Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
Psalm 43:5, NLT*
King David is discouraged. He has real, physical enemies oppressing him and bringing down his spirit.
Sometimes our troubles are solid like that, but often they’re not.
Usually I just have my feelings and the “voices in my head.” Circumstances can be fine but some worry or perceived threat will set up in my mind and steal my joy.
I had a weekend like that recently, moping around carrying a load that probably won’t become real and certainly wasn’t then. Saying “it’s been a bit of a struggle.” That’s what I believed because that’s how it felt. And it was a struggle.
Finally the sensible portion of my brain reminded me, “I have a good Shepherd.”
The rest of me said “oh, yeah” like I’d forgotten. Again. But choosing to believe and rely on that fact ended the struggle with my intangible but real feelings.
Shepherd of our souls, You are strong and kind. Whatever circumstances come, You will still be God, still sufficient for our needs. Forgive us when we entertain thoughts that bring us down. And please train us to hear Your truths faster and more clearly so we can learn to walk in Your freedom instead of our former bondage.
*New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.