“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5
I am an emotional person. My life consists of hills and valleys rather than flat, even, emotional plains. When I’m feeling discouraged or angry or overwhelmed or bitter, I have a hard time seeing anything else. But when I dwell in those feelings for any length of time, it exhausts me and blinds me from seeing the good in my life. It blunts the comfort that others offer me. I even have a hard time experiencing comfort from God.
I get stuck.
Throughout the years, my valleys have become less steep as God has pointed me to His promises of faithfulness and provision, and as I’ve experienced Him fulfilling these promises in my life. A big part of this journey has been reading the Psalms — they have been reassuring, faithful companions that speak to my ever-changing feelings on my spiritual journey of knowing Jesus better.
In the Psalms, I read that people just like me have also been navigating emotional hills and valleys… for 4,000 years! I am not alone in my emotion. The Psalms also show that our emotions don’t have to take control of us; we can choose to remind ourselves of who God is and what He has promised. He is good, always working for the best in the lives of those who love Him, and for the community that loves Him.
So, if you’re like me, you don’t have to stay stuck in the emotional valleys of life — you can move forward. Discouragement can turn to hope; anger to peace; bitterness to conviction and repentance.
Dear Lord, thank You that You hear us when we cry out to You — even in our darkest, emotional valleys. And thank You that You don’t leave us there! Holy Spirit, protect us from any influence that’s not from You, and we ask that Your peace would be in our hearts. And remind us of all the times in the past when You’ve helped us move on from the same feelings we’re experiencing now. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ask the Holy Spirit to take you to a Psalm that can help you to not feel alone in what you’re experiencing. Psalm 42 and 43 are good ones to consider. Line by line in the Psalm, pray back to God what it says, but about your own circumstances. If you find it difficult to choose to hope in God, admit that to Him, tell Him that you want to do this by faith, and ask Him to help you do this, regardless of how you feel.