Read or Listen: Psalm 42:1-5, 11
Let’s begin with the Biblical account of David, the young shepherd-king. When we pick up the story (in Ps. 42-43), he is discouraged, struggling emotionally, and sinking in the quicksand of discontentment. He is complaining because he feels that his needs aren’t being met. He feels distant from God and lacks a good perspective of life.
Do you ever talk to yourself? It was at this point that David did. He began to preach HOPE to himself — fighting the battle of hopelessness from the inside-out, rather than letting the outside overcome him. Three times, he repeats this tiny sermon: Hope in God! (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5)
A few winters ago, I went through a severe season of hopelessness. It goes by many different aliases: burn-out, anxiety, discouragement, depression. Call it what you want, but it was there because of one major reason: I was looking at life the wrong way.
The day I realized that I wasn’t living by faith was the day that my hopelessness started to flee.
When we live looking at the things we can see, we can get down pretty quickly. The bills are piling on the table, the kids are complaining at every turn, your body isn’t what it used to be. Add to that your nagging spouse and your screaming boss and it only gets worse! When we live by our senses (what we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel), we are living — as the Bible describes — according to the flesh. We are living by sight.
What else is there? Living by faith… focusing on what you can’t see! It makes so much more sense when you live vertically instead of horizontally. Faith gives you a different perspective from others. By faith, you are even able to enjoy life, while others can only endure it.
Have you ever struggled with getting down & discouraged? How recently? Do you want to talk about it?
Do you talk to yourself? Do you have to give yourself pep-talks? Does it help?
What does it mean to live by faith? Name 2-3 practical ways that we can choose to “live vertically.”
Almighty God, thank you for knowing my needs before I call, for loving me when I am unlovely, and for providing hope when I feel low. I choose to live by faith, to trust You, to hope in You!
devotion by Patrick Nix
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