Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become restless anddisturbed within me?
Hope in God andwait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence
I have always taken great solace in this Psalm as the author gives voice to his deepest feelings of despair or depression. He finds himself isolated from Israel and taunted by his enemies.
What I love most about this Psalm is that the author does not stay depressed. He grabs hold of himself and seeks God with renewed intensity. I believe he gives us a strategy to pull ourselves out of a pit of depression or restlessness or any inner disturbance we may have fallen prey to.
Here the Psalmist is his own therapist. First he asks himself why is he depressed. Isolating the why is really vital. So often depression or floating anxiety paralyzes us and we simply don’t know why. We have to find out what we are believing that is causing us to feel so terrible. In this case it appears to be isolation and spiritual persecution. This happened to a friend of mine this last weekend. She was the only adult walking with the Lord at a party she attended. The course jokes and language shared in the presence of children was more that she could tolerate. When she gently protested she was overtly ridiculed. She left the party early sad, frustrated and alone. Of course then comes the accuser of the brethren, quick to shift the to blame her. She had to do exactly what the Psalmist did. She examined what had happened and as we talked realized it was the only thing that could have happened. We are called to be a light in a dark place regardless of the personal consequences. She had to put her hope in the Lord that her words and actions would be a seed of hope and light to those there, if not then, hopefully in the future. She also had to expect something. She had to expect God to answer her prayers for those she loved that were in attendance. She needed to praise God for what He had done in the past for her and that he is a God who answers prayer.Through her expectation there came peace.
This last week someone close to me shared how I had disappointed them. Ouch. Hard to hear but in reality a blessing. I had made a mistake and needed to make a correction. It was shared in love. What happened later was the real problem. I began to imagine all sorts of things in regards to conversations that had taken place about me, how I had probably been judged and what it would do to our relationship going forward. Good grief, the enemy was having a party in my head!
The result was that my soul, like the Psalmist’s, was restless and disturbed. I had to stop. Examine how this was pure fabrication on my part, check in with my friend and most of all do some thought trades. At night when I was assailed with disturbing imaginations the Lord reminded me of a scripture.
Philippians 4:8Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]
Have you ever tried this when you are in the middle of a battle in your mind? Well, it is not easy to switch gears but it is possible. I was able to grab hold of some lovely thoughts, ran through my grateful list and got to sleep. However, the next morning during my reading I read about David and Goliath and the Lord gave me new revelation. Goliath had been mocking and demoralizing the army of Israel. David comes along with his sling and a deep relationship with the Lord who had provided him with a history of victories over bears and lions. He picks up 5 stones to confront Israels giant enemy. What I learned is that the Hebrew language is alphanumeric. This means that numbers can be written with letters. In Hebrew the number 5 is written with the letter Hei. According to some Jewish mystics the letter Hei is connected to the divine breath of God that releases His creative power and potential. In other words, David needed the the HEI, the divine empowerment of God’s spirit, to obtain victory and overcome the impossible.
So even when it feels like we are up against an impossible situation, or any giant we may be facing, perhaps even our own thoughts, we are not to fear. However, we are to be prepared. It may seem odd but I felt inspired to fill my bag with stones, or promises, that were at my ready disposal to use should I need to sling them a the enemy when taunted. I encourage you, if you ever find yourself agitated to examine the why. Then refocus as the Psalmist did and put your hope in God, expect Him to fulfill His promises to you and praise Him. You might also want to pick up a 5 stones of your own, remember the memorial stones reminding you of past victories, grab the promises for the situation you are currently facing and feel free to sling them at the enemy when he stands in your way expecting the Hei to be released into the atmosphere and ushering you into God’s presence and His victory.