Recently a heaviness was on my spirit—a slight sorrow that I couldn’t quite shake—and it kept bringing me to my knees.
As my toddler ran around giggling and joyful, I eventually sunk to the ground, crying out on the inside for God to deliver me from this subtle but stifling melancholy. I woke up like this and couldn’t escape the feeling.
Is it just emotions? Hormones? An attack from the enemy? I fought whatever it was, searching for joy in the Lord, knowing that my heart must be revived by His Spirit.
I went outside, and beheld the trees and birds reaching into the sky, and I remembered, “the Lord made them, He cares for them and cares for us.” (Matthew 6:26).
And then I realized with this blessed affirmation of God that my self-centeredness, self-sufficiency was weighing me down.
I thought – oh how easy it is to become self-absorbed in our pain, as abstract as it may seem!
It’s in subtle ways, like when I place my worth in my to-do list, that I make myself a god, and when I do it never ends well.
As David says, “The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply…” Psalm 16:4
I was wrestling with worries and unrealistic expectations by my own self, instead of just resting and believing, “The Lord is my portion.” (Psalm 16:5).
Feeling trapped inside my little apartment, I needed to cling to Scripture and say with it, “the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places” and “my heritage [in Christ] is beautiful.” (Psalm 16:6)
From Woes to Worship
Selfish inklings toward self-pity often blind us from beholding God’s glory.
Have you been there – moping about you don’t even know what?
When we’re downcast often we’ve lost focus on eternity. We may be hiding sin or holding doubt that keeps us zeroed in on our kingdom instead of His.
But His grace is everywhere, if we’re faithful to look for it. When we do – when we lose ourselves in His love – that’s actually where healing begins. We can repent in the light of His majesty, and take pleasure in His nearness.
We can say: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
When handled rightly, our inadequacies point us to Christ’s sufficiency, and then worship softens the sorrow.We have to cling to Christ and His Word, or else we will become lost to the woes of the world. Click To Tweet
A Call to Remember
So how do we escape Satan’s lies and our flesh that so easily drags us down?
Jesus. He is the anchor of our soul. On downcast days he holds us fast, keeping us above water. (Hebrews 6:19-20)
We can abide in Him by being in the company of other Christians, listening to passionate, Christ-exalting messages, praising Him in song, seeing His intrinsic work in nature… and as always, we can treasure His Word, where the Spirit teaches us and comforts us.
There, in His Word:
We remember His love at the cross.
We remember His sufficiency to pay for our, and everyone’s, sins.
We remember His victory over death.
We remember His mission to redeem—that’s now ours too, and there’s no time to waste.
Sometimes we must mourn, but when unexpected sorrow interrupts our everyday service unto God the Spirit invites us to once again sit at Christ’s feet…and remember.When unexpected sorrow interrupts our day, the Spirit invites us to sit at Christ's feet and find joy in worship. Click To Tweet
Here are 5 passages to meditate on in downcast moments, to savor who Jesus is. Some are long, but worth reading for priceless hope!
1. Psalm 16:2, 8-10 – He is My Lord
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. Psalm 16:8-10
2. 1 Peter 1:3-9 – He is My Inheritance
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
3. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – He is Forever
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
4. Psalm 73:23-26 – He is My Strength
Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
5. Matthew 28:18-20 – He is My Mission
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I hope these bring encouragement, worship, and joy to your downcast heart!
In His Love,
This post was shared at the Salt and Light Facebook Link-up.