This morning I just have a “feeling” that someone needs some encouragement regarding their emotions and what they have going on inside of them. David, the Psalmist, said it this way in Psalm 55:4-8:
My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me. And horror has overwhemed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”
Does it feel like a storm and tempest is raging in your life? Are you overwhelmed with life and wish that you had wings like a dove to fly away to a restful place? Sometimes our feelings deceive us into thinking that we are stuck in a situation with no way out. Those types of emotions definitely do not lead to success and victory and yet God promises that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us! (Romans 8:37) It’s easy to get “caught up” in our emotions and feel like things will never be any different. But God offers encouragement throughout His word for which we can anchor our faith!
Later in Psalm 55 David gave a key to overcoming our emotions and setting our course on solid footing.
Psalm 55:16-18 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.
David had a lot going on in His life. He was chased by Saul, hid in caves and fought against his enemies for approximately 15 years after he was anointed as King over Israel, but before he actually took his throne and was crowned as the King. I’m sure he had occasion to “feel” as if God’s word to him was not true and that he would never see the promise of kingship manifested in his life. We can look through the scriptures at the record of that time and see a whole range of emotions that he experienced during those years of running, hiding and fighting.
At one point in David’s life he returned to the city where he lived and found that his wife and children, and all their possessions, as well as the wives, children and possessions of all his men had been stolen by their enemies and there was nothing left of their town. Emotions ran high that day for David and his men.
1 Samuel 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
The lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more power to weep. They were exhausted from the fighting and returned to find all that they had was gone. Their emotions were overwhelming! Even his men turned against him at that time.
1 Samuel 30:6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every many for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
When we experience such deep emotions our ability to think and reason things out is often colored and affected by the fear, grief and anxiety of the moment. David was grieved over the loss of his family and possessions, but even more so when he realized that his men were thinking of stoning him over something that he had no control over. It appeared that everyone that David cared about was gone, whether physically or emotionally, they had been removed from him and he was all alone.
But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God! What does it mean to “strengthen” yourself? The Amplified Bible says that David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God”. Sometimes we have to take the initiative to get out of the pit of despair ourselves by encouraging ourselves in the Lord. We find an admonition to do just that in Isaiah 60:1 in the Amplified Bible.
Isaiah 60:1 AMP ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
I remember when my former husband passed away after such a short marriage. I had no more than finished sending out thank you notes for wedding gifts when I found myself planning a funeral. I was, to say the least, depressed and discouraged. Not only had I lost the man I loved, but also the dream of my future with the man that I felt God had given me as a godly mate. I was devastated and found myself lying in bed at night wondering how I could end the pain and torment that I was experiencing. My grief had overwhelmed me and I had thoughts that I would never have thought about had I not been so caught up in my emotions. I realized that I had to do something drastic in order to position myself to win over the fear, grief and devastation that I was enduring. I had to encourage myself in the Lord just as David did. It was then that I began to take a step of faith towards what I knew was right instead of letting my emotions overwhelm me and carry me down to the depths of despair.
My friend, if you are experiencing emotions that seem overwhelming with fear and anxiety over your life or things that “could” happen, you will have to take steps toward freeing yourself from those heavy thoughts and feelings. You will have to encourage yourself in the Lord as well.
One way to do this is by putting on some praise and worship music and then entering into that song with the singers. Another way is through seeking the Lord in prayer and listening for His loving voice as He shares with you His good plans for your future. God does have a good plan for you, just as He had for me when I lost my husband. There is life after disaster! There is hope in the midst of the storms of life. God offers salvation from sin, sickness and poverty and lack. He has provided for every need that you have or will ever experience in your life. He is the way-maker! But you have a part to play in His plan for your life as well as Him. He has provided it, but through hope and expectancy you will receive it. It is by faith that we walk through the life that He has planned for us. We don’t see what lies ahead but we trust Him to provide for our every need.
When David was experiencing all those emotions that we spoke of in Psalm 55 he went on to say this:
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Cast, throw your cares on the Lord; trust Him to carry the load of your emotions, your fears, anxieties and questions about tomorrow. He will sustain you! That word for sustain is the Hebrew word “chul” and it means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.
God’s part is to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend and supply the means necessary for living your life! He has a big part to play in what you are going through. But your part is to cast your cares on Him, to trust Him to do His part in caring for you.
And one more thing is necessary for you to succeed and win over the emotions of despair and defeat. God told David to go after his enemies, to take back what the devil had stolen from him when he took their wives, children and possessions. He told him to “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:8)
You see, God doesn’t want you to live “under your circumstances”. He wants you to succeed, to win, be the the over comer that He has created you to be. He is the God of restoration! His word proclaims us as “more than conquerors” through His love.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
God is for you, my Friend! He has not given up on you nor has He thrown you under the bus to be run over by life’s problems!
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Don’t give up to despair…don’t let your “feelings” dictate where you go in life. Rise up on the inside and let your determination to win be seen on the outside. Victory is yours through Christ Jesus.
“Feelings come and feelings go,
But this one thing I’m sure I know….
That God is fair in all He does,
His word is true and His ways are just.
So place your trust in God above;
Lean into Him and trust His love.
He will not fail to see you through,
And you’ll be blessed in all you do.”
~A. S. 11-26-13
Once you start praising the Lord and fighting this fight of faith you will find that the attacks that the enemy sends against you to discourage you will become less and less as you become stronger and stronger. We see this said about David’s fight against Saul and his ultimate crowning as King of Israel in 2 Samuel 3:1:
Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
David had his battles to fight against his enemy Saul, but we can see recorded in this scripture that as he stood up to his enemy and fought the battle of faith, his enemy grew weaker and weaker. And David’s strength increased! Your strength to fight the battles of life will increase also as you place your trust in God and stand up and fight for what He has said is yours!
Father, I thank You for giving us the victory in Christ Jesus. Father, You have planned for us to win over the emotions that so often try to hold us back from receiving all that You have paid for us on the cross! Thank You for showing us the way out, the way to victory, through our faith in You. I pray this morning for those who are fighting depression and discouragement. Father, I ask You to give them the strength to rise up on the inside and let their faith be seen on the outside. Father, show them how to “encourage” themselves in You, Lord. Give them a glimpse of the good plan that You have for their future. Show them that You have a bigger picture in mind for them than what they are experiencing right now. Grant them a new vision of life after despair! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.