Yesterday, our church celebrated its tenth anniversary. What a celebration! Complete with choir specials, a visiting quartet, the guest preacher who had been instrumental in supporting our pastor when the church began, a video presentation of the previous ten years, and the mouth-watering, buffet-style dinner that awaited us following the service; it was a day that will not soon be forgotten. The Lord even provided us with a beautiful, sunny day, in spite of the weatherman's prediction of rain. So much to thank Him for!
In direct contrast, this morning arrived accompanied by the steady downpour of rain. At some point during the night, my husband had moved to the guest bedroom with a queasy stomach and rising temperature. Once my daughter made it successfully out the door to catch her ride to school, I sat down at the table with my steaming mug of coffee, needing some encouragement from God's Word. As I turned to the forty-second Psalm and began reading, I was struck by the passion in the psalmist's words: " 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee..." (KJV)
God had been good to the writer of this Psalm, who is thought to have been one of the sons of Korah. He had a great job; serving as either temple musician or assistant. However, being human, he had given in to his emotions and chosen to let them dictate his outlook on life. He was 'downcast.' Can you identify? I certainly can. Maybe circumstances have pulled the rug out from under you, or you're overwhelmed by bad news, and suddenly you find yourself knocking on that door labelled, 'discouragement' or 'depression.'
I remember the accident vividly. A friend and I were returning from Amicalola Falls and we had missed our turn. I decided to turn around. As I began my lefthand turn, a jarring impact and the sound of scraping metal alerted me to the fact that I had been broadsided. Fortunately, no one was badly injured. Aside from some soft-tissue injuries to my back, I was fine. Or so I thought. Over the next several months, the ensuing anxiety and depression, made me realize the importance of my thought life. It was crucial to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And to think on the right things; things that are: true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtous, and praise-worthy. (Philippians 4:8)
This morning, as I remembered the process that allowed me to climb out of the pit of depression, how encouraged I was to continue reading the forty-second Psalm: "Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." (v.8, KJV) Others have walked this road before me, and have arrived at the same conclusion: God is good, and worthy of all of our praise. In the good times, and yes, even in the bad times.
The truth is, God's blessings abound. David was led to pen Psalm 68:19, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." (KJV) We're privileged to praise Him. Think about all He's done for you, and praise Him today!