O Praise Him

Posted: May 4, 2010 in Blog Carnival, Spiritual Warfare

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

~Psalm 59:16-17

David’s Psalms have spoken to me recently like they never have before.  David felt pressed on every side and abandoned by his God.  He knew that God was with him, but he just couldn’t feel Him.  On top of that, the relentlessness of the enemy led him into doubt.  He actually had to do a lot of positive self-talk to remind his desperate heart of the truth!

I get that.  I get feeling alone and pursued by evil.  I get longing for God and begging for His presence.  I get telling myself to buck up when, once again, He’s just not showing up.

My enemy is not one of flesh and blood, but he has been pursuing me every bit as relentlessly as David’s enemies did.  This spiritual warfare subtly and steadily nurtured a certain despair in my heart as I cried out to a steely sky.  The father of lies kept reminding me of my sin and my ugliness, and of God’s distance.  (Those things, by the way, weren’t lies.  The lies came in the conclusions, as though I could negate the cross.)

In effect, satan robbed me of my joy and gently, old gentleman that he is, led me down the path to depression.  He offered me a cozy blanket, which I felt I couldn’t do without.  Sleeping and hiding — that’s all I wanted to do.  Jesus wasn’t talking to me, anyway, so what else mattered?  All I could hear was satan.  Better to sleep than to keep listening.

But what of joy?  Weeping lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning!  I am still struggling, but each day is [mostly] better than the last.  God is calling me to praise Him, even when I don’t think He’s near enough to even hear me.  As a result, I’m seeing my joy slowly returning, (and by joy, I mean trust in God).

Joy isn’t happiness, you know.  Joy is a steady confidence in the One who holds your soul, regardless of the battles raging all around.

It is well with my soul.

~LG

This entry was written for a blog carnival.  Check it out!

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Comments
  1. *~Michelle~* says:

    The way you describe that cozy blanket brings me back to a time I went through as well….

    will be praying for you! Believing that with God, you will overcome!

  2. Robin Arnold says:

    It took me a long time to realize that God doesn’t so much as not listen, or not show up, as stand still next to me breathing the same air. If standing still is what the Lord wants, then that’s what I’m doing.

    Be blessed with your new pink blog. I took a twirl around and admired it very much.

  3. Glynn says:

    Coming through a “wilderness time” recently, I, too, turned to David — his story and his psalms. And you’re right — joy is not elation or giddiness but a total confidence.

  4. Bridget says:

    Lainie, this is a great post. I can relate in many ways.

    These words are so true…

    Joy isn’t happiness, you know. Joy is a steady confidence in the One who holds your soul, regardless of the battles raging all around.

    Thanks for joining the carnival.

  5. Lainie – I loved the honesty of your post. Although the enemy pursues us, I have to remind myself that our Father pursues us all the more. Thanks 🙂

    ps. – someone named Lainie taught me how to swim when I was five, almost 36 years ago … 🙂

  6. tricia says:

    I LOVE your definition of joy! “Joy is a steady confidence in the One who holds your soul, regardless of the battles raging all around.”

  7. Rosslyn says:

    I’m glad KD inadvertently pointed me here. Or perhaps it wasn’t so inadvertent.

    I love a good mystery. But I love even more an honest description of what it feels like to live an authentic life of faith, with all our imperfections. Thanks for the complexity and realism of your blog.

    (And don’t think I’m not quietly speculating, over here in my Sherlock Holmesian fantasy world. 🙂

  8. About 25 years ago, I, who wasn’t interested in the Psalms b/c they seemed too boring, ended up buried in them. Over the years, every time life becomes stressful, the depression tries to overtake/overwhelm me, that is where I end up. [Consequently, I’ve spent more time there than anywhere else; oh, well.] But His encouragement that pours through them provides the hope and joy I need to pull through the angst that’s trying to strangle me. Thanks for sharing…

  9. Katdish says:

    Forgive my blatant Christianese, but this post really spoke to me. Thank you my friend.

  10. Stacey says:

    I’ve wrapped the ‘cozy blanket’ around my shoulders too–love that word picture–that explains what I did so well. I also like this comment from above —> ‘Although the enemy pursues us, I have to remind myself that our Father pursues us all the more.’ Thank you Father for removing me from that blanket!

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