Discouragement Dilemma

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 42:11

Longest. Week. Ever.

A string of health problems, financial hiccups, and relational drama left me depleted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was finally Friday morning and the sun couldn’t rise fast enough. If only all the issues from the week would resolve with the ending of the day.

Feeling discouraged is hard. It zaps our spirit of hope, takes our eyes off the many blessings around us, and prevents bold spiritual bravery. Despite our best efforts to focus on what is going right, we cannot ignore all that is going wrong.

David experienced a similar struggle in Psalm 42: 

3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”… Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? …
6 My soul is downcast within me;
He, too, felt discouraged by his situation, perhaps abandoned by God, longing for the peace of His presence. His mind is a battlefield where his flesh is overwhelmed by dire circumstances while his spirit longs to remain in the sweet spot of intimacy with God by remembering His goodness.
6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
He recalls the time God opened the Jordan River for the Israelites to cross, saving them from the Egyptians. He remembers their miraculous victory over the massive Amorite army of Hermon. He recollects the sovereign Law of the Lord given at Mount Mizar as well.
11 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.
David understands that his circumstances do not alter the faithfulness of the Lord. He directs his emotions to be set in line with the truth of an unchanging God in a world of shifting certainty.
After reading Psalm 42, I opened my journal to process the events of the week. I typically flip to the last page, but this time, the first page caught my attention: Prayers for 2017. On the first of the year, I put down the ways I hoped the Lord would move in my life this year. Eleven months later, He had done just that.
I needed the reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness in my life that morning; to recall all He has done and is doing. Suddenly, the weight of my discouragement became lighter as I realized nothing is too difficult for the God of the Universe to bring me through.
Lord, thank you for reminding me of Your endless faithfulness. Because I am Your Child, I can rest in the promises of the past to be fulfilled in the future. Give me the wisdom to recognize emotional responses and redirect them to the truth of Your Word. Amen


Journalling is a great way to document the Lord’s faithfulness as well as see His hand in our lives through time. It can also enhance gratitude when we find little to be thankful for. Thirty Days of Thanksgiving Journal was written for that exact purpose.

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