spirit that indwells us, and prayer – in our time of need, is to basically say to Him, “Thanks… but no thanks. I don’t think You can really help me…” Is that oversimplifying it? I think not! Why else would we not lean in on God when we need Him? We say we trust God with our salvation, our ETERNITY… but we refuse to trust Him with our lives in the present? That doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Over the last couple of months, God has been reminding me of how much He loves me, and how my union with His Son makes all the difference in my life. I don’t have to wallow in despair, and I don’t have to give in to discouragenent… “the joy of the LORD” is my strength, and He has made me glad!
But I have to use the resources He has provided. I have to spend time daily with Him in His Word and in prayer, and allow Him to grow my heart as I learn more and more to trust Him … knowing that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
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