Despair. I never used to understand why people would want to commit suicide or harm themselves, and then teenage-hood came along, and with it came many complicated emotions, so much spiritual warfare, doubts, and lies from the devil that I allowed to fill my head. I didn’t take up the full armor of God. Instead I let the lies overcome me.
Last year, it kind of seemed like it all culminated in one night. It was February 15th, 2019.
Psalm 42:1-5 really describes the feelings i was feeling that night, ‘
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation[c] 6 and my God.’
Despair. Cast down. Turmoil. Loneliness.
I remember feeling abandoned, like God hadn’t heard the deepest desires and cries of my hearts and that I had been forgotten, but feelings are NOT everything, and I have since learned by God’s grace and through His work on my heart, to continually bring my feelings back to His Word and direct them by the truth that’s in His Word.
But that night the feelings I felt were:
‘Is life worth living? Everybody else is happy but me.’
‘Nobody would care if I wasn’t here.’
Those were a few of the deepest despairing thoughts within me, but the biggest problem was this. I was not beholding God in all His glory, in all His perfect plans and purposes in my life. I wasn’t stopping to marvel at Him, who He is, and that His plans are always good.
Isaiah 35:3-7 says, ‘
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.’
And so this podcast is my way of saying, ‘Thank you Lord! Thank you for pulling me out of the pit of despair, the castle of ‘Giant Despair’ like Pilgrim’s Progress and setting my feet up on a rock.
In this podcast I share:
– where despair comes from
– why it seems our society has become more despairing even though we have more advances in technology, health care, and more access to convenience than ever before
– where true satisfaction can only be found
– why outward focus has to start with God, not with other people and what they think of you
– ‘Behold your God’ being the most important phrase in my life
– God’s kindness becoming so real to me
This passage right here is the one I’m going to end this with: Psalm 116:1-6, ‘I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.’
Have you ever felt despairing?
How did the Lord preserve you from your despair?