Saturday, August 24, 2019
Climb Out of That Valley
"I cried out to God for help;
In singing this psalm we must take shame to ourselves for all our sinful distrusts of God, and of his providence and promise, and give to him the glory of his power and goodness by a thankful commemoration of what he has done for us formerly and a cheerful dependence on him for the future." [M.Henry]
"When I am in heaviness, I will think upon God. Have you noticed how, when you are in heaviness, you are always tempted to think about yourself—your uselessness, your failures, your nothingness—in one way or another? I have known this temptation and have constantly found it tormenting others. To draw one’s thoughts to oneself is a long-tried and most successful wile of the devil. Straight against this is the word we have in this psalm: “When I am in heaviness, I will think upon God.” When we are tried by dryness, dullness of heart and despair, we are very likely to feel alone in that most unhappy state. Perhaps that is why our wonderful Father took care to have such writings as Psalm 77 preserved for us. There suffering, steadfastness, soundness, hope, love—what great words these are, and how arresting is the order in which they are set." [A. Carmichael}
"I have always noticed that when God has purposes of blessing for some soul, the demon of discouragement, who is one of Satan’s most useful servants, is sure to come and whisper all sorts of sorrowful, depressing, miserable thoughts. He drops these thoughts about, sometimes in one heart and sometimes in another. If they take root and grow into feelings and words and deeds, he knows that a great deal has been done to hinder what our God intends to do. Do not forget that discouragement is always from beneath; encouragement is always from above; God is the god of encouragement." [A. Carmichael]
Time is a gift God has given us, and we’re accountable to Him for the way we spend it. We need to recognize that time is not ours to fill as we choose, but rather, it’s a trust from the Lord to be utilized in ways that fulfill His plan. Reviewing our schedule regularly will help ensure that we invest this precious resource His way. [Intouch.org]
God is the ultimate restorer of people, hearts and lives. Restoration brings transformation, and the faith to believe our lives truly do matter to God. We all have lonely, doubtful days where we question our purpose, our journey and ourselves in God's plan. "Prayer is trading our worries for His wisdom, our pain for His peace and our confusion for His confidence."
"Believers sometimes quit praying before receiving an answer, because they are fearful of making the wrong request. However, the Holy Spirit’s divine nature prevents Him from going before God with a petition that is outside the Father’s plan. Instead, He intercedes to make the right request. He also impresses upon us the need to adjust our desires. Therefore, we can pray in every situation, knowing the Holy Spirit is our Helper." [intouch.org]
As for myself, there have been times that I could have penned Psalm 77 because I felt that kind of anguish in life. God doesn't leave us there, but gives us new people, opportunities, and re-direction in our lives. So, if you're in a dark valley, climb out with God as your source of light.
'Isolation leads to self-deception which leads to self-destruction.'