Feelings of Desperation
by Edmond Ng
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Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:5 NAS)How we feel is never a good measure of what is true or a fact. This is because reality may be far different. Too often our feelings are clouded by the circumstances we are in that we become too easily influenced by our moods rather than rational thinking. If we feel alone, it does not mean no one cares for us. If we feel we are not good enough, it does not mean everyone else thinks of us in the same way. Feelings are often misleading, and if we fall too deep into it, we can end up in despondency. We may even become depressed to the point of devastation if we let our feelings rule our lives.
When King David was told by Nathan the prophet that the LORD will take the life of his child, David fasted and wept (2 Samuel 12:16). After the death of his child, however, he arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, and then entered into the house of the LORD to worship. He then came to his own house and ate (2 Samuel 12:20). When questioned by his servants, David said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:22-23).
Just as King David knew when he should grieve and when he should stop grieving over his childís impending and eventual death (2 Samuel 12:16-23), let us also know when to stop letting our emotions and feelings overwhelm us. Let us not allow our emotions and feelings run wild, otherwise it may overtake us and lead us to despair. We may be hurting within our hearts, yet we must always remember that to all who love God, God causes all things to work together for good according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). For a little while we may be grieved and our hearts may be troubled, but we must not dwell too deep in sorrow, because excessive grieving is not good as it can lead us to devastation. Let us instead believe in God and believe also in Jesus, for in His Fatherís house are many rooms. If it were not so, would our Lord have told us that He went to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-2)?
Rather than dwell in despair, therefore, let us forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13). Let us not be deceived by the devil into believing the solution to despair is to give up all. We need not succumb to devastation or feelings of negativity, for in Christ we have been set free, and in Him we have victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4). Though there will still be days we need to go through sorrow and agony, and times when we feel down and out, we need not despair. The Lord is our confidence; He will keep us firm and not let us fall (Proverbs 3:26), for we are partakers of Christ if we hold fast our assurance until the end (Hebrews 3:14).
Dear Lord, forgive us for the many times we feel You have neglected us or are far away. Help us Lord not to let our feelings rule over our rational thinking to believe what is untrue or be overwhelmed to the point of devastation. Enable us Lord to hold fast with confidence our assurance in knowing that You will keep us firm and not let us fall. Thank You Lord that although we may grieve at times, we need not despair, because we are partakers in You.
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Good sound Biblical advice. And we all have those feeling from time to time. Your reminder of how David handled the feeling of desperation, is a good lesson for us all. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your talents...Helen