Despair is no picnic. With it come all sorts of negative emotions. Our joy is robbed from us, and we become consumed with our dilemma. Itís during our seasons of despair that we feel the deepest sense of loneliness, hopelessness and discouragement. The answer to our problem seems nowhere in sight. We canít see past our problem. We wonder aloud ďGod where are You?Ē Despair has overshadowed us.
Despite all this, it is during these times that we grow the most. Imagine going through life with absolutely no problems and everything just falling into place. A perfect life soundsÖwellÖ perfectly wonderful! However, if we lived a perfect life on this earth, we would not see our frailty or our need for an all powerful God. Heaven would not be very appealing, because we would be living it out right here. But we donít live in a perfect world and our lives are far from perfect. Therefore we must recognize through our times of despair that 1) this life is only temporal and so are our problems 2) we serve a God who is greater and more powerful than anything we face. When we keep these two facts in the forefront of our mind, our times of despair cannot swallow us up.
Look at King David. Do you think he went through times of despair when Saul was after his life or when his own son rebelled against him? Israel went through a time of despair, when for 400 years they were in heavy bondage to the Egyptians. They were oppressed and their hearts were filled with sorrow. Moses dealt with despair during the 40 years in the wilderness. At one point, the Israelites were ready to stone him.
REMEMBER THIS ONE THING
It can be difficult to find God when we are down, but that doesnít mean He isnít there. He is always with us. Because of the pressure of our problem, we donít always sense His nearness. Yet, we are promised in the following verses.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. (1 Chronicles 28:20)
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)
One thing I have learned about my feelings verse the word of God is that a lot of times they contrast each other. I may feel one way, but the word may say something else. Which one am I going to believe: my emotions or the word of God? My emotions are unstable and change like the weather, but Godís word stays the same.
It doesnít matter how godly or squeaky clean your spiritual life is, as long as you are on this earth, you will face times of despair. But there is good news. Despite their troubles, what did David, Israel and Moses all have in common? They cried out to God in the midst of their despair. They turned to the only one who could deliver them. And God did just that. Davidís life and kingdom were restored; Israel was delivered from the bondage of Egypt; and Moses wasnít killed by the anger of the Israelites.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)
Despair has a way of drawing people to their knees, and itís through our humbling of ourselves that God answers us. In Daniel 19 we read that God hears the heart of the humble. Godís compassion is turned to those that come to Him humbly. We humble ourselves by our coming to Him. We are saying that He is the lifter of our head and the only comforter of our soul.
Would you ignore the cry of your child if they were hurting? I think not. Rest in the assurance that God hears your every cry. He delights in the fact that you turn to Him when you are feeling low. In fact, His desire is for you to run to His outstretched hand. We are told that God desires to gather us under His wing as a hen gathers its chicks, for comfort (Matthew 23:37). But He cannot do this unless you willingly yield to His tender care.
King David wrote the following Psalm. I pray you find great comfort in reading it. I know I have.
You have hedged me behind and before and laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:5-6)
Knowing that God was behind him, before him and had His hand upon him, brought David much comfort. Know that God is all around you too, and that nothing that goes on in your life catches Him by surprise.